Data sharing and the law: Overcoming health care sector barriers to sharing data on social determinants
Hospitals, health plans, and other organizations in the healthcare system increasingly recognize that the health of patients depends not only on medical interventions, but also on social ones. Under a social determinants of health (SDOH) model, care for patients may involve linking those patients to services that are not provided by healthcare providers. For instance, it is critical for an asthmatic child from a low-income family to have access to expert physicians, but replacing a moldy home carpet may be just as important. These types of coordinated efforts are critical to promoting health equity for vulnerable populations. Meaningfully integrating social risk screening and social interventions into healthcare delivery programs requires overcoming new challenges, including funding social services interventions and establishing linkages between healthcare providers and community-based organizations (CBOs). Since healthcare organizations’ ability to engage the social services, education, and criminal justice sectors often requires the exchange of detailed information—including information that may be subject to federal and/or state privacy laws—an added challenge is the lack of an established framework that enables healthcare providers to disclose personal information to CBOs and other involved parties
Dworkowitz A, Mann C. Data sharing and the law: Overcoming health care sector barriers to sharing data on social determinants.Manatt Health. 2020. Available online.