Leavitt Partners Releases “Taking Action on Social Determinants of Health” Report

Salt Lake City, October 22, 2019— Today, Leavitt Partners released “Taking Action on Social Determinants of Health,” a white paper based on research conducted through the firm’s Health Intelligence Partners (HIP)*, to learn about what employers and physicians are doing to address social determinants of health (SDOH) in their communities. These surveys were conducted with physicians, employers, and consumers. Although the impact of social determinants on health has received increased attention in recent years, few studies have investigated the extent to which these SDOH are being systematically addressed at the population level. While some physicians and even more employers have implemented programs for SDOH, current efforts are not sufficient to address the magnitude of the problem.

The results of Leavitt Partners’ surveys show that:

  1. The impacts of SDOH are wide-reaching. 60 percent of consumers surveyed reported that they were adversely affected by at least one SDOH, but they report being screened for SDOH at low rates.
  2. Physicians implement SDOH programs at differing rates. The physicians most likely to implement SDOH programs tend to have more Medicaid patients or be paid all or mostly through value-based payment arrangements.
  3. Employers address SDOH at greater rates than physicians do. For example, 52 percent of employers report at least partially implementing a program to address food security for their employees. Larger employers are more likely to implement SDOH programs than small ones.

Several barriers prevent physicians and employers from more fully addressing SDOH, including reimbursement structures and lack of resources and knowledge, but multi-sector stakeholder groups could partner together to address these barriers and share the community benefits.

Together, these multi-sector groups or alliances could help to address barriers by aligning and coordinating efforts among multiple agencies and organizations. These efforts can and should take place at both the national and individual market level.

Leavitt Partners has extensive experience building these types of alliances, including the National Alliance to Impact the Social Determinants of Health (NASDOH). Leavitt Partners is also currently exploring a model for catalyzing SDOH investment among in-market stakeholders that does not require a formal investment collaborative.

*HIP is a membership-based intelligence community, which provides relevant political and market insights, cross-stakeholder dialogue on key issues, and strategic guidance to help members succeed in the changing health care economy.

The research report can be viewed here.

Additionally, learn how to build an SDOH roadmap 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

NASDOH brings together health care, public health and social services expertise, local community experience, community-convening competence, business and financial insight, technology innovation, data and analytics competencies, and policy and advocacy acumen to assess and address current regulatory frameworks, funding environments and opportunities, and practical challenges to implementing and sustaining social determinants of health efforts. We provide a bridge between sectoral efforts by engaging organizations across the national system of health and in particular, engaging the business sector to articulate the cross-sector value proposition for addressing the social determinants of health. For more information, please visit: