Federal, Social Drivers of Health (SDOH)

The U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health

On November 16, 2023, the White House released the first-ever U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health, a policy guide aimed at integrating social services, public health, and the healthcare system to improve health outcomes in local communities by breaking down federal agency and local system silos. The playbook was released alongside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Call to Action and Medicaid and CHIP’s Framework.

The playbook contains three pillars:

  • Expand data gathering and sharing: The administration is committed to improving data collection, interoperability, and analytics capabilities to better understand and address SDOHs. This includes investing in data collection and sharing infrastructure to facilitate interagency collaboration while ensuring data security and privacy.
  • Support flexible funding to address social needs: The administration plans to make it easier to use federal funds and grants to address both traditional clinical care and SDOH-related needs simultaneously. This includes providing guidance to state Medicaid directors on how to better use funding to meet SDOH needs and informing hospitals on how to use SDOH-related activities to qualify for tax-exempt status.
  • Support backbone organizations: These organizations act as dedicated relationship coordinators and personalized navigators for individuals navigating the SDOH ecosystem. The administration is launching a National Learning Community to provide these organizations with educational and technical assistance, data security training, and support in payment operations for community care hubs.