Dr Lee Newcomer Discusses Payer Strategies in Population Health Management

May 2, 2018

Social determinants of health are being carefully tended to in the Medicare populations, explained Lee Newcomer, MD, MHA, private consultant.

Social determinants of health are being carefully tended to in the Medicare populations, explained Lee Newcomer, MD, MHA, private consultant.

Transcript

Do payer strategies include using social and behavioral determinants of health (SBDH) in population health management?

Well here I’m speaking broadly, but yes, they do make a difference. I think where you see social determinants being really carefully tended to is in the Medicaid populations. Almost every payer in the Medicaid space is helping to provide transportation or maybe even childcare—sometimes even as far as housing because it’s clear that those issues have to be addressed if the healthcare is going to be addressed.

There are models out in the United States across the entire country where people are trying to add social determinants to make the healthcare better.

Can value-based models incentivize consideration of social and behavioral determinants of health?

I think they actually can, but again the ultimate objective is 'how do I get my patient healthy, and how can I do it for the least amount of money.' So, if social determinants help then they will be addressed. But if they aren’t going to make a difference, then they probably won’t be addressed. That’s why I come back to the Medicaid population—I think that’s the group that’s gotten, by far in a way, the best benefit from working on social determinants.