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Adding social services to US clinical care makes “good business sense,” report argues

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4040 (Published 16 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4040
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Changes in the way US healthcare providers are paid have meant that it now makes “good business sense” for them to address patients’ social needs as well as their medical problems when they attend a clinic, a foundation sponsored report has argued.1

“What was once a path pursued by a handful of mission driven providers and grant funded social services organizations may soon become the standard of care, demanded by payers, policymakers, and consumers alike,” the report said. Addressing Patients’ Social Needs: An Emerging Business Case for Provider Investment was prepared by the consulting company Manatt Health Solutions and was funded by the Commonwealth Fund, the Skoll Foundation, and the Pershing Square Foundation.

Traditionally, US healthcare providers have been paid primarily for visits, tests, and procedures on a fee …

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