What Payers and Providers Really Need From SDoH Data

Published on March 9, 2020

Clinicians know that overall health status has more to do with what happens outside the healthcare system than inside it but often don’t have detailed information about the social challenges impacting patients and communities. Even when they do have access to Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) data, it can offer an incomplete picture or lack clarity.

To allocate resources to address health risks before they become health issues, payers and providers need a better understanding of the social challenges – including environmental, economic, lifestyle, and behavioral factors – at play in their own patient and member populations. This starts with access to the right data.

So what do insurers and health systems really need from SDoH data?


Actionable SDoH data is multi-faceted and complex. SDoH may be a trendy topic, but few people know how to weigh different variables, identify who is most at risk in a population, and determine which interventions will have the biggest impact on health outcomes.


Actionable SDoH data is specific. For example, housing instability may mean a person lacks a permanent and safe living environment. But it can also involve the presence of health risk in the home environment, such as lead paint, mold, radon, or inadequate heating or cooling.


Actionable SDoH data is granular. Payers and providers must be able to drill down and view the risks and variables specific to communities, neighborhoods and even streets within their service areas. In addition, as a tool for connecting individuals with solutions that can make a meaningful difference, person-level data can potentially transform patient care and member engagement.


Actionable SDoH data is dynamic. In other words, underlying SDoH risk factors change over time. This means that insurers and healthcare organizations need easy and frequent access to the most current data – and related predictive modeling – in order to properly design programs, monitor progress and measure improvement.

Carrot Health’s Social Risk Grouper (SRG)™ combines all of these characteristics into an easy-to-use dashboard capable of generating high-, medium- and low- social risk models for groups and SRG scores for individuals. These data points can help payers and providers achieve more targeted interventions and demonstrable ROI.

As part of the Carrot MarketView Health platform, the consumer dataset behind SRG has over 5,000 variables from 80 sources for every individual adult in the US. The models have been validated against 175 million claims and clinical records, along with Carrot Health’s own proprietary consumer survey data.

For a closer look at the data-driven insights SRG can provide and how this tool can help provide better care and increase engagement, see a recent edition of our Carrot Health Insights called “Quantifying Social Risk.”

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