Addressing social determinants of health

As healthcare evolves, the industry is starting to take a closer look at how a person’s environment and lifestyle contribute to his or her health. These factors, called social determinants of health (SDOH), include all of the most significant components in someone’s day to day life.

Increasingly, health plans are exploring ways to address the common SDOH of their members to help improve their overall health, experience, and access to care, including:

  • Economic stability. Does the member have a job or steady income? Is the person incurring substantial medical bills? Is he or she receiving financial support from someone else?
  • Neighborhood and physical environment. Does the member live in a safe environment? Does he or she have reliable transportation to medical care? Are there parks or outdoor spaces nearby?
  • Education. What level of education has this member reached? If the member is not an English speaker, is there information available in his or her native language?
  • Food. Does this member have consistent access to food? Does he or she have healthy options available?
  • Community and social context. Does the member have a support system in place? Is the individual engaged in his or her community? What is the member’s stress level?
  • Health care system. What is the quality of care that the member receives? Are there providers that are regularly available to this individual? Does his or her provider adequately address linguistic and cultural competencies?

Too often, these factors serve as a significant barrier to members being able to access their medications. Transportation, in particular, can significantly impact whether or not someone can fill their prescriptions on time.

To address some of these factors, Abarca partnered with Triple-S and Alivia Home Delivery Pharmacy to launch Triple-S en Casa–Puerto Rico’s first home delivery pharmacy program. Triple-S en Casa gives members the ability to manage and order their prescriptions through an easy-to-use app, and have them delivered straight to their door.

And now, millions of members across Puerto Rico will be able to reliably and conveniently receive their medications–at no additional cost. Now that’s PBM awesome.

This blog was written by Christian Caballero, Director of Strategic Projects at Abarca.

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