Onie, R. (2018). Integrating social needs into health care: A twenty-year case study of adaptation and diffusion. Health Affairs. 37(2): 240-247.

Year: 2018


The US health care system has recently begun to account for patients’ unmet social needs in care delivery and payment reform. This article presents a twenty-year qualitative case study of five stages of diffusion—testing and learning, standardization, replication, shifting from doing to enabling, and catalyzing broad adoption—of a practical approach for integrating social needs into clinical care. This case study of Health Leads and its funders confirms the importance of focusing on a clear aim, investing in model testing and standardization to enable subsequent responsiveness to the market, and the willingness of innovators and their investors to cede control of a model to allow local adaption and accelerate broad adoption.

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