Social determinants of health

Burden of health-related social needs among dual- and non-dual-eligible Medicare Advantage beneficiaries

By: Deborah N. Peikes; Kaylyn E. Swankoski; Jeremiah S. Rastegar; Stephanie M. Franklin; and Danielle J. Pavliv  

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We examined the prevalence of health-related social needs (HRSNs) in 2019 among 61,779 enrollees in a large, national Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, and learned that HRSN burden was unequally distributed across multiple beneficiary characteristics, notably with beneficiaries younger than age sixty-five more likely than those ages sixty-five and older to report having an HRSN.

We also found that some HRSNs were more strongly associated with hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and physician visits than others. These findings suggest the importance of considering the HRSNs of dual- and non-dual-eligible beneficiaries, as well as those of beneficiaries of all ages, when exploring how to address HRSNs in the MA population.

Read article: Health Affairs