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Social Determinants of Health Policy Forum – Nov. 28-30, 2022

Aligning for Health was pleased to partner with RISE on the inaugural Social Determinants of Health Policy Forum, which took place November 28-30, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

The event brought together more than 250 policymakers, policy experts, and practitioners from across the health and social services sectors to engage with government leaders about policies that address the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes and funding opportunities to increase coordination and improve well-being and whole-person care.

The conference kicked off with volunteers helping to pack nearly 16,000 meals with U.S. Hunger on Monday, November 28, which were donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. The first full day of the conference featured keynote remarks from the White House, CDC, and CMS, as well as other industry leaders. Day two featured discussions on federal cross-sector partnerships with officials from HHS, HUD, CMS, FCC, and USDA and on partnerships with health and social service providers with speakers from ONC, ACL, and the Gravity Project. We rounded out the conference hearing about insights from the Congressional SDoH Caucus and the latest national legislation related to SDoH from congressional staffers. Read on below to view the final agenda with all the incredible speakers from throughout the conference, and to read key takeaways from this impactful event!

Final Agenda
Day 1 Recap
Day 2 Recap

November 28, 2022

November 29, 2022

November 30, 2022

2022-12-05T23:44:43+00:00October 5th, 2022|Events, Uncategorized|

AFH Holds Briefing on Coordinating Funding & Data to Address SDOH

On September 29, 2022, Aligning for Health held a briefing highlighting programs and best practices on coordinating funding and data to address social determinants of health, featuring perspectives and examples from the federal government, state and local leaders, and their partners.

Addressing social determinants of health requires coordinating services, benefits, and care across both the health care and social services sectors. Often, the funding and administration of each of these programs is siloed, with minimal flexibility to leverage health care funding to pay for social needs, or to share data across programs on eligibility, enrollment, or utilization of services. Organizations across the country have long worked to close these gaps and find ways to coordinate across sectors, and recently there has been growing interest in aligning incentives and providing more flexibility and opportunities for programs to collaborate.

Speakers: 
  • Dr. Sandra Ford, Special Assistant to the President for Public Health and Science at the White House
  • Erica Coletti, CEO, Healthy Alliance
  • Sue Polis, Director, Health & Wellness, National League of Cities
  • Amy Riegel, Executive Director, Coalition on Homelessness & Housing in Ohio (COHHIO)
  • Krista Drobac, Co-Chair, Aligning for Health (moderator)
Recorded on September 29, 2022

2022-10-03T17:16:22+00:00October 3rd, 2022|Press, Press Release|

Social Determinants Updates | September 30, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Aligning for Health Social Determinants Updates. Please click the button below to see our newsletter which contains updates on how health care organizations are striving to meet health and social needs and invest in community health to improve health equity, notable links to research, data, and news related to health disparities and social determinants, and upcoming virtual events and opportunities.

Read Our Newsletter
2022-09-30T17:13:43+00:00September 30th, 2022|SDoH Clips|

Social Determinants Updates | September 16, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Aligning for Health Social Determinants Updates. Please click the button below to see our newsletter which contains updates on how health care organizations are striving to meet health and social needs and invest in community health to improve health equity, notable links to research, data, and news related to health disparities and social determinants, and upcoming virtual events and opportunities.

Read Our Newsletter
2022-09-23T02:12:05+00:00September 23rd, 2022|SDoH Clips|

Social Determinants Updates | September 2, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Aligning for Health Social Determinants Updates. Please click the button below to see our newsletter which contains updates on how health care organizations are striving to meet health and social needs and invest in community health to improve health equity, notable links to research, data, and news related to health disparities and social determinants, and upcoming virtual events and opportunities.

Read Our Newsletter
2022-09-02T18:24:03+00:00September 2nd, 2022|SDoH Clips|

Aligning for Health Submits Comments to CMS RFI on Medicare Advantage

On August 31, Aligning for Health submitted comments in response to the CMS request for information (RFI) on the Medicare Advantage program.

Aligning for Health supports many of the steps that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to prioritize equity for all, including through initiatives to address social determinants of health (SDOH). In our response, we provide comments to the specific questions posed in the RFI as it pertains to opportunities to address social determinants of health to advance health equity within the Medicare Advantage program.

To view the full letter, click here or see below:

Aligning for Health - CMS RFI on Medicare Advantage - FINAL
2022-09-01T19:07:47+00:00September 1st, 2022|Press Release|

Social Determinants Updates | August 19, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Aligning for Health Social Determinants Updates. Please click the button below to see our newsletter which contains updates on how health care organizations are striving to meet health and social needs and invest in community health to improve health equity, notable links to research, data, and news related to health disparities and social determinants, and upcoming virtual events and opportunities.

Read Our Newsletter
2022-08-19T19:55:27+00:00August 19th, 2022|SDoH Clips|

Social Determinants Updates | August 5, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Aligning for Health Social Determinants Updates. Please click the button below to see our newsletter which contains updates on how health care organizations are striving to meet health and social needs and invest in community health to improve health equity, notable links to research, data, and news related to health disparities and social determinants, and upcoming virtual events and opportunities.

Read Our Newsletter
2022-08-05T15:58:00+00:00August 5th, 2022|SDoH Clips|

Key SDOH Inclusions in FY2023 Senate Appropriations Report

On July 28, 2022, the Senate Committee on Appropriations released the Report for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies for Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations. The report includes specific instructions with respect to the appropriated amounts. The House previously released its Report for the Departments of Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies for FY2023 on June 29, 2022. Final text merging the House and Senate appropriations provisions will be available later this year. For reference, a list of the notable SDOH provisions included in the House report language can be found here.

Aligning for Health was thrilled to see the many inclusions to support forward movement in addressing social determinants of health, health equity, and maternal health. Notable language in the report includes:

  • CDC – Social Determinants of Health [SDOH]. — The Committee provides $100,000,000 to expand SDOH activities to all States and territories. These activities should include expanding and implementing accelerator plans and providing grants for implementation of SDOH activities. CDC should award grants to improve the capacity of governmental and non-governmental public health organizations and community organizations to address SDOH in communities; support and conduct research on best practices; and improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities by coordinating SDOH activities across CDC. The Committee urges CDC to fund and integrate knowledge from behavioral science research as part of the effort to develop new evidence-based interventions to ameliorate social determinants’ potential negative effects. The Committee believes that behavioral science research focused on understanding SDOH can increase the use of and adherence to healthy behaviors that help prevent chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • CDC – Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health [REACH]. — The Committee includes an increase of $10,000,000 to continue scaling this program to all States and territories, and to support grantees in building capacity for collaboration and disseminating evidence-based strategies in communities. REACH is a vital initiative to help eliminate healthcare disparities in minority communities. The Committee’s recommended level includes an increase of $4,000,000 for Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country.
  • CDC – National Center for Health Statistics. —The Committee provides an increase of $10,000,000 for CDC to expand the sample size for the National Health Interview Survey. The Committee intends for this increase to be used to support intersectional analyses of healthcare access, chronic health conditions, including long-COVID, and mental health status by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The collection of this disaggregated data should also support the Administration’s initiative to advance equity and racial justice for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.
  • Office of Minority Health – Achieving Equitable Maternal Health Outcomes. —The Committee recommendation provides $7,000,000 for awards to community-based and other eligible organizations located in geographic areas with high rates of adverse maternal health outcomes, particularly among racial/ethnic minority families. The awards will support activities that include but are not limited to identifying evidence-based and evidence-informed practices for: addressing social determinants of health; promoting evidence-based health literacy, and pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting education programs; providing support from perinatal health workers; and providing culturally congruent, linguistically appropriate, and trauma-informed training to perinatal health workers.
  • HHS Office of the Secretary – Population Health Data Modernization. —The Committee notes that many healthcare providers that treat uninsured patients and Medicaid beneficiaries often lack population health management tools and modernized information technology systems to support comprehensive care for these individuals. To mitigate the risk of increasing disparities and inequity in the care for these patients, the Secretary is encouraged to develop-in coordination with ONC, HRSA and CMS-a roadmap for modernizing the technology systems used by healthcare providers that disproportionately treat underserved populations.
  • SAMHSA – Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness [PATH]. – The Committee recommends $69,635,000 for PATH, which addresses the needs of individuals with serious mental illness who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.
  • HRSA – Community Health Centers. – The Committee provides $1,918,772,000, an increase of $170,000,000 above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level. Programs supported by this funding include community health centers, migrant health centers, healthcare for the homeless, school-based, and public housing health service grants. In addition, within the amount provided, the Committee provides up to $120,000,000 under the Federal Tort Claims Act [FTCA] (Public Law 102–501 and Public Law 104–73), available until expended.
  • HRSA – Maternity Care Target Areas [MCTAs]. —The Committee includes $5,000,000, an increase of $4,000,000 above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, within the Corps to implement requirements contained in the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, including establishing criteria for and identifying MCTAs and collecting and publishing data on the availability and need for maternity care health services in health professional shortage areas.

Below, we have pulled notable report language related to social determinants of health, health equity, and maternal health that were included as part of this report for the HHS Office of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Health, CMS, CDC, SAMHSA, HRSA, and HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH).

AFH - FY23 Senate Appropriations Report Summary - 28 July 2022
2022-08-04T19:24:45+00:00August 4th, 2022|Press, Press Release|

Aligning for Health Comments on HHS RFI on Strengthening Primary Health Care

On August 1, Aligning for Health Submitted comments in response to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) request for information on the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care.

Aligning for Health supports the many steps that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to prioritize equity for all, including through initiatives to address social determinants of health (SDOH). Comments were made in response to specific questions posed in the RFI as it pertains to the intersection of primary health care and SDOH in improving overall health and wellbeing. Specifically, Aligning for Health highlighted innovative initiatives from its members to address social determinants of health in the populations they serve, and outlined common barriers to addressing health and wellbeing, such as barriers to effective cross-sector coordination and partnership. Aligning for Health also proposed several recommendations for HHS to consider as it moves forward in this work, such as advancing policies and strategies that would help to coordinate eligibility and enrollment processes for cross-sector programs, working to improve the health of individuals by taking steps to address screening for social needs within primary care visits, and increasing data sharing.

To read the full comment letter, click here or see below:

Aligning for Health - HHS Initiative on Primary Health Care RFI - 8.1.22
2022-08-02T14:45:10+00:00August 2nd, 2022|Press, Press Release|
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