Improving patient well-being in the United States through care coordination interventions informed by social determinants of health


Health and well-being are promoted when primary care teams partner with patients and provide care coordination to mitigate risks and promote optimal health. Identification of patients for care coordination is typically based on claim-driven risk assessments. Evidence shows that social determinants of health (SDOH) drive risk for adverse health outcomes but are omitted from existing risk tools. Missed opportunities for care coordination contribute to increased healthcare costs, poorer health outcomes and reduced patient well-being. To address the gap of risk-informed care coordination that includes SDOH, the aim of this project was to implement process improvement of a system’s care coordination program through refined patient selection and customised engagement in intensive care coordination. A non-randomised care coordination quality improvement project was conducted at a community health centre in 2020. Inclusion criteria (i.e. presence of risk attribution score, SDOH questionnaire completed) resulted in 540 patients being offered care coordination services; Patients having at least one month of care coordination were included in the analysis (N = 216). Analysis included the 216 patients that chose participation and the 324 patients that maintained usual care. Descriptive statistics were generated to distinguish patient demographics, frequency of care coordination contact, and specific SDOH insecurities for both the study and comparison groups. Paired t-tests were incorporated to evaluate statistical significance of the intervention group. Impact on well-being, SDOH barriers, appointment adherence and health outcomes were assessed in both conditions. Intervention condition patients reported improvement in well-being [feeling anxious (t = 4.051; p < 0.000)] and reduced SDOH barriers [food access (t = 4.662; p < 0.000); housing (t = 2.203; p = 0.008)] that were significantly different from the usual care condition in the expected directions. Care coordination based on factors including SDOH risks shows promise in improving patient well-being. Future research should refine this approach for comprehensive risk assessment to intervene and support patient health and well-being.

SDOH,intervention,barriers,care coordination
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