By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports one-third of 750,000 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries screened so far through the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model said they struggle with at least one health-related social need (HRSN).

Of those who reported at least one HRSN, food insecurity (67%) was the lead need, followed by housing instability/quality (47%), transportation (41%), and utilities (28%). These represent the first data released since the AHC Model launched in 2017.

“Over a five-year period, the AHC Model supports community bridge organizations to test promising service delivery approaches to connect beneficiaries who report HRSNs with community services that may address the needs,” CMS explains. To date, there are 29 organizations across 21 states participating in the AHC Model.

Of the 750,000 completed screenings, an average of 18% across all bridge organizations were eligible for community navigation services. Out of all beneficiaries eligible for navigation services across all bridge organizations, an average of 76% of beneficiaries accepted the navigation assistance. This navigation assistance is good for 365 days to give the person in need time to accept the assistance, to work with a navigation manager, and to resolve the need.

Authorized as part of the Affordable Care Act, the anticipated participant performance period end date is scheduled for April 30, 2022. For a primer on social determinants of health, be sure to read the Case Management Insider included with the October 2020 issue of Hospital Case Management.