The Root Cause Coalition Weekly Bulletin: Monday, February 10, 2020

TRCC News and Upcoming Events 

Webinar: How To Design a CBO Capacity-Building Initiative to Meet Demand for Social Services
Join The Root Cause Coalition, Collaborative Consulting, and the Marin Community Foundation Feb 24, 2020 from 1-2 p.m. EST for this presentation on how to develop capacity building initiatives to meet growing need for social service programs. This webinar will illustrate how a community foundation recognized that nationally emerging trends were also signaling a future at the local level that called for social services to be delivered more effectively, and seized the opportunity to design and implement a multiyear, multifaceted capacity building initiative to strengthen a local cohort of community-based organizations.

2020 Status of Health Equity Report 
The Coalition invites you to join us for the formal release of The Root Cause Coalition 2020 Status of Health Equity Report on February 26th from 8-10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge located at 529 14th St. NW. Washington D.C., 20045.

The Coalition’s 2020 Status of Health Equity Report captures the progress – as well as gaps – in addressing health disparities and socioeconomic factors influencing individual and community health and well-being, and builds a compelling case on how, collectively, we must thoughtfully and intentionally disrupt the current delivery model to focus on socioeconomic factors that contribute to health equity.

By addressing socioeconomic factors such as affordable housing, access to affordable and nutritious food, transportation, isolation and economic instability, the report demonstrates how health and well-being can be significantly improved, and healthcare expenditures significantly reduced.

Please join us on the 26th as the Coalition’s leadership, Board of Trustees and members review the report’s findings and discuss next steps in creating an equitable society.
Please RSVP by clicking here.

2020 Summit RFP Now Open 
The request for proposals to present at The Root Cause Coalition’s 5th Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, scheduled for October 4-6, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri, is now open. We invite you to submit a proposal to serve as a featured speaker, lead a breakout session or present a poster that focuses on how your organization addresses health inequities and social determinants. Please take advantage of this opportunity to share your expertise with others working on social determinants of health and issues of health equity.

If you are interested, please click here to view the proposal questions in PDF form and click here to begin the process and officially submit your proposal by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 24th, 2020. Also if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by emailing Hannah Miller, Programs Manager, at [email protected] or calling 202-266-2610.

Social Determinants in the News

Gravity Project Seeks to Standardize SDoH Data
The Gravity Project, an initiative focused on documenting and sharing SDoH information using coding and exchange standards, plans to develop a “strategic national vision” that includes defined technology standards to support the integration of social care and health care data. The Project will initially focus on food security, transportation access and housing to encourage data sharing for health-related and socio-environmental conditions.

Philanthropic Arm of Humana Invests $7.6 Million in Eight Communities to Address SDoH
As part of its Strategic Community Investment Program,The Humana Foundation, of Humana Inc., will create new projects in New Orleans and other cities that address financial asset security, post-secondary attainment, sustaining employment, and food security. Humana has been a partner of The Root Cause Coalition since 2015.

Rural Areas and Lower Incomes Associated with Loneliness and Isolation
A survey by Cigna of more than 10,000 adult employees found more than 3 in 5 adults experience feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Few meaningful social interactions and smaller personal support systems due to increased demanding work schedules may be a contributing factor.

Lack of IT Infrastructure for Patient Data Slows Transition to Value-based Care
A survey of almost 3,000 health care executives shows consensus on the need for data analytics on patient-centered care. However, patient data is not in one place and health care organizations are not adopting artificial intelligence. Health care data must be efficiently integrated for patients to receive customized care plans.

Why is Nutrition a Low Priority in Patient Discharge Care?
Experts from Avalere Health and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say making nutrition part of discharge planning helps control chronic illness, but is a low priority in training among providers. Although nutrition plans are implemented while patients are in the hospital, there is often lack of follow-up, post-discharge.

TRCC Coalition Partner Centene Among Largest Health Insurers After Merger
Centene Corp. and WellCare Health Plans formed a $17.3 billion “megamerger,” with more than 24 million beneficiaries in all 50 states.

Current updates on state and federal SDoH AdvocacyH.R.5741 – Strengthening Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Act
Representative Terri Sewall [D-AL], along with five bipartisan cosponsors, introduced this legislation last week which seeks to further clarify parameters for testing and expanding new payment and service models for Medicare and Medicaid. The bill would establish a process of advance public notice and an opportunity for public comments on the implementation and expansion of new models, especially requiring the input of experts on the health care needs of minority, rural and underserved populations. After introduction in early February, the bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means and Rules.

S.3194 – Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act
This bill, introduced by Senator Jacky Rosen [D-NV] in mid-January, would establish a program of continuing medical education for primary care physicians and other health care providers at federally-qualified health centers and rural health clinics. This program would provide training and clinical support for primary care providers to improve access to care for patients in underserved areas. Senator Lisa Murkowski [R-AK] has joined as a co-sponsor but the bill has made no movement since being referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R. 4004 – Social Determinants Accelerator Act of 2019
Representative Cheri Bustos [D-IL] introduced this act last year, which would establish the Social Determinants Accelerator Interagency Council, comprised of leaders from a variety of federal agencies, state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private sector businesses to recommend improved strategies for working together in addressing social determinants of health. Additionally, bill would allow for grants to be given to state, local, and tribal governments who are seeking to develop social determinants accelerator plans. While the bill has made no movement in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, it picked up two new cosponsors in late January 2020. The Senate companion bill (S. 2986) was introduced by Senator Todd Young and cosponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow in December 2019, but has seen no movement in the Committee on Finance since it was referred there.

H.R.5751 – Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act of 2020
As introduced by Representative Yvette Clarke [D-IL] in the first week of February, the act seeks to assess and create a report on the challenges to and opportunities for deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in urban areas, particularly in underserved or disadvantaged communities. A program to increase this deployment could be created out of this report with the intention of increasing access to clean transportation, addressing transportation needs and providing improved air quality in underserved or disadvantaged communities. This bill has 8 cosponsors and was referred last week to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.


Food Bank Opens Free School Markets to Reduce Hunger

Root Cause Coalition Member St. Louis Area Foodbank of Missouri is providing “school food markets” at no cost to students and their families in the greater St. Louis area. In an effort to eliminate food insecurity, the markets will provide fresh foods and grocery items to more than 5,000 families. “We believe that by giving students access to these school food markets, we can increase class attendance, decrease the number of trips to the school nurse’s office, and help contribute to healthier futures for every child in our community,” said Meredith Knopp, president and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. The Foodbank plans to expand, adding additional markets in schools and districts during the school year.