Cracking the Code for Better Outcomes: Why—and How—to Document Social Determinants of Health 

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As reimbursement is increasingly tied to value and outcomes, healthcare organizations are establishing partnerships and dedicating resources to address their patients’ unmet social needs. However, few providers are documenting these needs in the electronic health record: Less than 2% of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries in 2019 had claims with “Z codes,” the ICD-10 codes used to document SDOH. These codes include housing insecurity, job loss and several other new ones added for 2022.

Screening for and addressing a patient’s social needs is only the first step to better outcomes. Documenting these needs ensures care teams have access to these important details about their patients to inform diagnosis and connect them with resources, while also providing accurate data at the population level. During this 45-minute webinar, Sarah DeSilvey DNP, FNP, a rural family medicine nurse practitioner and Director of Clinical Informatics at The Gravity Project; Christina Suh, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and Director of Clinical Content at Phreesia; and Jennifer Sisto Gall, MPH, Phreesia’s Director of Policy and Clinical Programs, will explain why it’s important to document SDOH in the patient record, including to inform research, improve patient care and prepare for shifts in policy and reimbursement.   

Attendees will learn:  

  • Best practices for screening and coding for SDOH  
  • The value of patient-reported data in informing documentation 
  • Why it’s important to code for social risk factors