Which Social Determinants of Health Interventions Yield Best ROI?
A Commonwealth Fund analysis of social determinants of health interventions shows strong evidence for housing-related interventions. Connecting homeless people with complex health needs with supportive or transitional housing can lower health care costs by reducing emergency department visit rates, hospital readmission rates, and the length of hospital stays, according to the Commonwealth Fund's literature review. It also found that home modifications to prevent falls cost less than $3,000 but prevented close to $20,000 in health care costs. The return on investment for modifications to improve home cleanliness and reduce asthma triggers ranged from 103% to 258%. Among other things, the Commonwealth Fund said medical-legal partnerships show promise, but more data is needed. The report said, "Holistically addressing social and medical needs can improve health outcomes and may produce health care savings as well … The human impact on access to services, health outcomes, and economic opportunity can justify the investment to meet community benefit and health equity goals. Even so, it is useful to know the financial impact."
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