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Bills Addressing Social Determinants of Health Endorsed by AAMC

March 13, 2020

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Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst

The AAMC endorsed the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (SDAA, H.R. 4004, S. 2986), on Feb. 27 which would address the nonmedical factors that affect health outcomes and can result in unfair, avoidable health inequities.

The legislation, introduced by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) in the House, and Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in the Senate, would establish an interagency technical advisory panel on social determinants of health and create planning grants for state, local, and tribal governments for accelerator programs that address social determinants of health.

Upon the legislation’s introduction, Rep. Bustos pointed out how the bill would address major health care challenges in communities, including physician shortages, food deserts, and safe housing.Rep. Cole added, “By assisting states in developing Social Determinant Accelerator Plans, this legislation enables states to improve health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries by addressing the factors that adversely impact their health status, resulting in more efficient spending of federal and state health care dollars and a healthier population.”

Rep. Jackie Warloski (R-Ind.) spoke in support of the bill during the Health Care Anchor Network’s Housing for Health Policy Day on March 12. She emphasized that an individual’s economic condition can and will impact their health and wellness. The bill would help states and communities devise strategies to better leverage programs that address social determinants of health, she said.

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