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Healthcare Providers Have an Extra Ball To Juggle: Patients’ Unmet Social Needs

December 8, 2021

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ACHI Staff

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In an opinion piece for Talk Business & Politics, ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson looks at a new task that healthcare providers are increasingly taking on: addressing patients’ unmet social needs.

Wilson examines why this is happening and questions whether the healthcare system is equipped to fill the gaps in America’s social safety net. Though generally optimistic, he expresses concern that healthcare providers could be taking on too much, drawing a comparison with a now-defunct retail chain that sought to satisfy a wide spectrum of its customers’ entertainment needs instead of focusing on one thing and doing it well.

“I fear this very scenario for health care providers, who are increasingly screening for and attempting to address social needs such as lack of food and housing in addition to treating patients’ physical and mental conditions,” Wilson writes.