The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently published a comprehensive playbook to assist federal agencies, states, local and tribal governments in improving coordination between healthcare, public health, and social services. This 54-page document focuses on addressing social determinants of health, highlighting the measures that federal agencies are taking to support health by addressing the social circumstances of individuals.
The playbook outlines programs by various departments such as 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 that align investments to support community infrastructure and promote coordinated use of resources and data to improve health outcomes. These programs also aim to provide grants to empower communities in addressing health-related social needs such as access to stable housing, healthy food, clean air and water which can greatly impact people’s overall health.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the interconnected nature of health and social conditions while stressing the importance of addressing patients’ social conditions in order to holistically improve healthcare and public health. He discussed how these factors can contribute to equal access to healthcare for all Americans and improve healthcare outcomes for everyone by promoting better access to necessary resources such as healthy food options or safe living conditions which are critical components of maintaining good physical health.
In addition to this playbook, HHS has introduced a call to action for federal agencies, states, local governments, and tribal governments