Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author: Meryl Schulman and Caitlin Thomas-Henkel, Center for Health Care Strategies

February 2019 | Brief


Traditionally, payers, policymakers, and consumers have looked to the health care system to improve health outcomes. More recently, however, attention has shifted toward a broader approach that includes cross-sector collaboration to address the social, economic, and environmental factors impacting individual and population health, and providing opportunities to improve health equity.

This brief explores opportunities to better address patients’ non-medical needs, including: (1) identifying patients’ non-medical needs; (2) employing non-traditional workers; (3) partnering with community-based organizations and social service agencies; (4) testing new uses for technology to help address social needs; and (5) identifying sustainable funding to support non-medical services.