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SDOH Advocacy Update - 01/29/2024

SDOH Advocacy Update - 01/29/2024

Advocacy News TRCC News SDOH News

The Latest Advocacy and Government Relations News

The Root Cause Coalition is dedicated to amplifying the voices of communities and driving impactful policy reforms. As a nonprofit committed to addressing the root causes of health disparities and poverty, we aim to educate our members on recent news and research that advocates for equitable healthcare access and influencing policy decisions that combat food insecurity and poverty. 

Read our April 22, 2024 news on social drivers and advocacy updates below:

Social Drivers in the News:

Preserving, Protecting, and Building Climate-Resilient Affordable Housing
This report outlines a framework for advancing climate-resilient housing. The authors interviewed 18 housing policy experts from the federal, state and local levels about the current housing landscape and conducted a literature review and scan of federal and state policies and programs that help enhance resilience or sustainability for low-income households and those living in affordable housing. The report found four pillars of action for housing resilience including policy and finance; neighborhood and community infrastructure; housing stock; and social capital. It is intended for housing developers, planners, policymakers and advocates to use to advance solutions to address mitigation, adaptation and environmental justice goals. 
Citing Harms, Momentum Grows to Remove Race from Clinical Algorithms
This article reviews efforts by various physician groups, medical societies and others to remove race from algorithms and implement race-neutral approaches. Recognition of the harmful legacies and potential harm caused by structural racism, bias and discrimination in medicine have led to reconsideration of the use of race in clinical algorithms. Research continues to figure out the best approach in clinical algorithms, showing that improper use of race can exacerbate disparities while also noting that intentional consideration of race to reduce disparities can be beneficial. Some evidence exists in favor of replacing race with social determinants of health (SDOH) considerations, but access to SDOH information is lacking in many settings. New guidance recommends that health care equity should be emphasized throughout the creation and implementation of clinical algorithms and encourages the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create incentives in quality metrics for health systems that remove race from clinical algorithms.
Lack of Reliable Transportation for Daily Living Among Adults: United States, 2022
This report reviews data from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of the percentage of adults who lacked reliable transportation for daily living in the past 12 months by sociodemographic and geographic metrics to determine impacts on access to health care and health outcomes. In 2022, 5.7% of adults lacked reliable transportation for daily living with women being more likely than men to lack reliable transportation and American Indian and Alaska Native adults most likely to lack reliable transportation. The report also found that adults living in the West North Central region of the US were the most likely to lack reliable transportation and adults in New England were the least likely. Lack of reliable transportation also decreased with increasing education level and family income. The report acknowledges that including transportation barrier questions in the NHIS will allow for further monitoring of transportation as it relates to health outcomes and health care use.

SDoH Advocacy Update:

OCCHE Shares Quickfinder for Leveraging the IRA for the Health Sector
The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) recently launched a new tool, the Quickfinder for Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for the Health Sector, to help health stakeholders take advantage of the opportunities for emissions reduction and climate resilience. The resource provides an overview of investments and actions potentially facilitated by the IRA and shares specific information on relevant IRA programs for the health sector. Topics include tax incentives and direct pay provisions, grants and incentives for lowering emissions and climate resilience along with general advice for grant applicants. OCCHE has also started a “catalytic program” to support health care providers and safety net organizations in taking advantage of the tax credits, grants and other support made available by the IRA. Click here to see and register for the full schedule of planned national sessions, which began on January 25, as well as breakouts for different safety net provider types, which will begin on February 1. 
CMS Approves Texas Postpartum Medicaid Expansion
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Texas’ application to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months. Medicaid covers half of all births in Texas, but coverage previously ended after two months postpartum. This approval makes Texas the 43rd state to be approved for the extended coverage—which was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. The approval goes into effect on March 1, 2024, and anyone who lost postpartum Medicaid coverage prior to this date is eligible to re-enroll to maintain coverage until 12 months after their pregnancy ended. 
H.R.6882 – PREPARE Act of 2023
This bill would address the climate crisis by establishing an interagency council on extreme weather resilience, preparedness and risk identification and management. This council would be tasked with creating government-wide priorities for addressing extreme weather resilience, preparedness, and risk identification and management. These goals and recommendations would consider regional, economic, cultural and ecological variations, as well as the disproportionate harm caused by extreme weather on vulnerable and underserved individuals and communities. The council would also support regional, state, tribal and local action to assess extreme weather-related vulnerabilities as well as maintain a nationally available website to provide timely, actionable, and accessible information, data, and tools on current and future risks related to extreme weather, preparedness and resilience. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.
S.Res.530 – Maternal Health Awareness Day Resolution
This resolution was introduced by Senator Cory Booker [D-NJ] to designate January 23, 2024, as “Maternal Health Awareness Day” to recognize the maternal health crisis in the U.S. The resolution notes that more than 80% of maternal deaths are preventable, and the U.S. is one of the only Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries in which the maternal mortality rate has increased over the last several decades. It also recognizes the significant disparities in maternal health outcomes with Black individuals being 3 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause when compared to their white counterparts. The resolution works to raise public awareness about these mortality rates and health disparities and encourage governments and organizations to take action to reduce adverse maternal health outcomes and improve maternal safety. It also promotes initiatives that ensure respectful and equitable maternity care practices and recognizes the need for further investments in these issues. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

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