Aligning for Health, a coalition of which the AHA is a founding member, this week voiced support for the Utilizing National Data, Effectively Reforming Standards and Tools, to Address Negative Determinates of Health Act (S. 1323), which would improve the collection of data related to the social determinants of health for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. “There is a significant body of evidence indicating that economic and social conditions such as safe and affordable housing, sufficient nutrition, access to transportation, and others, have a powerful impact on individual and population health outcomes, as well as medical costs,” the group said in a letter to Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Bob Casey, D-Pa., the bill’s sponsors. “We agree that encouraging providers to screen for and identify non-health factors that may contribute to wellbeing will help to enable more holistic and well-informed care. Additionally, the collection of such data at the federal level will help to illuminate health care disparities in the Medicare and Medicaid population, providing actionable data to policymakers to better target resources and support.”

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