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Dispelling Myths on Social Determinants

care management
Senior Director, Market Planning

What Comes First – Patient Motivation or Care Management?

We’ve all heard the expression “which came first—the chicken or the egg?” In healthcare, the question is “which improves health outcomes first – motivated patients who then participate in care management or care management initiatives that then motivate patients?”

At the end of the day, the order doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you need the chicken AND the egg – healthcare payers and providers need motivated, active patients AND motivating care management initiatives to improve health outcomes, save lives, and meet value-based care and quality initiatives.

Social Determinants 2.0

What we have seen this year is forward-thinking healthcare organizations moving into a social determinants of health (SDOH): “SDOH 2.0” phase. They not only employ SDOH data for predictive modeling, but also use SDOH insights to personalize care interventions.

SDOH provides critically important insights like which patients are motivated to engage in their own care, and which ones need more support. Knowing this information at the right time in an individual’s healthcare journey can make a big difference in motivating them and providing care to improve health outcomes and reach the organization’s goals.

All Data Is Not Equal

In order to assist the patient in removing social, environmental, and economic barriers that may be preventing them from optimizing their health outcomes, the right SDOH data has to be used. For that to happen, there are still myths and truths about SDOH data that the industry needs to understand. For example:

  • Did you know a patient’s social determinants of health have a bigger impact on their overall health than their actual behaviors like diet and exercise? This is because social determinants influence these behaviors!
  • Have you bought into the myth that most organizations won’t see a return on investment from using SDOH data? If so, you’ll be happy to learn the long-term financial benefits can actually far outweigh any upfront costs associated with addressing social determinants of health.

A lot can be understood about a patient’s motivation in their own care and well-being by looking at their social determinants. And a lot can be tailored in care management programs based on insights and risk scores from the same data.

Ultimately, both motivation and care management need to work in sync for the goal of improved outcomes to be realized. But it all has to start with the right SDOH data and insights. To learn more, read our full paper: The Top 10 Myths about Social Determinants of Health. (If you read our paper last year that had the top 6 myths, we now have 4 more myths for your consideration!)

The DNA of Healthcare

At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, our goal is to provide the healthcare industry with insights and innovations to improve outcomes, grow market share, reduce fraud and increase compliance.

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