ACAP Tackles SDoH Issues

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans has launched The ACAP Center for Social Determinants of Health Innovation. The center offers tailored resources, including policy reports, market research, and roundtable educational events, to help health plans, policymakers, and other stakeholders address social issues that impact health and wellbeing

Building on the years of experience Safety Net Health Plans have in addressing environmental and social factors that affect their members’ health, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) has launched The ACAP Center for Social Determinants of Health Innovation, according to a news release.

The center offers tailored resources, including policy reports, market research, and roundtable educational events, to help health plans, policymakers, and other stakeholders address social issues that impact health and wellbeing, such as housing and food insecurity and insufficient access to transportation. The center aims to help reduce health disparities.

“Longstanding racial inequities cannot improve without meaningfully addressing the social factors underlying them,” said Margaret A. Murray, Chief Executive Officer of ACAP, and Editorial Advisory Board Member of Managed Healthcare Executive. “Safety Net Health Plans have worked in communities across the United States to address factors that shape their members’ health for decades. This new center creates unique opportunities to showcase what works, share that knowledge with others, and support a healthier future for people with low incomes, whose wellbeing has too often been held back by their environment.”

The Center brings together best practices from academia, policy, and the real-world experience of ACAP’s 74 member Safety Net Health Plans, which serve more than 22 million individuals with low incomes and significant health needs nationwide. It presents the latest research, policies, and funding opportunities to help strengthen social determinants of health initiatives and offers educational events, such as discussions on using Medicaid benefits to address beneficiaries’ housing needs.

The center will encourage and empower other stakeholders to support SDOH initiatives. ACAP will work with member Safety Net Health Plans and with Spring Street Exchange, the organization administering the Center, to identify and distill promising practices into actionable tools and resources for policymakers and healthcare leaders.

Studies show a majority of differences in health outcomes (60%) are due to social factors like housing, access to healthy foods, and economic stability, while only 40% are due to differences in access to and quality of medical care.