[Modern Healthcare, May 18, 2019] It’s no longer enough to be there when a patient needs care. Now, health systems are seeking ways to get ahead by providing support before a patient experiences a health issue.
Health systems are “expanding the notion of health,” according to Dr. Penny Wheeler, CEO of Minneapolis-based Allina Health. That means looking at social determinants of health in an effort to address medical issues proactively. “We’re thinking about what’s really affecting people’s health in a more holistic way, from their perspective,” she said.
Allina offers patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid the ability to participate in screenings for health determinants, such as food insecurity, transportation access and concerns related to interpersonal safety. The health system’s care teams then provide patients with a list of relevant community-based resources such as food pantries and financial-assistance organizations.