Physician Practice

ACOs well-suited to address nonmedical needs

Physician Practice Insider, November 29, 2016

Research published in the journal Health Affairs indicates that accountable care organizations are well-suited to help patients meet nonmedical needs associated with significant medical and financial consequences.

Transportation, housing, and food insecurity were the most common nonmedical needs tackled in all of the32 accountable care organizations (ACO) involved in the study, which was based on executive interviews and site visits.

"These needs were common among their patient populations, the needs affected how patients engaged in medical care, and the ACOs had the potential to address these needs," the authors wrote. The research was conducted in 2013 and 2014.

The research paper cites several earlier studies that show nonmedical patient needs have a profound impact on service utilization, clinical outcomes and cost of care.

"Estimates suggest that 40% to 90% of health outcomes are attributable to social, behavioral, and economic factors," the researchers wrote.

ACOs appear to offer a unique opportunity for healthcare providers to address the nonmedical needs of their patients.

This article originally appeared on HealthLeaders Media. Read the complete article here.

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