Health care has largely embraced the realization that it is near impossible to fully address most health issues without first responding to an individual’s social needs such as homelessness, food insecurity, and economic instability. However, what is the health care system’s role in addressing these social needs? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently examined this critical question with the help of an expert committee. The resulting report, Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health, explores two key opportunities: (1) how can services to address social needs be integrated into medical care; and (2) what kind of infrastructure is needed for this integrated model to be successful?
This Better Care Playbook blog post explores these questions with Kedar Mate, MD, Chief Innovation and Education Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, who served on the NASEM expert committee.