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New Bill Would Address Social Determinants of Health

The federal government would provide funding to help address social determinants of health within Medicaid populations under a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week.

According to a legislative summary prepared by one of the bipartisan bill’s sponsors,

Economic and social conditions have a powerful impact on our health and wellness. Stable housing, reliable transportation and access to healthy foods are all factors that can make a difference in the prevention and management of many health conditions like diabetes, asthma and heart disease. Known as social determinants of health, a focus on these non-medical factors can improve health outcomes and wellbeing. States are increasingly looking to deploy social determinants of health interventions to manage costs and improve health outcomes within their Medicaid programs. However, one of the greatest challenges to high-impact interventions is the difficulty in navigating and coordinating fragmented and complex programs aimed at addressing healthcare needs, food insecurity, housing instability, workforce supports, and transportation reliability, among others.

To address these challenges, the bill would

… help states and communities devise strategies to better leverage existing programs and authorities to improve the health and well-being of those participating in Medicaid. The legislation will provide planning grants

Ways and Means Establishes Rural Health Task Force

The House Ways and Means Committee has established a new “Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force.”

The purpose of the task force, according to a committee news release, will be to

… convene members and experts to discuss the challenges of delivering health care in rural and underserved areas, and explore holistic bipartisan policy options that could improve outcomes and care in these communities.

The task force will have bipartisan leadership.

Learn more about the task force, its members, its objectives, and how it intends to proceed with this work in this Ways and Means Committee news release.…