The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently published a comprehensive 54-page playbook to help federal agencies, states, and local governments improve coordination between healthcare, public health, and social services. The playbook outlines the measures that federal agencies are taking to support health by addressing the social circumstances of individuals.
The playbook includes various 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.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the interconnected nature of health and social conditions and stressed the importance of addressing patients’ social conditions in order to holistically improve healthcare and public health. He discussed how access to stable housing, healthy food, and clean air can greatly impact people’s overall health. Secretary Becerra expressed his belief 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