The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently released a range of resources to assist federal agencies, states, local and tribal governments in improving coordination between healthcare, public health, and social services. One of these resources is a 54-page playbook that focuses on addressing social determinants of health.
The playbook provides detailed information on the measures being taken by various government departments to support health by addressing the social circumstances of individuals. It outlines programs by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These programs are aimed at aligning investments to support community infrastructure, providing grants to empower communities in addressing health-related social needs, and promoting the coordinated use of resources and data to improve health outcomes.
Secretary Xavier Becerra of HHS emphasized the interconnected nature of health and social conditions while discussing how access to stable housing, healthy food, and clean air can greatly impact people’s overall health. He also highlighted that focusing on these factors can help ensure equal access to healthcare for all Americans and contribute to improved healthcare outcomes for everyone. In addition to the playbook, HHS has also introduced a call to action to address health-related social needs and a Medicaid and CHIP health-related social needs framework, both designed to complement the content of the playbook.
These resources aim