Tag Archives: social determinants

Analysis explores prevalence of behavioral conditions in families

Many social determinants of health have important effects on behavioral health and can apply to all members of a family. Some research has found that having a family member with a mental illness decreases family functioning and is a general stressor for families. With that in mind, payers and providers may find that the diagnosis of a behavioral health condition in one family member could signal that it may be worth screening for circumstances that might affect the entire household. This could provide an opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention with other household members who may be at heightened risk for similar behavioral health concerns.

In order to shed more light on how behavioral health conditions affect families, Milliman analyzed the prevalence of several conditions among family members in a national, commercially insured population in 2017. In this paper, Milliman’s Stoddard Davenport and Marissa North expand on existing research by analyzing the prevalence of behavioral conditions in parents of children with behavioral conditions versus those without as well as children of parents with behavioral conditions versus those without.

Connecting the dots between social determinants and healthcare utilization

Growing recognition that social determinants are significant drivers of health and healthcare utilization patterns has increased the desire to better understand and identify these issues as well as to develop actionable steps at both the population and member levels. There has been a growing focus on developing the ability to identify the presence of social vulnerabilities among population health entities, Medicaid state agencies, risk-taking provider organizations such as accountable care organizations, and any entity with a vested interest in the reduction of healthcare spending. It is not unusual for health actuaries to get involved in this discussion. Milliman’s Ksenia Whittal provides some perspective in this article.

This article was published in the December 2018/January 2019 issue of The Actuary.