The White House’s Domestic Policy Council released a U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health on November 16. “Housing is foundational to health and lifelong success. Today’s Playbook and suite of actions are important steps forward in our efforts to advance health equity,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said upon the Playbook’s release, also referencing HUD and HHS’s new Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator program to help states implement housing-related solutions.
As part of an Administration-wide effort on social determinants of health, HHS announced a new “Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Health-Related Social Needs Framework” on November 15. The Framework will help state Medicaid agencies more fully meet individuals’ health-related social needs (HRSN), which are adverse social conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes.
The HHS framework lists HRSN services and supports considered allowable under specific Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program authorities and provides a discussion of the relevant considerations for each authority. For housing support under Medicaid authorities, CMS will not approve federal financial participation payments for the costs of room and board outside of specifically enumerated care or housing transitions; these allowable “enumerated care or housing transitions” include, according to the Framework, transitions out of institutional care (including nursing homes, intermediate care, and acute care hospitals); out of congregate residential settings such as large group homes; individuals who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or transitioning out of an emergency shelter.