HHS' call to action for payers on health equity

CMS issued its first-ever playbook to address social determinants of health Nov. 16. 

According to a news release from HHS, the playbook is designed to help federal, state and local governments better coordinate healthcare, public health and social services. 

As part of the effort, HHS released a call to action, outlining actions community organizations, health providers and systems, payers, public health organizations and health IT companies can take to promote equity. 

Here are HHS' calls for payers: 

  • Medicare Advantage plans can partner with community organizations to address unmet health-related social needs for chronically ill beneficiaries. 
  • States can contract with Medicaid managed care plans to address social needs, such as providing healthy meals to those living in food deserts, and design ways to address social determinants of health through the program using federal waivers. 
  • Payers can work in partnership with community organizations to provide navigation and care pathways for members. 
  • Payers can consider reimbursing the community-based workforce for helping patients with navigation, access and improving the cultural competency of services delivered to members. 

Read the full call to action here.

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