Social determinants of health (SDoH) account for up to 90% of health outcomes, whereas medical care accounts for only 10%-15%; despite this disparity, only 24% of hospitals and 16% of physician practices screen for the 5 social needs. Community-embedded and highly accessible, pharmacies are uniquely positioned to connect individuals to local community and social resources and thereby address SDoH. This article explores novel community pharmacy practice models that address SDoH, provide real-world examples of these models, and discuss pathways for reimbursement and sustainability. A number of innovative community pharmacy practice models that focus on social issues are currently being explored. Three community pharmacy networks have implemented pilot programs using either a CHW or SDoH specialist model. An essential component for program success in all cases has been partnership development and increased interdependence between the pharmacies, local community organizations, and the public health sector. New payment models and financial incentives will be necessary to expand and sustain these programs.Evaluation of these models on a wider scale will be necessary to fully evaluate their effectiveness, costs, and implementation within different community pharmacy settings. For the link to the article click here.
For more information on the Community Pharmacy project at the Center for Community Health alignment please click here.