Social Determinants of Health Data: Trendy or Valuable?

Health Consulting

Digital health tech entrepreneurs find themselves grappling with the following question as the buzz around social determinants of health (SDoH) data gets louder:

What’s the return on investment (ROI) for incorporating SDoH data capabilities into our platform, product or service? 

Most of our personal health story happens outside of the walls of clinical care delivery organizations. With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers moving to a value based care (VBC) reimbursement system, it seems common sense to understand the factors, such as SDoH, affecting an individual’s health outcomes beyond their clinical encounters. Though the current percentage of VBC payments hovers around 35 percent, most sub-sectors across the health deliver ecosystem agree that this percentage will rise over the next 5 years.

The value of SDoH lies in the opportunity to enhance predictive analyses for VBC-based business models. The ROI in these analyses depends on the accessibility and usability of SDoH data. However, the practicalities of exchanging and using non-standardized SDoH data has been a major limiting factor in its use. Multiple private payers agree and have now joined forces with other key health delivery stakeholders to create much needed data standardization for SDoH.

The rise of VBC payments coupled with the enforcement of new health data interoperability requirements by 2020 opens the door for both the ability and appetite to integrate SDoH into downstream health care innovations.  Unless you are planning for acquisition in the next year or so, ignoring SDoH data in your product design may cost you revenue potential.

Want to understand more about how regulatory forces will affect your health tech innovations? Meet with us at HLTH 2019 this Oct 27-30th.

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