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Healthcare lobbying on upstream social determinants of health in the US

N.Z. Counts, L.A. Taylor, C.E. Willison, S. Galea
Prev Med

Healthcare stakeholders are increasingly investing to address social determinants of health (SDOH) as they seek to improve health outcomes and reduce total healthcare costs in their communities. Policy heavily shapes SDOH, and healthcare lobbying on SDOH issues may offer large impacts through positive policy change. Federal lobbying disclosures from the ten highest spending health insurance and healthcare provider organizations and related associations between 2015 and 2019 were reviewed to identify lobbying reported on the salient SDOH issues, defined based on the Accountable Health Communities Model health-related social needs screening tool. Five of the organizations reported lobbying on some SDOH issues, including financial strain, employment, food insecurity, and interpersonal safety, but none reported lobbying on other issues, such as non-healthcare-related employment, housing instability, transportation, or education. Lobbying has been a missed opportunity for addressing SDOH. Healthcare organizations have the opportunity to expand their lobbying on upstream SDOH policy issues to increase the impact of their SDOH strategy and further improve population health.

Counts NZ, Taylor LA, Willison CE, Galea S. Healthcare lobbying on upstream social determinants of health in the US. Prev Med. 2021 Dec;153:106751. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106751. Epub 2021 Jul 31. PMID: 34343593

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Peer Reviewed Research
Commentaries & Blogs
Social Determinant of Health
Housing Stability