Urge Congress to Support Legislation to Address Social Determinants of Health

October 26, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) has recently endorsed new bipartisan legislation that aims to devise evidence-based approaches to address social determinants of health (SDOH).

SDOH are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, age, and factors such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, employment, and social support. Data collection has shown that SDOH can have a significant impact on patients, including their access to cancer care and outcomes.

The Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Act (HR. 2503/S.3039) would create a SDOH Accelerator Interagency Council, which would subsequently provide grants to local and state governments to establish SDOH intervention plans with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for patients. The bipartisan legislation would also require the SDOH Accelerator Interagency Council to assist with data collection and coordination of services and broadly disseminate best practices and opportunities for cross-program coordination.

Use the ASCO ACT Network to tell your representatives in Congress to co-sponsor the legislation.

The Association and its affiliate, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (the Society), are committed to addressing inequities in cancer care and research, and addressing SDOH is a critical component of this work.

Recently, the Association submitted a response to a request for information (RFI) from the newly established Congressional SDOH Caucus. In the response, the Association suggested the caucus consider action on policies, like expanding Medicaid and telehealth flexibilities, to address SDOH. The Association looks forward to working with this new caucus to overcome historical momentum and existing social structures responsible for disparate outcomes in patients.

Oncology care team members are invited to watch or listen to episodes of a new education series on SDOH in cancer care and cancer outcomes developed by the Society. Episodes have included discussions on cost of care, medical racism, how to take a social history, among others.  Watch or listen now.

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