Integration of Health and Social Care

If you’re looking for help with non-medical health problems, such as finding affordable housing, food or social care, your local authority may be able to offer you a care and support plan. This can include an assessment of your needs, a list of services available and how those will be delivered to you over time.

A number of state Medicaid programs have worked to integrate health and social care, primarily through contract requirements or incentives for managed care organizations (MCOs). These efforts focus on screening patients for social risks in primary care settings; building new cross-sector collaborations; financing social care with healthcare dollars; and sharing data across systems.

These programs have experienced mixed results. Some have had positive impacts on both healthcare and social outcomes. However, a large proportion of studies are inconclusive or provide limited evidence on whether such approaches can be scaled.

This is partly due to the fact that the integration of social and health care is a complex and multifaceted effort, with many moving parts. Moreover, integrating these two sectors requires a strong and ongoing commitment from all stakeholders.

This includes the government, which bears the biggest responsibility for ensuring that social and health care services are integrated in ways that improve quality of life, reduce the need for invasive and costly procedures, and foster healthier populations. It’s also essential that systems aimed at integration implement key enablers. For example, governments need to invest in the training of professionals, as well as ensure that adequate resources are available for both systems. health and social care

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