States’ ‘Starvation Diet’ Deters Medicaid Focus on Social Needs

Sept. 29, 2020, 10:30 AM

State health programs are facing calls to address poor housing, food insecurity, and other social conditions that have worsened the impact of the pandemic on marginalized communities.

But tightening budgets could stand in the way.

The Covid-19 crisis has drawn new attention to the impact of social and economic factors on health outcomes in Black, Hispanic, and low-income populations. Addressing the non-medical needs of patients from within the health-care system, however, requires energy and resources that will be difficult to come by amid the fiscal turmoil caused by the virus, policy analysts say.

“It’s hard in the midst of a ...

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