Examining Food Deserts in the US:  Lessons Learned from Philadelphia's Success Story

By Akshita Singh | April 15, 2019 at 3:12 PM

There are multiple social factors that affect a person’s health and life expectancy that are not directly linked to their physical state. These factors are known as the Social Determinants of Health, and they are all taken into consideration in annual rankings of the health of American communities. The Aetna Foundation and U.S. News & World Report recently released its list of the healthiest communities in America. Amongst the many living conditions that qualify as social determinants of health, one of the more critical is access to nutritious food. According to U.S. News, one of the most important determinants of health is easy access to a large grocery store, which can surprisingly have the same health benefits as seeing a physician for a yearly physical.


Top SDOH Sessions at HIMSS19

By Dan Kamyck | February 12, 2019 at 9:53 AM

This year, we expect the sessions and speakers at HIMSS19 to more closely reflect the healthcare industry's growing emphasis on the social determinants of health. With value-based and managed care models taking hold in more states and systems across the country, these upstream impacts on health outcomes and utilization have come into sharper focus. 


The 2018 midterms and healthcare: here's what we know

By Dan Kamyck | November 7, 2018 at 1:12 PM

The 2018 midterm elections certainly lived up to the drama they have promised for several months now.  But behind the hype, there are very real consequences for healthcare policy.  Here's a look at the impact of the 2018 midterms on Medicaid, healthcare reform, and social determinants of health.


New legislation will make 2019 a big year for action against the opioid crisis, according to the Betty Ford Foundation

By Akshita Singh | October 11, 2018 at 2:53 PM

The nation’s leading nonprofit addiction treatment provider, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, is applauding the new "SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act” which took shape in Congress in late September.  Mark Mishek, President and CEO of Hazelden Betty Ford, called the proposed law "a tremendous step to help confront the opioid crisis that has caused so much suffering to individuals, families and society in recent years."


How to help community health workers succeed, according to UPenn research

By Akshita Singh | October 9, 2018 at 5:44 PM

Many healthcare organizations are trying to improve population health with a concerted effort around the social determinants of health. An area of innovation and promise is the use of community health workers, or CHWs, which are individuals from local communities who can see and act on social issues that are invisible to community outsiders, as a result of their personal lived experiences and established relationships.


Social Determinants of Health Innovation in New York State

By Amy Vreeland | September 28, 2018 at 3:45 PM was honored to be invited to share a poster presentation at the Social Determinants of Health Innovations Summit hosted by the New York Department of Health earlier this week.  It was a wonderful opportunity to talk to people about their innovative ideas and approaches to helping address the social determinants of health for New Yorkers.  Thanks to everyone for their interest in’s approach, too. And wow - what a wonderful turnout of people who are committed to creating innovative approaches to help address the social determinants keeping people from their best health.


How CareMore’s Togetherness Program is Tackling the Loneliness Epidemic

By Akshita Singh | September 25, 2018 at 10:26 AM

An increasing number of health care providers and health delivery systems are beginning to understand that loneliness is far more than a temporary feeling or theoretical idea, but rather, a condition with clear adverse effects on health. Physician and former US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, stated, “the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes, it was loneliness.” He went on to further explain that rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s and called the loneliness crisis a “growing epidemic.”


Care coordination, SDOH focus helped NY reduce Medicaid readmissions by 18%

By Amy Vreeland | July 9, 2018 at 12:52 PM

As we all know, Medicaid systems are under intense pressure to redesign care and improve outcomes. Kudos to New York on an innovative approach that is showing great results. Through their Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) efforts, the state Department of Health recently reported an 18-percent decrease in hospital readmissions for high-risk Medicaid patients over a three-year period.


CMS releases new standardized screening tool for health-related social needs

By Dan Kamyck | June 1, 2017 at 2:52 PM

Nine in ten physicians serving low-income communities believe patients’ social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions. But according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), screening for social needs is not yet standard clinical practice due to "the absence of established pathways and infrastructure and perceptions of inadequate time to make community referrals."

New social screening tool: CMS is out with a new 10-item screening tool to identify patient needs across five domains of social needs. The tool was designed to be "short, accessible, consistent, and inclusive," with input from experts at Kaiser Permanente, Boston Children's, Hennepin Health, and other organizations.