(Logo via Kaiser Permanente)

Kaiser Permanente: Survey: Housing, Food, Isolation Major Barriers to Health

Originally posted on KasierPermanente

One-third of Americans are grappling with stress tied to meeting their basic human needs such as stable housing, adequate food, and reliable transportation, according to the results of a new national survey from Kaiser Permanente. The survey, Social Needs in America, also found that Americans overwhelmingly want health care providers to be involved in identifying and addressing these non-medical social needs.

These latest survey findings reveal that Americans are experiencing unmet social needs at significant rates. In fact, 68% of Americans surveyed reported they experienced at least one unmet social need in the past year. More than a quarter of those surveyed said that an unmet social need was a barrier to health, with 21% prioritizing paying for food or rent overseeing a doctor or getting medication.

The national survey asked people about barriers they face in meeting social needs, how those barriers prevent them from accessing necessary health care, and how they want their doctors, nurses, and other care providers to help bridge those gaps.

“At Kaiser Permanente we think holistically about health, which includes medical care and other factors like access to food, transportation, and housing,” said Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson. “By helping close the gap on social needs, we have an opportunity to advance the health of communities across the country and safeguard everyone’s right to thrive.”

Among the survey’s topline findings:

  • Americans view social needs as equally important to their health as medical care, with 89% of respondents saying safe and stable housing is very or extremely important to health and 80% saying reliable transportation is very or extremely important.
  • Those experiencing unmet social needs were twice as likely to rate their health as fair or poor compared to those who did not. A third of respondents reported experiencing stress related to social needs, and 28% of respondents reported that a social need was a barrier to care in the last year. In addition, 39% frequently or occasionally experience stress over accessing food or balanced meals and 35% experience stress over housing.
  • The vast majority of Americans want their medical providers to ask about social needs, with 97% of respondents saying their providers should ask about social needs during medical visits. Only 10% said they would feel nervous or annoyed by such questions.
  • Social needs are predictors of physical and mental health. Survey respondents who reported experiencing an unmet social need in the past year were more than twice as likely to rate their health as fair or poor (16%) compared to those who did not experience an unmet social need (6%).

Expanded survey results can be found here.

Thrive Local launches, offers vital connection to community resources

Along with releasing the survey results, Kaiser Permanente is also announcing the first location of its Thrive Local social needs resources network in its Northwest Region, which includes Oregon and southwest Washington State. Medical providers there are working to incorporate the sophisticated tool into the organization’s electronic health records system to connect people with social resources to meet their specific needs.

Kaiser Permanente is on the forefront of addressing social needs for its members. Prior to the Thrive Local launch, a Kaiser Permanente member in Vancouver, Washington, described how her physician connected her with housing resources after discovering she was sleeping in her truck.

 

“We are eager to implement this network into our care delivery system because we know closing social care gaps will improve health outcomes,” said Northwest Permanente CEO Imelda Dacones, MD. “Social determinants of health, or the economic and social conditions that influence health, drive most health outcomes. To address and create total health, we, as physicians, must have systems and networks that address our patients’ social needs.”

“We must ensure individuals have access to the health and social services they need to be well,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, chief community health officer at Kaiser Permanente. “When we ask our members if they’ve had to skip a meal lately, if they can afford their medications, or if they have reliable transportation, we know the answers to those questions can tell us as much about their future health as their blood pressure tells us. When we can prevent negative health outcomes with access to social services, we can make our communities healthier for the 68 million people living there.”

“We are intimately familiar with the types of challenges people are struggling with here in the Northwest, and we are eager to engage the appropriate community resources to address those specific needs,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in the Northwest. “With Thrive Local, we are excited to have a powerful tool to improve the well-being not only of our members, but of entire communities as well.”

Latest News

Biden Stands by His Commitment to LGBTQ rights; Cost of Racism in the U.S. Tops $16 Trillion; Black and Latinx Continue to Die from COVID-19 at Nearly Twice the Rate of Whites; and More

Biden reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ rights; promises to pass Equality Act. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down on his promises to the LGBTQ community while speaking at a presidential town hall for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on Sept. 24. “You deserve a partner in the White House to…

degeneres, work, show

Leadership Lessons to be Gleaned from Ellen DeGeneres’ Toxic Workplace Scandal

Ellen DeGeneres began her daytime talk show’s 18th season with an apology after a summer of allegations against her that claimed her show promoted a toxic work environment rife with racism, sexual misconduct and other mistreatment. In August 2020, three senior producers — executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman…

COVID entrepreneur

Explosive New Growth in Small Businesses Due to COVID-19; America’s Police Force is Not Becoming More Diverse Despite BLM Movement; the Best and Worst Performing States in the 2020 Census; and More

Even with incredible nationwide unemployment rates, the creation of new small and diverse businesses has exploded due to COVID-19. Finally some news coming out of our pandemic: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that as bars and restaurants closed and stay-at-home orders were put into place earlier in 2020 to help fight…

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…

ginsburg, supreme, court

The Lasting Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Plus the Four Biggest Issues Currently at Stake Following Her Death

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation’s highest court for 27 years, passed away Friday, Sept. 18 at the age 87. “As the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed…

BASF Invests Into Pyrum as Part of its ChemCyclingTM Project

Originally published on BASF.com  Pyrolysis oil from waste tires as additional raw material source next to oil from mixed plastic waste Investment will support construction of additional production capacities for pyrolysis oil Milestone in establishing a circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste Pyrolysis oil will partly replace fossil feedstock and…