Tag Archives: social determinants of health

How Can We Overcome the Unintended Consequences of Medicare Advantage Expansion?

Since the formation of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, there has been continuous growth in the number of Medicare beneficiaries that have chosen this model of care. The reasons are numerous. For instance, the pace of growth in the number of company offerings and members has picked up over recent years, and the current projection is that MA… Read More »

Money Does Make A Difference

As we begin to reflect on policy changes and how they impacted people during covid, It’s of utmost importance that we assess what enhanced our wellbeing and what did not. We know that a significant determinant of health, especially in children, is access to healthy food and permanent food security. One of the many policies during Covid was… Read More »

A Deeper Look at Structural Racism in US Health Care Policy

Structural racism refers to, “The totality of ways societies foster racial discrimination through mutually reinforcing systems of housing, credit, media, health care, and criminal justice.” One of the leading structural components that has led to the inequitable distribution of health services is healthcare financing, i.e., insurance coverage. Inadequate health insurance coverage is one of the most prevalent barriers… Read More »

Is Our Racial Divide Worsening in Healthcare?

In 1973, an article entitled, “Does Race Interfere with the Doctor-Patient Relationship,” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It pointed out systemic biases that impact the care for those in minority groups. Almost 50 years later, have we improved? Though the article delineated a significant amount of attention that addresses health inequities and the… Read More »

Healthy Equity is A Critical Part of Value-Based Payment Models

As value-based payment models have continued to expand, this expansion has occurred in the more affluent communities. Additionally, communities with more socioeconomically vulnerable individuals were less likely to be selected for joint replacement bundles, another form of a value-based payment. A big reason for this lack of equitable distribution of value-based care, can be linked to the absence… Read More »

Workforce Wellness Programs: Are They Focused on the Wrong Thing?

Recently, there has been an ongoing debate over the value of workplace wellness programs. It is logical to think that to improve a person’s health, you can provide them with support services such as weight management and disease intervention plans through their worksite and ultimately their health will improve, and costs will decrease for both the employee and… Read More »

Why Using Social Determinant Metrics in The Hospital Readmission Penalty Calculation Matters?

Currently, there is an ongoing debate whether Medicare readmission penalty policy is equitable to all hospitals. The greatest argument and concern is the lack of social determinants of health (SDOH) factors in the calculation. Many contend including SDOH is essential to create greater equality amongst the comparisons. In contrast, others do not believe they are impactful or state… Read More »

The Physician’s Role in Addressing Social Determinants of Health

As a physician, I was taught to diagnose and treat. Sure, I knew your social situation outside of my office played a role in your overall wellbeing, but it really was not in my differential diagnosis. Undeniably, I did what I could to help with those situations, but only within the context of increasing the ability of the… Read More »

Exploring Quality as the Use of Virtual Care Expands

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the speed at which we have converted to virtual care. Physicians and consumers have substantially increased their use of virtual visits and digital applications. This care includes interactions concerning diagnosis, evaluation, and management of conditions that historically have occurred in person. Because of this, many questions arise concerning the quality and utilization of… Read More »

How Can We Become the Trusted Voice?

What the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light is the detrimental effect of medical misinformation. We must remember the “law of rumor” is proportional to the level of ambiguity and the importance of the spreading. When there is an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty, when people feel anxious, when the information is deemed important, and whether they believe the… Read More »