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Dr Sandra Stein Shares Takeaways From Banner|Aetna IVBM

Commentary
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According to Sandra Stein, MD, of Banner Health Plans, the event highlighted the significant influence of social determinants of health on health care costs and outcomes, emphasizing the shift in focus from traditional medical care to addressing crucial factors like housing, food, transportation, and utilities for positive health outcomes.

Sandra Stein, MD, chief medical officer of Banner Health Plans, shared what she enjoyed most about and what she learned from The American Journal of Managed Care®’s Institute for Value-Based Medicine® (IVBM) event that took place in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 12, 2023, in partnership with Banner|Aetna. Stein was a part of the IVBM panel discussion centered around a commentary published in JAMA Network titled "Health Systems and Social Services—A Bridge Too Far?" which stated that health systems should not invest in social determinants of health.

Transcript

What were your biggest takeaways from the IVBM?

My biggest takeaways are that we really all know now that about 80% of the costs and outcomes associated with health care are driven by social determinants of health, sometimes referred to as health-related social needs.

This is so different from when I went to medical school, when I did my training. The thought then was that I learned how to provide good care, and if my members or patients had access to that care, they were most likely to have good outcomes. Now, we know there's a tremendous amount of literature supporting that housing, food, transportation, and utilities, all of those things are absolutely critical to positive health outcomes. For example, even if we have somebody that has the best care, they're in an inpatient unit, they're doing really well. If they get discharged and they're homeless, the outcomes are likely to be very poor for very obvious decisions and very obvious reasons.

One of the things that was fascinating is the group in the room was very diverse from a health care perspective, but for the most part, the themes and viewpoints were the same, and that really impacted me. There was agreement about the importance of health-related social needs and that this is a community issue. What really inspired me about this event was these diverse groups came together with that level of understanding, and we left with a call to action, which is a really hard thing to do with this diverse group. We need to address this from a community, from a health care perspective, to overall have a positive impact.

Reference

Glied S, D'Aunno T. Health systems and social services—a bridge too far? JAMA Health Forum. 2023;4(8):e233445. Published online August 4, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2023.3445

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