KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

CMS’s $157M Project To Bolster Social Services’ Role In Health Care

The government is looking to address issues that can impact overall medical care such as housing, food, personal safety, transportation and inability to pay utility bills. The project will fund up to 44 separate experiments over five years.

Kaiser Health News: Feds Funding Effort To Tie Medical Services To Social Needs
The federal government has announced a $157 million project to help hospitals and doctors link Medicare and Medicaid patients to needed social services that sometimes have a bigger impact on their health than medical interventions. ... The goal of the “Accountable Health Communities” project is to find better ways to identify patients’ non-medical needs and connect them to available services in their communities. (Rovner, 1/5)

The Associated Press: Medicare To Test If Seamless Social Work Can Improve Health
Doctors, community workers and social researchers have long recognized a link between the hardships of poverty and health problems. Now the government is launching an experiment to see if seamless social work can improve the health of vulnerable Medicare and Medicaid recipients, and perhaps even lower costs, by heading off emergency room visits and hospitalizations. (Alonso-Zalvidar, 1/5)

Modern Healthcare: HHS Test Will Try Addressing Social Needs To Improve Health
The CMS Innovation Center announced Tuesday that it would explicitly test whether addressing the social conditions that affect health can lower healthcare costs and improve the quality of care. The effort reflects the government's ambition to shift the industry toward value-based payment models as well as an acknowledgement that social factors, not just the quality of healthcare services, determine the health of a community. (Johnson, 1/5)

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