Given the growing acceptance that improving health is as much about addressing social factors as it is about providing high-quality medical care, Medicaid programs are increasingly focused on the social needs of beneficiaries, such as housing, food security, employment, and education. Partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) and health care organizations (HCOs) offer a key way to address the underlying social determinants of health (SDOH) for Medicaid populations.

This fact sheet outlines strategies to help Medicaid stakeholders encourage partnerships between CBOs and HCOs. States can provide: (1) financial support to build and sustain program capacity; (2) assistance in identifying metrics for evaluation; (3) incentives to providers to address SDOH; and (4) use of policy levers, including value-based contracts, managed care organization regulations, and state plan amendments, to support partnership efforts.

The fact sheet was developed through the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes, a year-long project of Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Center for Health Care Strategies, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities with generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which captured insights for partnerships between health care and community-based organizations, particularly those that serve low-income and/or vulnerable populations.