Fraze, T., Lewis, V.A., Rodrigues, H.P., & Fisher, E.S. (2016). Housing, transportation, and food: How ACOs seek to improve population health by addressing nonmedical needs of patients. Health Affairs, 35(11), 2109-2115.

Year: 2016


Using qualitative interviews with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) leaders and site visits, this study examines how ACOs addressed the nonmedical needs of their patients, and the extent to which they did so. The authors developed a typology of medical and social services integration among ACOs that disentangles service and organizational integration and found that the nonmedical needs most commonly addressed by ACOs were the need for transportation and housing and food insecurity. ACOs identified nonmedical needs through processes that were part of the primary care visit or care transformation programs. Approaches to meeting patients’ nonmedical needs were either individualized solutions (developed patient by patient) or targeted approaches (programs developed to address specific needs). As policy makers continue to provide incentives for health care organizations to meet a broader spectrum of patients’ needs, these findings offer insights into how health care organizations such as ACOs integrate themselves with nonmedical organizations.

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