Social Determinants of Health Generate Drastic Cost Reductions

New research released by WellCare Health Plans, Inc. and the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health, Tampa, and published in Population Health Management, reports that healthcare spending is substantially reduced when people are successfully connected to social services that address social barriers, or social determinants of health, such as secure housing, medical transportation, healthy food programs, and utility and financial assistance.

Social Determinants Vital To Payer Improvement

A report from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, was released linking social determinants of health to differences in health across communities. From this report payers can see how demographic, behavioral, and structural factors impact health conditions of their members in different ways and gain greater insight into these differences to better understand population’s overall health.

Social Determinants: Payer Cases Improving Member Health

Currently, payer strategies focus on finding healthy populations, segmenting the markets, and segmenting populations, with the target of avoiding costly procedures. Population management and all the big data trends became useful tools in those payer strategies. With the results from a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a position paper by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), social determinants quickly rose as the next measurable data used by payers.

Challenges of Developing Workers Compensation Treatment Guidelines

Workers compensation treatment guidelines can help prevent unnecessary medical procedures and the prescribing of potentially harmful medications. However, they are not all the same, nor are they without challenges. Understanding a jurisdiction's strengths/weaknesses, taking a strategic approach to developing guidelines, and using common sense can lead to better outcomes for injured workers—and, ultimately, lower costs for payers.

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