A recent Insider Intelligence report by Rajiv Leventhal explored how Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) programs are generating value for leading health care organizations and the motivation behind ramping up these investments, including specifically emphasizing the impact that our social risk analytics and solutions are having at empowering our customers to manage risk, improve outcomes, and advance equity at scale.

Leventhal analyzed the drivers behind the recent and accelerating growth in SDOH investments, the strategies payers and providers are deploying to measure their impact, and how technology is augmenting these initiatives. The report found that while measuring the impact of SDOH programs is challenging for many organizations, it is necessary to improve business performance, advance community and member wellbeing, and drive data-driven decisions regarding future investments and resource allocation decisions.

This all aligns with what we’re seeing in the market today. As health care continues to shift towards value-based care, the need for payers and providers alike to invest in SDOH strategies and solutions will only become more imperative, particularly in light on policy and regulatory developments such as:


  • CMS’ ongoing evaluation of how to explicitly evolve Medicare Advantage rules to advance health equity (28M people, or nearly half of eligible Medicare beneficiaries)
  • The upcoming launch of the Innovation Center’s ACO REACH model, which is focused on explicitly incentivizing participating ACOs to include underserved populations.
  • 75% of state Medicaid agencies indicating they plan to increase SDOH and social risk requirements for Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)
  • The FDA's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) launching an Enhance Equity Initiative to advance diversity in clinical trials and increase data available on diverse groups.

Leventhal’s research indicates it’s impossible to effectively address SDOH at scale without comprehensive technology infrastructure in place. A key insight from the report revealed that 44% of health systems and 55% of health plans use technology vendors that provide solutions to address SDOH. These solutions support efforts that include identifying the populations with the greatest social risk, connecting patients and members with available programs and services, and tracking and measuring outcomes. The report adds that it is critical for organizations to forge partnerships with proven technology firms in this area.

Health Systems and Health Plans partnering with organizations to address SDOH according to healthcare leaders

When discussing the different ways in which payers and providers can collaborate with SDOH technology companies to bolster their investments, Leventhal said, “Healthcare entities that identify and screen patients for social issues and connect them with services still need a way to measure progress. Fewer organizations are able to do this in an impactful way. Socially Determined’s intelligence platform enables providers and insurers to identify consumers’ social risk, but it also helps customers assess the effectiveness of their SDOH programs.”

The report concluded that technology is a foundational element of a successful SDOH investment. Payers and providers must design, execute, and evaluate their SDOH strategies carefully to align with their mission and choose a data-driven partner to maximize impact and return on investment.

Socially Determined is leading the transformation of health care delivery and payment through social risk analytics and solutions. To learn more about how Socially Determined is empowering health systems, plans and other risk-bearing organizations manage risk, improve outcomes, and measure impact at scale, contact us today.

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