Michael Thompson Explains How Employers Have Started Addressing Social Determinants of Health

October 24, 2019

Employers did not intentionally set out to address social determinants of health, but the programs they were implementing were doing so, said Michael Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.

Employers did not intentionally set out to address social determinants of health, but the programs they were implementing were doing so, said Michael Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.

Transcript

Are employers starting to get a handle on how to address social determinants of health?

What’s interesting is that I don’t think employers intended to get at “social determinants of health” when they’ve implemented some of the programs they’ve implemented. What they’ve found though is when they implement programs that are based on advocacy, actually getting to know what’s going on in somebody’s life and supporting them to get the healthcare and improve the health behaviors that they have, they actually end up finding underlying causes that, if addressed, achieve that broader goal.

And so, the success of these programs, and they’ve had quite a good track record, is a much more holistic view on how to help employees and their families. And, while it’s not changing the social determinants from a societal standpoint, it is better understanding the underlying issues in an individual’s life that is impacting their overall health and well-being.