An integral part of health care delivery is understanding the social and environmental factors of patients’ lives outside of the medical care system, including where they are born, grow, live, work, and age.1
Social determinants of health (SDOH) and health services encompass multiple factors—
The National Academy of Medicine2 identifies key factors in understanding social determinants of health in health care—
AHRQ is actively engaged in assisting clinicians, health system leaders, policymakers and researchers in finding opportunities to improve health care through a better understanding of SDOH of patients and communities.
AHRQ offers data resources, tools, and research related to SDOH, as well as funding opportunities to explore various areas of influence.
This brief focuses on the importance of considering and reporting contextual factors in studies of patient-centered medical home (PCMH) models.
This summary of the activities and accomplishments of NHQR/NHDR Dissemination of Information on State Data-Driven Strategic Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities summarizes activities, achievements, and assessment of impact.
This brief describes how two States have analyzed race and ethnicity data and targeted interventions to specific geographic locations.
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) includes the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter-level information beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on a broad range of health policy issues, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels. The foundation of the HCUP is a Federal-State-Industry partnership that brings together the data collection efforts of State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal government to create a national information resource of encounter-level health care data (HCUP Partners).
The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which began in 1996, is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers.
HCUPnet is a free, on-line query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The system provides health care statistics and information for hospital inpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory settings, as well as population-based health care data on counties. HCUPnet can be used to examine national, State, and county-level estimates of hospital utilization by SDOH factors (i.e., patient demographics, urban/rural, community level income, expected payer).
HCUP Fast Stats provides easy access to the latest HCUP-based statistics for health care information topics. HCUP Fast Stats uses visual statistical displays in stand-alone graphs, trend figures, or simple tables to convey complex information at a glance. HCUP Fast Stats can be used to examine national and State estimates of hospitalization utilization over time by SDOH (i.e., patient demographics, urban/rural, community level income, expected payer).
The National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report presents trends for measures related to access to care, affordable care, care coordination, effective treatment, healthy living, patient safety, and person-centered care.
Use the MEPSnet tools to search for or generate specific estimates of interest for either the MEPS-HC or MEPS-IC.
Alex M. Azar II, Hatch Foundation for Civility and Solutions, November 14, 2018, Washington, D.C.
Blog by Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., February 1, 2019
Blog by Francis Chesley, M.D., April 24, 2018
Blog by Teresa Zaya Cabán, Kevin J. Chaney, Chris Dymek, and Michael Painter, January 17, 2018
1. WHO (World Health Organization). 2019. Social Determinants of Health. Available at: https://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/
2. Magnan S. Social Determinants of Health 101 for Health Care: Five plus Five. National Academy of Medicine Discussion Paper. October 9, 2017. Available at: https://nam.edu/social-determinants-of-health-101-for-health-care-five-plus-five/