Widening the Scope of Healthcare Through Addressing Social Determinants
Social determinants of health are a focal point of health plan initiatives and funding as they play a significant role in healthcare outcomes and costs. Social determinants encompass many factors beyond the scope of care that health organizations provide, including patients’ socio-economic status (SES) and access to healthy food and housing. Social and environmental conditions are critical to an individual’s health and overall quality of life, accounting for 80% to 90% of health outcomes, whereas medical care only accounts for 10% to 20%. As such, social determinants have a major impact on the burden of the healthcare system, specifically on outcomes and costs. Health plans and systems are therefore using technology-driven initiatives to address social determinants through data collection and sharing.