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Value-based care's success hinges on attention to social determinants (guest commentary, Modern Healthcare)

A guest commentary from Mike Leavitt and Dr. Karen DeSalvo discusses how “despite progress on a value-based care agenda that enables care systems to provide more supportive and coordinated services to individuals, the U.S. continues to spend more than $3 trillion a year on healthcare—twice the per capita average of our industrialized peers—and yet, people in America have shorter lifespans and fare worse in many health indicators.”

The authors go on to say that addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) is critical to effective healthcare transformation and improvements in health outcomes. However, without a “unifying force” within communities driving the focus on SDOH, gaining momentum to actually implement change is an uphill battle: “Communities need a unifying alliance to clarify the imperative to address the social determinants; identify opportunities for shared learning and action at all levels; develop a strategic agenda of priorities for action; and, where appropriate, inform and establish a more supportive policy environment.”

DCHI is already pursuing a unifying, collaborative approach to community health with its Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative. Healthy Neighborhoods is a community-based model of healthcare, focusing on the health and wellbeing of all Delawareans. Involving stakeholders from statewide governments, local health systems, community organizations, insurers, and area employers, the Healthy Neighborhoods committee implements sustainable interventions/programming to encourage healthier lifestyles and improve the quality of life for every Delawarean. To learn more, visit us at

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