Online Program

Quantifying the Social Safety Net and its Impact on Health Outcomes using a Social Service Utilization Support Model

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Pamme Lyons-Taylor, MBA, MHCA, Advocacy & CommUnity Based Programs / School of Public Health, WellCare Health Plan / Walden University, Lutz, FL
Social barriers disproportionately limit low-income and disadvantaged populations as well as individuals with disabilities in accessing health care.  At the same time, the network of social services (called the Social Safety Net) operates on a shrinking budget and faces significant, ongoing funding threats while the need for services resulting from the 2009 Great Recession continues to rise.  The social service utilization support model responds to the threat to the Social Safety Net and the need to quantify the impact of social services on health outcomes.

Using a team of community health workers, researchers catalogued available social services across 48 states and captured this data within a centralized database.  This database is then used by peer-support specialists to refer individuals to the social services and create a corresponding social service electronic health record.  Researchers compared the available network with county-level health data and referral data.

Through the social service utilization support model, community health workers identified and catalogued more than 60,000 social service organizations representing more than 1.3 million programs and services.  In addition, peer support specialists connected more than 5,000 individuals to more than 11,000 social programs and services.  Finally, peer support specialists and field-based community health workers identified more than 775 Social Safety Net gaps in needed services and filled them using traditional community mobilizing efforts.

The model and outcomes described above sets the stage for additional impact analysis including a longitudinal study on the individuals with confirmed social service utilization to determine impact on related healthcare access and use.

Learning Areas:

Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define the term social safety net Quantify the breadth and scope of the social safety net Illustrate early indicators of the impact of social service utilization on health outcomes

Keyword(s): Community Health Planning, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: With more than 15 years of experience, I am knowledgeable and and experienced in the connection between public health and managed care for government programs. Additionally, I am the architect of the HealthConnections Model.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.