|New Anthem Public Policy Institute Report Outlines Key Differences in How Individuals and the Public Perceive Social Determinants of Health|
New White Paper Examines Online Patient Forums,
Social determinants of health are socioeconomic factors that include housing, transportation, access to food, and social support as well as access to healthcare. These factors have gained widespread recognition for their role in healthcare and health outcomes, and a growing number of care providers, as well as public and private payers, have incorporated social determinants assessments and interventions.
“While there has been a lot in the media and academic research on social
determinants of health, no one has ever compared the focus of that work
with the perspectives of individuals who have chronic or acute
conditions to determine whether their priorities are aligned,” said
The analysis also showed that individuals were concerned with factors like social supports and food that might be easier to modify, while academic and news reports focused on factors like education and economic stability that take more time and resources to address. Beyond discussions about navigating the healthcare system, social support was raised most frequently on patient forums for cancer and mental health conditions, while nutrition and access to food were the most common posts on forums for patients with diabetes.
The report suggests that payers, providers and other engaged stakeholders can take steps including investing in and expanding community capacity to improve access to food, transportation, and social capital, among other resources; and supporting policy and funding mechanisms that expand available solutions and enhance the impact of resources aimed at reducing barriers. Copies of the Anthem Public Policy Institute’s white papers are available at: http://anthempublicpolicyinstitute.com, and are also discussed at: http://thinkanthem.com.
Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 78 million people, including over 40 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.
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