Assessing The Capacity Of Local Social Services Agencies To Respond To Referrals From Health Care Providers

Matthew Kreuter, Rachel Garg, Tess Thompson, Amy McQueen, Irum Javed, Balaji Golla, Charlene Caburnay, Regina Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Health care providers are increasingly screening low-income patients for social needs and making referrals to social services agencies to assist in resolving them. A major assumption of this approach is that local social services providers have the capacity and resources to help. To explore this assumption, we examined 711,613 requests related to fifty different social needs received from callers to 211 helplines in seven states during 2018. Our analyses focused on the proportion of requests for which referrals could not be made because of low capacity in the social services system. We examined the extent to which the capacity of this system varied by type of social need, ZIP code, and time of year, and we classified social needs in a new typology based on prevalence and system capacity. It is clear that health care's current screening and referral approach is appropriate for some social needs but not others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-688
Number of pages10
JournalHealth affairs (Project Hope)
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Disparities
  • Health care providers
  • Health policy
  • Low income
  • Nonprofit status
  • Public health
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social needs
  • Social services

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing The Capacity Of Local Social Services Agencies To Respond To Referrals From Health Care Providers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this