- systematically assessing patients’ health-related social needs
- building community resource platforms and networks that connect patients to needed services and track their progress
- providing health care-sector incentives for investments in nonmedical services that improve people’s health or save medical costs
- providing sustainable financing for cross-sector initiatives that address patient’s health-related social needs
- aligning their organizational policies and practices to reduce unmet health-related social needs and address inequities
Based on Urban experts’ conversations with changemakers in the health sector, we surfaced the following three priority areas where payers, plans, and providers say they need more information to help them accelerate promising strategies.
- Identify social needs with the biggest impacts on health—such as hunger, social isolation, and exposure to violence—to better target interventions and investments that improve people’s well-being, narrow disparities, and reduce costs.
- Build an evidence base of cost-effective interventions proven to address people’s health-related social needs so health care payers and providers can easily find out what works and for whom.
- Assess strategies for integrating health, social services, and other systems to better measure costs and savings over time and across sectors and better serve patients’ health-related social needs.
I look forward to hearing your reactions as we pursue these important questions.