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Rocco Perla: A Historic Time for Addressing Social Needs

The last 6 months have been considered by many as a historic moment for interventions that focus on the social needs of patients, explained Rocco Perla, president of Health Leads.


The last 6 months have been considered by many as a historic moment for interventions that focus on the social needs of patients, explained Rocco Perla, president of Health Leads.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How have social needs interventions risen to the top of the reform agenda in the last 6 months?

The last 6 months have really been filled with energy and excitement around social needs. A lot of people are referring to it as a historic moment. So not only do we have health systems that are engaging this space and asking questions—what are the social needs of the patient populations that they serve?—but we also have within that 6-month period 2 historic reforms that have been introduced by Medicare.

These 2 programs—the first is called the Accountable Health Communities Model and the second is the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Plus—both of these models for the first time incentive health systems, providers, and payers, not just to address direct medical care, but also the underlying social needs that patients need satisfied in order to be healthy. And we know that both social needs and direct medical care have to come together instead of being viewed as separate.

So it’s an amazing time. Those programs potentially will impact millions of patients and beneficiaries, and they really encourage all of us to work together to achieve patient-centered care. We talk a lot about that, but making sure the patient is at the center of the care universe is really what we’re all about at Health Leads. And, in fact, integrating the space between the medical care and social services, and serving as a critical integrator between the 2 is the work that we’ve been doing at Health Leads with our clinical partners for over 20 years.

 
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