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The Root Cause Coalition Weekly Bulletin

This weekly bulletin is provided by The Root Cause Coalition to provide news and information on the social determinants of health, as well as a snapshot of the Coalition’s activities.

The Root Cause Coalition provides this weekly update to draw attention to our members’ social determinants of health (SDoH) activities, SDoH in the news and the ever-growing challenges faced by our most vulnerable communities. We encourage you to share SDoH-focused research, events and other resources with us so that we can promote it through our TRCC network. Our aim is to foster an exchange of information that is helpful to others so that those most in need - on whose behalf we work each day - can continue to receive information, access and services to improve health and quality of life.

If you have information to share, please email us:

TRCC News and Upcoming Events

The Root Cause Coalition Releases Next Accelerated Response Brief from Project Angel Food

TRCC has recently released its next Accelerated Response Brief (ARB), a summary of Project Angel Food’s innovative efforts to address health inequities and food insecurity exacerbated by Covid-19. This Brief is part of a series that highlights TRCC members’ initiatives, programs and policies throughout the pandemic.

Please click here to read the insights and perspectives of Richard Ayoub, Executive Director of Project Angel Food.

Request for Proposals for the 2021 National Summit Now Open

The Root Cause Coalition is pleased to announce that the request for proposals (RFP) to present at the 6th National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health is now open. The Summit will again be held virtually, from October 4-6, 2021. Last year’s event brought together more than 650 representatives from healthcare, community and faith-based organizations, researchers, government leaders, educators, and businesses to share best practices and resources, offer connections and engage in crucial discussions around social determinants of health (SDoH).

We are inviting proposals for both featured speakers and breakout sessions. We hope that you consider joining us in October! If you are interested, please click here to view a PDF of the proposal questions and click here to officially submit your proposal by 11:59pm ET on March 15, 2021.

Social Determinants in the News

Texas Weather Crisis Illustrates the Importance of SDoH

This Forbes article discusses the importance of the SDoH and the devastating impact of the winter weather in Texas. Lack of power, heat, running water, and viable shelter continue to threaten the health and well-being of Texans, in particular those who are most vulnerable.

SDOH: How they affect cancer rates, care and payment

This Managed Healthcare Executive article discusses how SDoH affects cancer rates in certain populations, how these disparities impact the cost of cancer care and how adopting new payment models can better address the SDoH. The article highlights incidence and mortality differences, different models of oncology care, incentives for healthcare providers to change models, alternative payment models, and the importance of doing more to achieve health equity.

Arizona to implement a statewide SDoH closed loop referral system

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s state Medicaid agency, has launched their Whole Person Care Initiative to connect healthcare and community services on a single technology platform. The hope is that this will streamline the referral process, improve access to care and ensure access to social services.

Humana launches Humana Care Support Pilot to help Medicare Advantage members to better manage their chronic conditions

Humana has launched Humana Care Support, a customized, integrated and coordinated care management tool for Medicare Advantage members to help manage their physical, social and behavioral health while aging in place. The pilot is targeted at enhancing and supporting integrating care while ensuring patient access to primary and preventive care.

The Silence of Food Insecurity: Disconnections Between Primary Care and Community Organizations

Research published in Patient-Centered Research and Reviews examines the connection between primary care and community organizations when addressing food insecurity. Based on a series of focus groups and key informant interviews with family medicine and pediatric clinics as well as community-based organizations, researchers cite an overall disconnect between the two entities when addressing food insecurity.

Screening for Food Insecurity in the Primary Care Setting: Type of Visit Matters

This article is based on a retrospective cohort study that evaluated the disparities in food insecurity screening and prevalence based on visit type and patient demographics at a community health center in Southeast Michigan. The study finds that non-Hispanic Black patients compared to whites - as well as women compared to men - were twice as likely to screen positive for food insecurity.

SDOH Advocacy Update

Current updates on state and federal SDoH Advocacy. For further details about the bills listed here, and contact information for sponsors and cosponsors, please click the links in the headlines below.

American Rescue Plan

As of this writing, the most recent COVID-19 relief package is expected to be considered and passed in the House of Representatives by Monday, March 1st. Upon consideration and adoption in the Senate, TRCC will follow up with details on its health equity measures.

H.R. 797- COVID-19 Vaccine Fairness Act

This bill was introduced by Representative Angie Craig [D-MN] to provide transparency into the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process and ensure that vaccinations are equitably allocated and distributed. The bill requires weekly reports on vaccination rates among priority groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, rural communities, individuals with disabilities and individuals experiencing homelessness. HHS would also be required to publicly share via its website the same COVID-19 vaccine data disaggregated by age, race, ethnicity, and ZIP code. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.588 - Stopping the Mental Health Pandemic Act

Introduced by Representative Katie Porter [D-CA], this bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to states, municipalities, community health centers and other health care providers to meet increased demand for mental and behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides $50 million in grant funding to bolster behavioral health treatment capacity and upgrade broadband infrastructure to expand access to services through telehealth. Grants could also be used to support the expansion of mental health screenings and trainings, development of evidence-based integrated care models and outreach to underserved and minority communities. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.369 - Health Care Affordability Act of 2021

Introduced by Representative Lauren Underwood [D-IL], this bill increases access to quality, affordable healthcare by lowering health insurance premiums for millions of low- and middle-income Americans. The bill also expands tax credits in 2021 and 2022 to those who don't currently qualify for them. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and was also adopted as a part of the most recent COVID relief package, the American Rescue Plan.

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

To advance health equity, you must invest in communities

The American Hospital Association released their toolkit “Investing in Community Health: A Toolkit for Hospitals.” It focuses on how hospitals can develop a community investment strategy to improve health and health disparities in the communities they serve. In addition,

the toolkit identifies six steps that will help institutions develop an investment strategy for community health.

Download PDF • 211KB


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