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Knowing patients’ needs is critical for addressing social determinants of health

September 28, 2019 Featured In the News

In healthcare, there are many unknowns. The social needs of patients shouldn't be among them.

Dr. Jason Mitchell, chief medical officer, and Leigh Caswell, vice president for Community Health at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, write in Modern Healthcare they were not surprised that only a quarter of hospitals and 15.6% of physician practices screen patients for all five social determinants of health—transportation needs, interpersonal violence, housing instability, utility needs and food insecurity.

Hard-wiring a community health mindset remains a work in progress, they write.

As one of 32 participants in the CMS' Accountable Health Communities pilot program, Presbyterian is testing how this model can help communities as they address health-related social needs. Strong community partnerships and screenings by community health workers are two key elements.

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