COVID-19 has clearly had a dramatic impact on the health of Americans. As we know from a wide range of data, minority populations have experienced greater morbidity and mortality and have felt the impact of the poverty that the pandemic has created over the past year. Clearly, the Medicaid population is experiencing the impact of the pandemic and needs services, such as food and housing, that are driven by Social Determinants of Health.
There are many things that we can do to address the needs of minority and low-income populations to ease the impact of the pandemic. First, Managed Care Organizations, providers and community-based organizations need to ensure that the right services can be delivered, at the right time, to the right people in need.
Second, it is more important than ever for MCOs, CBOs and provider organizations to maintain accurate and meaningful data on: CBOs that offer SDOH-driven services for individuals in need; differences in outcomes by providers and sub-populations that can help target efforts to provide services and supports to specific communities; how and where services are being delivered successful to those who need help. This includes the groundswell of individuals who are newly eligible for Medicaid as a result of the pandemic who are likely unfamiliar with the Medicaid program or services.