Report: Medicare Payments Need To Take Into Account Social Risk Factors That Primary Care Physicians Must Deal With

Primary care physicians don’t practice in a vacuum, and a new report says that Medicare payments do not take into account socioeconomic factors doctors must deal with such as income, marital status, education, and ethnicity, reports AAFP. Most of this data could be collected by CMS when people apply for Medicare. The report, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, also suggests that CMS should look at patients’ neighborhoods and take into account things like transportation options, violence, and housing. Payers, plans and CMS do not currently collect such information, but poor housing can expose people to environmental hazards like infectious disease, poor air quality, and poor sanitation. CMS should try to build a social risk map for patients.

Source: AAFP