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MLPB’s Aging and Health Related Social Needs (HRSN) Learning-and-Action Lab (the “Lab”) is a two-phased initiative designed to inform and improve clinic-based HRSN screening, referral, and problem-solving strategies impacting older adults who live in Rhode Island. Through generous funding from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island* the Lab explores how the screening experience of RI-based older adults (age 55 and over) can be enhanced, and how care teams and insurers can be more responsive to patients’ goals.

*Support provided through the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Community Health donor advised fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

RI Aging & HRSN Learning-and-Action Lab Phase I Report

This month a new DULCE paper was published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Entitled Cross-Sector Approach Expands Screening and Addresses Health-Related Social Needs in Primary Care, the paper presents data collected at 5 DULCE sites that shows:

  • an increase in family engagement with well-child visits; and
  • reliable detection of, and responses to, health-related social needs disclosed by families. 

Read the paper lead-authored by MaryCatherine Arbour here, as well as a companion blog post published by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Meeting people’s health-related social needs (HRSN) has always mattered. Under any conditions, the health of individuals, families and communities hinges substantially on stable access to safe, healthy, and affordable housing; to reliable heat, lights, water, internet and phone service; to nutritious food; to transportation resources; to protection from violence, abuse, and exploitation; and much more.

MLPB launched this open-access Digital Digest at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help care teams access information to help meet their health-related social needs. The need for accurate information persists even as the pandemic has waned. This tool:

  • Curates evolving information and resources in key domains of health-related social need
  • Translates what these developments mean for people and the communities of care who partner with them
  • Offers projections on how things might continue to change
  • Spotlights key federal (nation-wide) themes in resources, benefits and legal protections as well as state-specific information for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where MLPB does extensive work.

IMPORTANT: MLPB will update this content as appropriate, and Digest readers should note the last-reviewed timestamp and click on the hyperlinks to access the most current information. In addition, this information is for educational purposes only; nothing in it should be construed as legal advice. 

Patients undergoing cancer care treatment require tailored screening, navigation, and legal problem-solving to address health-related social needs.

A Strengths-Based Approach to Screening Families for Health-Related Social Needs

Six concrete recommendations for a strengths-based approach to social need screening with families, intending to minimize potential harm and unintended consequences.

Strengths-based screening 1-pager