This article will:
- Define the social determinants of health (SDH)
- Provide industry evidence on the SDH from a population health perspective
- Discuss current sociopolitical drivers to impact the progression of SDH
- Discuss career implications for the professional case management workforce
Applicable to health and behavioral health settings, wherever case management is practiced.
The SDH pose major challenges to the health care workforce in terms of effective resource provision, health and behavioral health treatment planning plus adherence, and overall coordination of care. Obstacles and variances to needed interventions easily lead to less than optimal outcomes for case managers and their health care organizations. Possessing sound knowledge and clear understanding of each SDH, the historical perspectives, main theories, and integral dynamics, as well as creative resource solutions, all support a higher level of intentional and effective professional case management practice.
Those persons and communities impacted most by the SDH comprise every case management practice setting. These clients can be among the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of society, which can easily engender biases on the part of the interprofessional workforce. They are also among the costliest to care for with 50% of costs for only 5% of the population. Critical attention to knowledge about managing the SDH leverages and informs case management practice, evolves more effective programming, and enhances operational outcomes across practice settings.
Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, is an award winning, industry thought leader who empowers health care's transdisciplinary workforce through professional speaking, writing, mentoring, and consultation. A subject matter expert on ethics, Ellen is an esteemed author with almost 100 articles publications to her credit. She has authored content for many of the industry's knowledge projects for case managers, including chapters on the Ethical Use of Case Management Technology, Workplace Bullying, Collaborative Care, and the Social Determinants of Health. Her contributions to professional case management, ethics, and clinical social work transverse professional associations and credentialing organizations, including roles as subject matter expert, examination item writer, and leadership positions. She is a vibrant professional voice.
Address correspondence to Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author reports no conflicts of interest.