Leavitt Partners Releases “Social Determinants Matter, But Who Is Responsible? 2017 Physician Survey on Social Determinants of Health” White Paper

Salt Lake City, May 9, 2018 –Today, Leavitt Partners released, “Social Determinants Matter, But Who Is Responsible? 2017 Physician Survey on Social Determinants of Health,” a white paper that examines physician attitudes towards social determinants of health (SDOH), current barriers to addressing SDOH in the clinical environment, and recommendations for how to consider patients’ social needs without contributing to physician burnout.

The paper discusses findings from a national survey of 621 physicians. Leavitt Partners Health Intelligence Partners administered the survey through Qualtrics between June 2017 and July 2017. The survey found that while the majority of physicians believe SDOH matter for their patients’ health, most physicians do not believe it is their responsibility address these SDOH.

The authors advocate that success in value-based payment models will increasingly require attention beyond clinical excellence to include nonmedical SDOH. To reconcile physicians’ current beliefs on SDOH with the growing need to incorporate SDOH into the clinical environment, the following should be considered:

1. Barriers and disincentives associated with fee-for-service need to be addressed

2. Technology and care delivery strategies that address SDOH in the clinical context must alleviate, rather than exacerbate, physician burden and burnout

3. Increased public health funding and infrastructure at the local level is needed to support clinical efforts that target patients’ SDOH

4. Other stakeholders beyond the clinical care team, including employers and policy makers, need to share the incentive—and the responsibility—to improve the community’s health by tackling SDOH

The white paper can be viewed here.

About Leavitt Partners:

Leavitt Partners is a health care intelligence business. The firm helps clients successfully navigate the evolving role of value in health care by informing, advising, and convening industry leaders on value market analytics, alternative payment models, federal strategies, insurance market insights, and alliances. Through its family of businesses, the firm provides investment support, data and analytics, member-based alliances, and direct services to clients to support decision-making strategies in the value economy. For more information please visit