An Opportunity: Social Determinants of Health

November 19, 2019 · Matt Brock


An opportunity… to help.

Social determinants of health are all the talk in health care right now. We’re all beginning to see that it’s not just clinical treatment our patients need to recover from illness or to stay healthy.

There is broad agreement that social determinants of health have significant impact on health care outcomes. So, improving patients’ home life and meeting basic social needs may make a difference as much or more than traditional care.

The Opportunity 

NCQA’s looking for a few good organizations—commercial health plans—who are working on social determinants to share their experiences, challenges and victories.  We’re compiling a Social Determinants of Health Resource Guide and may want to highlight your good work.

So, ask yourself, does your plan:

opportunity to help: loading wheelchair into van

  • Partner with food banks?
  • Work with a rideshare company to provide transportation for members?
  • Partner with programs that provide housing assistance?
  • Provide school and community-based screenings?

Many examples exist of how health plans have begun to address this issue. We’ve seen this work highlighted in news reports or featured as reason for awards. There’s ample documentation of Medicaid Managed Care plans who offer enhanced care coordination, community partnerships and payment incentives. Still, there has not yet been a systematic investigation into the types of strategies used by commercial health plans.

Until now.

Our Social Survey

NCQA knows commercial plans are conducting this work as well. So, we’ve drawn up a survey to give you an opportunity to share what you are doing, how it is working and how it may apply to other organizations. Large or small, we’re interested in your efforts, your partners, what works, and what doesn’t.

After you take the survey, we may follow up with an interview to hear more about your experience and to build a robust set of case studies on social determinants.

If you are interested, please complete the survey before December 23, 2019.

That’s it. You will have taken the opportunity… to help.


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