Regular readers of Healthcare IT Today are no doubt familiar with the term SDoH (Social Determinants of Health). It seems like every health IT conference I’ve been to in the last 5 years was talking about SDoH. Everyone offered similar statistics around the impact of SDoH on a person’s health and the cost associated with it.
My favorite simple example of SDoH was the person who showed up with a cold or flu at the ED. The doctor treats the patient, but then the patient goes back to their home which lacks heat and gets sick again. It illustrates the fact that it would be a lot cheaper to pay for the person’s heat than to treat them in the ED.
While everyone agrees that SDoH is important if we want to lower the cost of healthcare, it’s faced a lot of challenges. The two that always stood out to me was how do you get the SDoH information to the point of care and then what resources are available to the clinician at the point of care to actually address the issue.
Change Healthcare recently announced a new SDoH analytics solution that’s starting to help with the first challenge described above and some of the second. In order to learn more, we sat down with Tim Suther, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Data Solutions at Change Healthcare, to find out more about their new SDoH solution for healthcare.
I love that Suther comes at this problem from a non-traditional healthcare angle. Seems like Change Healthcare has put together quite the SDoH data set to help healthcare organizations address this issue. Plus, with Change Healthcare’s background, they’re well positioned to be able to push this type of data to the point of care.
I did find it interesting to hear Suther talk about how this platform can help with the second problem described above as well. Healthcare organizations can use this platform to assess their patient population and understand what resources their healthcare organization needs to be able to assist patients. I love the idea of analyzing your unique patient population so you can prioritize which outside social service organizations you need to create a relationship with to help your patients who have those needs.
SDoH has been a long time coming, but it’s great to see large companies like Change Healthcare really investing in this space. Healthcare organizations are increasingly responsible for the health of their patients. When that’s the case, all of this SDoH data is extremely important.
Learn more about Change Healthcare: https://www.changehealthcare.com/
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