Bachrach, D., Pfister, H., Wallis, K., & Lipson, M. (2014). Addressing patients’ social needs: An emerging case for provider investment. New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund.

Year: 2014


This report explores the impact of social factors on patient health and health care costs, and the growing relevance of such factors in today’s health care environment. Informed by published research and interviews with more than 25 experts, we point out the direct and indirect economic benefits that may inure to providers who address patients’ unmet social needs. The authors also identify specific strategies and interventions that providers can use to target patients’ social needs, and provide evidence for their success in ameliorating social need, improving patient health, and reducing patient costs. For providers unable or unwilling to invest in social interventions, the report suggests several alternative opportunities for funding them. Overall, this exploration shows how social and economic imperatives are converging to create an economic rationale for providers to integrate interventions that target social determinants of health into clinical care.

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