The Physicians Foundation Announces Key Advancements in Addressing Social Drivers of Health
First-ever SDOH measures enacted by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
New grant program launches for state and county medical associations to address patients’ SDOH
Fellow announced to advance physician-led SDOH programs
BOSTON, August 9, 2022 – Today, The Physicians Foundation announced three key advancements as part of its comprehensive recommendations to address social drivers of health (SDOH). Released earlier this year, the Physicians Foundation’s Part One of Three: 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians emphasized the importance of SDOH and demonstrated the barriers physicians face in their efforts to address them. In fact, while nine in 10 physicians want to address patients’ SDOH, six in 10 lack the time and ability to do so. In response to these findings, the Physicians Foundation announces the following milestones that will advance how we pay for and deliver care to improve health:
- The first-ever SDOH measure set, submitted by the Physicians Foundation to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was adopted to be included in federal payment programs
- A new grant program for medical associations launches to develop state level capacity, resources and data-collection to support physicians in integrating SDOH screenings and SDOH-related resource navigation into their medical practices
- A new fellow, Ryan Lowery, MD, was appointed to advance research on SDOH and their impact on all aspects of the health care environment
“We know that eight in 10 physicians believe that the United States cannot improve health outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing social drivers of health,” said Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation. “The Physicians Foundation is committed to continuing our efforts to provide solutions that include strategies and structures for physicians to manage SDOH, ultimately improving patient health outcomes. The advancements being announced today signify great progress in these efforts, and we are excited to see the dedication of others in our health care system to this critical topic as well.”
First-Ever SDOH Measures
On August 1, CMS released the final FY23 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, in which it officially adopted the first-ever SDOH measures. These measures will allow hospitals to better serve patients holistically and provide quality physical and mental health care.
This milestone comes as a result of the proposal that the Physicians Foundation submitted to CMS last year on screening rate and screen positive rate measures. These measures align with the Foundation’s practical recommendations to address SDOH: Improving America’s Health Care System: Recognize the Realities of Patients’ Lives and Invest in Addressing Social Drivers of Health.
Medical Association SDOH Grant Program
The Physicians Foundation is launching a new grant program focused on enhancing capacity for medical associations to help physicians with SDOH screening and resource connection. The program will support on-the-ground initiatives that empower physicians to optimize integration of SDOH into their practices in a way that enhances patient health and increases value.
Medical associations stay up-to-date with the physicians and patients in their local communities, offering important insights for SDOH screening and resource navigation implementation – especially when meeting the unique needs of small practices. The intent of this grant program is that information learned can bolster each association’s future policy efforts related to the other top strategies identified, including community capacity, administrative burden and creating financial incentives.
To apply for the grant program, register and login to the Physicians Foundation’s online application system.
Fellowship Program Announces New Fellow
Ryan Lowery, MD, a board-certified physician specializing in pediatrics, has been selected as The Physicians Foundation’s Fellowship Program’s new fellow. The Fellowship Program aims to expand leadership skills for physicians to be equipped to address barriers to physician wellbeing, improve practice environments and build understanding of SDOH implications for patients and physicians. Throughout his career thus far, Dr. Lowery has dedicated his work to addressing SDOH and health equity, including developing and implementing a workflow to screen and respond to patient’s social health needs in a federally qualified health center (FQHC).
“The Physicians Foundation is making strides in offering practical solutions to help physicians address social drivers of health,” said Robert Seligson, CEO of The Physicians Foundation. “We know the critical impact of social-related health factors in patient care and hope a focus from health care system continues in order to improve health, while reducing health care costs and easing administrative burdens on physicians.”
About The Physicians Foundation
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help them facilitate the delivery of high-quality health care to patients. As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in strengthening the physician-patient relationship, supporting medical practices’ sustainability and helping physicians navigate the changing health care system. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through research, education and innovative grant making that improves physician wellbeing, strengthens physician leadership, addresses social drivers of health and lifts physician perspectives. For more information, visit www.physiciansfoundation.org.