A Shared Agenda for Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Medicaid

Publication Year: 2018
Patient Need Addressed: Food insecurity, Homelessness/housing
Population Focus: Medicaid beneficiaries
Intervention Type: Best practices
Type of Literature: Grey


Insights Results

Overview of article

  • In the fall of 2017, the National Quality Forum (NQF) convened an Expert Panel to develop a framework for state Medicaid programs to integrate health and non-health services, using food insecurity and housing instability as illustrative examples. The National Quality Forum and Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) have a shared interest in advancing measurement standards that can support local efforts to integrate multi-sector data and improve health equity


  • After considering the role of healthcare in addressing social needs, the Expert Panel generated 6 recommendations for Medicaid programs to support the connection of health and non-health services to address SDOH: 1) Acknowledge that Medicaid has a role in addressing SDOH; 2) Create a comprehensive, accessible, routinely updated list of community resources; 3) Harmonize tools that assess SDOH; 4) Create standards for inputting and extracting social needs data from electronic health records; 5) Increase information sharing between government agencies; 6) Expand the use of waivers and demonstration projects to learn what works best for screening and addressing SDOH

Key takeaways/implications

  • DASH is partnering with other national programs to facilitate All In: Data for Community Health, a learning network focused on spreading innovative strategies for improving health through multi-sector partnerships to share data. DASH and All In are working to drive the development of a shared agenda that can help advance some of these recommendations. For example, in November of 2017, DASH participated in a convening hosted by Social Interventions Research & Evaluation Network (SIREN) to work towards harmonizing tools that assess SDOH and developing standardized methods for capturing and coding SDOH data within electronic health records. DASH will continue to participate in the national conversation and share these tools and resources with communities as they become actionable