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Z codes utilization among Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) beneficiaries in 2017

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) refer to the conditions of an individual’s living, learning, and working environments that affect one’s health risks and outcomes SDOH are now widely recognized as important predictors in clinical care and positive conditions are associated with improved patient outcomes and reduced costs. Conversely worse conditions have been shown to negatively affect outcomes, such as hospital readmissions rates, length of stay, and use of post-acute care but SDOH data collection lacks standardization and reimbursement across clinical settings. A 2014 National Academies of Medicine (NAM) report suggested that the collection of SDOH data in an electronic health record (EHR) is necessary to empower providers to address health disparities and to support further research into the health effects of SDOH. Data collection using SDOH screening tools is quite common across settings, but this captured information is not consistently translated to standardized data due to lack of technical specifications based on industry consensus.

Z Codes Utilization Among Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Beneficiaries in 2017. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health; January 2020. Available online.

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