Molina Healthcare starts national SDOH research initiative

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Molina Healthcare is launching a national social determinants of health center in response to growing interest in how external health factors affect health outcomes.

The new center, to be based in Columbus, Ohio, will collect and analyze data to determine the SDOH needs of Molina’s members, says the company, which covers about 3.4 million members through Medicaid and Medicare plans. It will also inform national and local partnerships and program development for the Long-Beach, Calif.-based health plan.

“As an organization that prides itself on its regional focus and partnerships, Molina looks forward to applying SDOH best practices across our nationwide footprint to benefit all the local communities we serve,” says Jason Dees, MD, Molina’s chief medical officer, who will head the program.

Dees says the innovation center will work closely with and support local and national partners, as the company “identifies, tests, implements and scales best practices” related to SDOH.

Molina plans to use its National Molina Healthcare Social Determinants of Health Innovation Center to provide documentation of SDOH interventions with Molina’s local partners. In addition, the center will create a database of Molina SDOH member outcomes. The center will be led by a seasoned staff trained to identify areas for improvement, Molina says.

“We are thrilled to have the Innovation Center based in Ohio,” says Ami Cole, president of Molina Healthcare of Ohio. “We have many strong community partners actively engaged in testing new models to address social determinants of health, and we are excited to further expand upon these efforts and share our local learnings on a nationwide scale.”

In related news, The RISE Association is conducting a benchmarking survey in the field of SDOH.

The goal of the survey, to be conducted in partnership with Alexandra Schweitzer, a senior fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, is to provide insight into how SDOH programs can help providers improve outcomes, RISE executives say. The survey focuses on how health plans and community-based organizations define a successful SDOH program and how they measure outcomes and impact. Results will be revealed at RISE’s National Summit on Social Determinants of Health in Nashville, Tenn. on March 15 to 17.

RISE is encouraging any healthcare organizations that has launched a SDOH program to participate in the survey, which can accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ProgramSurvey_SDOH.

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