Food Access is loosely defined as “people’s ability to find and afford food”. However, there are a number of related concepts and terms depending on the mode of study being employed. A recent Tufts University study, categorized ten variations on the term including the colorful geographic nomenclature “food desert”, “food swamp”, and “food hinterland”. Food access is a difficult issue to categorize because of tremendous variation in prices, cultural preferences, and skill sets.
Continue reading

this post is part of a series of in depth posts about specific modules in our Social Determinant Platform In many cases, patients put off or delay seeking care when they are not sure how they can pay for it. According to Commonwealth Fund surveys, 20% of patients did not see a doctor because of cost, and 18% did not get a recommended test. Other studies have reiterated these results.
Continue reading

“Neighborhood stress” or neighborhood socioeconomic context, has long been a focus of public health research. The following summarizes the unique opportunities neighborhoods provide when researching health effects: …the “meso” level of neighborhoods is of interest for three important reasons. First, many of these broader social determinants are manifested, and directly affect individuals, through neighborhood social and physical environments. Thus the study of neighborhoods provides an opportunity to understand the processes linking these broader social and economic factors … in very concrete ways.
Continue reading

Non-clinical factors including social determinants of health (SDOH) are responsible for, depending on the source, 20%, 60%, 70%, 80% of a persons overall health. (for more on the weighting debate see Different Perspectives on Assigning Weights to Determinants of Health) Whether a person is made directly sick through environmental exposure or lacks the means to engage in a complex treatment plan, these factors all combine to seriously determine outcomes. As health organizations adopt value-based payment schemes social determimnants impact the bottom line and deserve greater attention from value-seeking organizations.
Continue reading

Medicaid, the federally financed but state-run insurance program for the poor, now covers 1 in 5 Americans nationwide. In seven states, the number is higher ranging from 24% to 29%. The increasing size and scope is starting to draw attention from government budget directors and policy wonks, but has not drawn the attention of new technology or innovation investment given the tremendous size and market potential. The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), a nonprofit grantmaking philanthropy based in Oakland, is trying to change that.
Continue reading

Social Determinants and Neighborhoods Social determinants of health (SDOH) are “the structural determinants and conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.”via KFF. They are receiving increased attention as healthcare organizations begin to increasingly emphasize population health and value-based payment models. For Algorex Health customers, social determinants are moving to the forefront as several value-based payment programs, especially in Medicaid, begin to use social determinants to directly effect payment through risk-adjustment.
Continue reading

Author's picture

Algorex Health Technologies

A blog for technology, policy, and grievances in the Open Health World

Opening the Healthcare Technology Doors

Boston, Massachusetts