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Review of Evidence on the Health Care Impacts of Interventions to Address the Social Determinants of Health

Holistically addressing high-need, high-cost patients’ social and medical needs can improve their health outcomes and lower their health care costs.

There is a limited, yet growing base of evidence showing that when health care and community-based organizations work together to assure that the most complex patients have things such as housing, food, transportation and other social needs met, their use of expensive health care services such as emergency department visits and hospitalizations often declines and their use of preventative and primary care can improve.

We developed this evidence review to make clear the business case for health care and community-based organizations to enter into partnerships to better serve high-need, high-cost patients.

This review is intended to be used in conjunction with the Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator for Partnerships to Address the Social Determinants of Health, published by the Commonwealth Fund.


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