Responding today to a Department of Health and Human Services request for information on provider and health plan approaches to improving care for Medicare beneficiaries with social risk factors, the AHA commended the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation for adopting a holistic approach to examining the links between social risk factors, health care outcomes and value-based payment programs. “In short, the AHA believes that efforts to eliminate health care disparities must go hand in hand with efforts to account for social risk factors in value-based payment programs,” the association said. To support this goal and inform an ASPE report on addressing social risk factors scheduled for 2019, the letter offers insights on how social risk factor information is captured and used in hospitals. AHA also recommends that ASPE promote further work on standards for capturing social risk data in electronic health records, and examine approaches to adjusting measures in value-based payment programs that go beyond the approaches in current Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services programs.

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