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Food Insecurity, SDOH Costs $2.5K in Family Healthcare Expenditures

11 Jan 2023 9:30 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

More studies are drawing a link between social determinants of health (SDOH) food insecurity and health outcomes, with the latest in Health Affairs showing that food insecurity yielded some $2,500 in healthcare expenditures for a whole family in one year. [ Patient Engagement HIT] 

That amounts to about 20 percent higher yearly healthcare expenditures for food insecure families than those families not experiencing food insecurity.

But the data also showed that the around 20 percent of households that have a mixture of health insurance plans and carriers might stymie efforts to mitigate food insecurity, with payers questioning how investments will impact their own member panels.

Food insecurity is a unique social determinant of health because it has a trickle-down effect on the entire family. If one family member is food insecure, it is likely the entire family is food insecure and therefore the whole family may see the impacts on their health.

“Evaluating the relationship between food insecurity and total family health care spending could provide a better understanding of the financial implications of food insecurity for families overall,” the researchers wrote in the study. “This nuanced information is important for understanding the potential impact of food insecurity interventions, which can have spillover effects throughout the family even when targeted to an individual.”

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