Social factors like race, income, and ZIP code shouldn’t determine a person’s health.
The conditions in which Coloradans live, learn, work, and play have a large impact on their opportunities to live a healthy life–larger, in fact, than the impact of the health care system alone. Income, race and ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, gender identity, employment, housing, child care, transportation access, food access, and the ZIP code in which you live–among other factors–are all important social determinants of health. For patients with complex lives and health needs, these challenges are even more pronounced. At Center for Health Progress, we believe these factors shouldn’t determine a person’s access to care or opportunity to live a healthy life, and we’re committed to ensuring they don’t.
Discover how social determinants are affecting Coloradans’ health:
Social Screenings and Community Connections
Many health care organizations—hospitals, clinics, and other providers—understand how big of an impact social determinants of health have on their patients. So, collaborative efforts to identify and address these factors when patients visit their provider are starting to emerge. This has resulted in fruitful partnerships, such as a health care system partnering with a Colorado food access nonprofit to screen patients for food insecurity and connect them to resources. In 2016, we conducted research on current efforts in Colorado to address social determinants of health in clinical settings, and now we’re working to share what we’ve learned and bring together people and organizations who want to partner with us to drive change.
Getting to a health provider’s office on time can pose a challenge for many Coloradans needing health care. In 2015, we began exploring issues associated with health care transportation in Colorado, specifically with regard to transportation for people on Medicaid. We identified a number of potential actions to improve the functioning of the Medicaid Non-Emergent Medical Transportation benefit. One early action we took was devoting lobbying efforts to secure the passage of House Bill 1097 in 2016. The work increased with its implementation, when we discovered the range of issues associated with the benefit was wide enough to warrant us bringing to the table diverse partners—from patients to clinical staff to Medicaid drivers—to engage in this area. We remain dedicated to leading on this important topic that for many, marks an essential first touchpoint of the health care system.
See how we’re putting this work into action:
- MEMO – Medicaid NEMT in Colorado
For more information, please email our Director of Community Partnerships, Dana Kennedy.