Bid to Tie Social Needs to Patient Data Highlights Payment Snags

May 12, 2021, 9:35 AM

A proposal to use electronic health records to track housing, nutrition, and other nonmedical needs could be a good step toward improving overall patient outcomes, but health advocates say its impact will be limited if it stops short of addressing how social service providers get paid.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is considering adding data elements for social needs to federal standards that dictate what information EHR systems can collect and exchange. The proposal is part of a broad effort to make health-care spending more efficient by targeting the most important influences on health outcomes ...

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