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CMS Encourages States to Address Social Determinants

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a resource to state health officials that includes strategies to address social determinants of health (SDOH) in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The notice encourages states to improve health outcomes, reduce disparities, and lower costs within the Medicaid and CHIP programs. The letter does not describe new flexibility or opportunities under Medicaid and CHIP to address SDOH, but rather describes how states might address SDOH using flexibility available under current law.

The resource addresses ways a state can implement various services and supports, including:

  • housing;
  • nonmedical transportation;
  • home-delivered meals;
  • educational services;
  • employment;
  • community integration and social supports; and
  • case management.

Further, the resource identifies several avenues for states to engage in SDOH advancements, including the use of Section 1115 waivers and Medicaid managed care.

America’s Essential Hospitals will release a detailed Action Update in the coming days.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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