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Getting started coding for social determinants of health

Social determinants of health are social factors, such as homelessness, illiteracy, a history of childhood trauma, and joblessness or underemployment, that can affect a person’s health. Coding for these factors is important because CMS officials now use some of them to adjust quality measures for patients who are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and coding these factors may help shape future health policy.

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