Health-Related Social Needs

Health-Related Social Needs (HRSN) and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are both about how our health is affected by things around us. SDOH looks at big things like where we live and how much money our family has. HRSN focuses more on the things we need right now, like getting enough food or having a safe place to live.

The term "Health-Related Social Needs" is sometimes used instead of Social Determinants of Health, but there's an important difference between them. HRSN talks about the social and money needs that affect how healthy someone can be. These needs include things like:

  • not having a stable place to live.
  • not having enough food.
  • not having a job.
  • not feeling safe.
  • not having a way to get around.

On the other hand, SDOH looks at the conditions where people live and how they're affected by things like:

  • money
  • power
  • resources 

It also looks at issues like:

  • unfair treatment
  • discrimination
  • racism

Basically, the problems with HRSN often happen because of the bigger issues with SDOH. Fixing these big issues isn't usually something doctors can do alone. But doctors can help by figuring out what their patients need, sending them to local places that can help, teaming up with community groups, or finding other ways to help.

The Banner Medicare Advantage's Health Equity Committee is working together with important Banner Health groups and other partners in the community to encourage the use of Z codes for Banner Medicare Advantage members. They'll try different ways to do this, like making sure doctors know about it, making agreements based on performance and value, and teaching coding experts. These Z codes, from Z55 to Z65, are used specifically to write down data about health-related social needs (like problems with education, jobs, or housing). This information can help make healthcare better, understand what affects health, and see where there are unfair health differences.