Change Healthcare unveils new SDOH analytics tools

Social Determinants of Health Analytics is meant as a resource to help health systems plan for and implement community programs as part of their population health management efforts.
By Mike Miliard
03:46 PM
Change Healthcare sign at trade show

Change Healthcare on Monday announced the launch of a new resource, Social Determinants of Health Analytics, that's designed to help providers, payers, life science companies and others make better use of socioeconomic and geodemographic information.

SDoH Analytics is a HIPAA-compliant dataset that links deidentified claims data with information on other factors such as education level, ethnicity, financial stability, housing status and more – mapping the correlations between social determinants, clinical care and patient outcomes. 

Change Healthcare, the new offering, is designed to help organizations across the healthcare ecosystem to better assess and implement social programs to help reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. It can be used in three ways:

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First, customers can receive customized reports that spotlight SDoH factors that can impact emergency room utilization, and inpatient and ambulatory visits across different segments of patient populations.

Second, the tool can be added to existing systems that track social-determinant data to help close information gaps and improve patient engagement and quality outcomes.

Third, it can be put to work in a secure cloud environment, with ongoing compliance-monitoring for the development of unique data analytics and algorithms.

"Health systems, insurers, and scientists can now use SDoH Analytics to make a direct connection between life's circumstances and health outcomes," said Tim Suther, senior vice president for data solutions at Change Healthcare, in a statement.

"This helps optimize healthcare utilization, member engagement, and employer wellness programs. Medical affairs and research are transformed. And most importantly, patient outcomes improve. SDoH Analytics makes these data-driven insights affordable and actionable."

Change Healthcare notes that as much as 80% of health outcomes are related to social factors – food and housing availability, transportation insecurity, and education inequity – outside the walls of the hospital.

More attention than ever is finally being paid to the criticality of those factors, and new informatics disciplines are being developed to study them. But challenges remain when it comes to interoperability, data management, and the integration of social determinant data into clinical workflows. And many questions remain about the best way to develop and implement community outreach programs.


"Healthcare providers have long known that diseases impact people differently based on various factors, a challenge that has become acutely clear during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Michael Pencina, vice dean for data science and IT at Duke University School of Medicine.

"Access to social determinants of health data allows us to support fair and equitable care and to apply novel methodologies to new challenges. We are currently leveraging this data to help ensure that the right therapies are being used for the right patient at the right time in their treatment. And that should lead to better healthcare for all."

"All the work I do – for Mayo Clinic, the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, and The Fight Is in Us – is predicated on equity," added John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic Platform. "The only way we can eliminate racism and disparities in care is to better understand the challenges. Creating a national data resource on the social determinants of health is an impactful first step."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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