News: Quality requirements under SDoH health measure mandatory in 2024

CDI Strategies - Volume 17, Issue 3

According to an RACmonitor ‘Monitor Mondays’ listener survey, most responders had not yet begun working on the quality requirements under the social drivers of the health (SDoH) measure despite its impending importance in upcoming years. As SDoH submissions are voluntary for 2023, now is a great time to test out workflows before reporting is mandatory in 2024, according to Tiffany Ferguson, LMSW, CMAC, ACM, CEO of Phoenix Medical Management, Inc., and writer at RACmonitor. This is important especially in preparation of when SDoH reporting falls under a payment determination in 2026.

Many vendors will be creating mechanisms, but “the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has specifically provided, cited, and recommended—although not required—the Health-Related Social Needs Screening Tool (HRSN) for SDoH questions,” said Ferguson.

Every hospital will be required to provide the HRSN questions pertaining to housing, transportation, food, utilities, and personal safety to hospital inpatients 18 years or older. A discrete mechanism to pull data with “yes/no” questions will be needed, as well as a discrete field to mark if the patient was unable or declined to answer.

These questions are asked in various ways, currently, by case managers, physicians, nurses, etc. When they are asked is a further consideration to make—Ferguson cited patient registration or the nursing admission assessment as the main two areas. Once this is taken into consideration, she recommended establishing a consistent process for collection, capitalizing on shared cross-disciplinary fields in an EHR, and working with coders to make sure the information is easily accessible for capturing the Z codes.

Editor’s note: To read the RACmonitor article referenced, click here. To access the survey, click here.