Addressing SDoH through community referrals
A 2020 report from Chilmark Research highlights the impact of social determinants of health (SDoH) on the healthcare system and spotlights HealthEC as an effective solution in seamlessly connecting healthcare providers with community partners with significant reductions in unnecessary healthcare expenditures and dramatic improvement in patients’ overall health and well-being. Chilmark presented the findings during an industry webinar on December 20, 2020.
Medical care is estimated to account for only 10-20% of the modifiable contributors to health outcomes for a population. Yet, data integration and collaboration between clinical providers and community partners remains the biggest obstacle to meaningful progress in public health. This is especially true given data governance and interoperability challenges.
Chilmark examined a total of ten vendors that have taken the lead in addressing SDoH head-on, based on the following criteria:
- Completeness of solution
- Market momentum
- Ability to execute
The highlighted vendors range in size and scope, but all share one common goal: improving patients’ quality of life by meeting social needs.
Addressing SDoH Through Community Referrals
Addressing SDoH through referrals to community partners and targeted interventions has become especially relevant during COVID-19. The pandemic dramatically increases the percentage of the overall population that suffers from isolation and unmet social needs. Furthermore, the return on investment for interventions supporting social needs such as stable housing, transportation, and nutrition ranges from 150 to 600%.
- When intervention costs are reduced, numerous stakeholders benefit from the results:
- Providers experience less burnout.
- Community partners provide vital services.
- Payers avoid unnecessary, rising costs.
- Governments benefit from a healthy, well-supported society.
- Patients feel cared for and receive the care they need.
HealthEC’s population health and care coordination platforms highlighted in the Chilmark report help organizations build an integrated network of providers and community resources for seamless referrals via email and in-app capabilities. Push notifications and reminders to the patient through the application encourage continuous engagement with the prescribed community partner.
Several HealthEC customers currently use our system to build community connections. These include Prince George’s County, Maryland and Illinois Health Practice Alliance. Market traction has also been reached with providers that seek to connect patients to nutritional assistance programs.
Differentiators that set HealthEC apart in the research include:
- Functionality of HealthEC’s solution to make and track referrals
- Incorporation with an effective and well-regarded population health toolset
- Optimization of extensive analytics and data management
It is imperative to support community resource management solutions in conjunction with healthcare, including data integration, normalization, and aggregation to maximize impact on health outcomes of a population. The report further concludes that as community resource engagement tools such as HealthEC continue to grow, providers will have a more streamlined approach to navigating community resource networks. Looking ahead, Chilmark predicts the following:
• 2022: More complete capability sets and wider adoption are achieved.
• 2025: Networks are more established and public option for insurance sparks wide adoption.
• 2030: Data-intervention gap is bridged with 80% adoption across provider locations.
Click here to view the full report.
1 Hood, C. M., K. P. Gennuso, G. R. Swain, and B. B. Catlin. 2016. County health rankings: Relationships between determinant factors and health outcomes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 50(2):129-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.08.024