Understanding and addressing social factors that affect health outcomes can improve care and promote health equity, according to a new position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP). The paper was drafted by the Health and Public Policy Committee of the ACP, and offers the following policy recommendations:
- ACP supports increased efforts to evaluate and implement public policy interventions with the goal of reducing socioeconomic inequalities that have a negative impact on health.
- ACP recommends that social determinants of health and the underlying individual, community, and systemic issues related to health inequities be integrated into medical education at all levels.
- ACP supports increased interprofessional communication and collaborative models that encourage a team-based approach to treating patients at risk to be negatively affected by social determinants of health.
- ACP supports the adequate and efficient funding of federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in their efforts to address social determinants of health.
- ACP supports increased research into the causes, effects, prevention, and dissemination of information about social determinants of health.
- ACP recommends policymakers adopt a “health in all policies” approach and supports the integration of health considerations into community planning decisions through the use of health impact assessments.
- ACP recommends development of best practices for utilizing electronic health record (EHR) systems as a tool to improve individual and population health without adding to the administrative burden on physicians.
- ACP recommends adjusting quality payment models and performance measurement assessments to reflect the increased risk associated with caring for disadvantaged patient populations.
- ACP recommends increased screening and collection of social determinants of health data to aid in health impact assessments and support evidence-driven decision making.
Daniel H, Bornstein SS, Kane GC, for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians. Addressing social determinants to improve patient care and promote health equity: An American College of Physicians position paper. [Published online ahead of print April 17, 2018]. Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M17-2441.
This Week's Must Reads
HCV Screening in Children Exposed During Pregnancy, Pediatrics; ePub 2018 May 2; Chappell, et al
Clinical & Economic Burden of HBV & HCV Infection , PLoS One; ePub 2018 Apr 30; Park, et al
Knowledge of HCV Status & Drug Treatment Programs, PLoS One; ePub 2018 Apr 27; Fisher, et al
Is Gut Dysbiosis Associated with HCV Infection?, Clin Infect Dis; ePub 2018 May 1; Inoue, et al
HCV Infection & Treatment Among People in Prison, Int J Drug Policy; 2018 Apr 28; Kronfli, et al
Must Reads in Clinical Guidelines
USPSTF: Screening for Prostate Cancer, JAMA; 2018 May 8; Grossman, et al
USPSTF Recommendation on Falls Prevention, JAMA; ePub 2018 Apr 17; US Preventive Services Task Force
Addressing Social Determinants to Improve Patient Care, Ann Intern Med; ePub 2018 Apr 17; Daniel, et al
AHA Statement on Promotion of Physical Activity, Circulation; ePub 2018 Apr 4; Lobelo, et al
CVD & Risk Management in ADA Guidelines, Ann Intern Med; ePub 2018 Apr 3; Chamberlain, et al