AMA, UnitedHealthcare to develop new ICD-10 codes that address social determinants of health

April 9, 2019
Medicare Web

The American Medical Association (AMA) and UnitedHealthcare announced a collaboration to better address social determinants of health (SDoH) by standardizing how this data is collected and processed through the creation of new ICD-10 codes related to SDoH.

SDoH include social and environmental factors that significantly influence a person’s health such as food, housing, transportation, and the ability to pay for care, medications, utilities, and other services. The aim with the new codes is to support a consistent, organized way to trigger referrals to social and government services that address patient needs by combining traditional medical data and self-reported SDoH data. 

AMA and UnitedHealthcare’s hope is that with standardized data, healthcare organizations can better connect patients with local and national resources that address the social and environmental conditions affecting their health outcomes. The data model developed by UnitedHealthcare standardizes the capture and processing of SDoH information. According to the announcement, UnitedHealthcare has used this model to make more than 700,000 social service referrals for people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans since 2017.

This collaboration is supported by AMA’s Integrated Health Model Initiative, launched in 2017, which is dedicated to ensuring the achievability of data portability standards that enhance information sharing and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Related Topics: 
Case Management, Coding