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Health Agencies Update
February 23, 2016

CMS Grants to Address Social Needs of Beneficiaries

JAMA. 2016;315(8):741. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1077

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is launching the Accountable Health Communities Model, a 5-year pilot program to assess whether helping Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries find assistance for social needs will improve their health and reduce health care costs for the 2 federal programs (http://1.usa.gov/1JVqQy6). The CMS will award up to $157 million to a maximum of 44 bridge organizations, so called for closing the gap between health care and social needs, that are developing programs to screen beneficiaries for issues such as housing instability, hunger, transportation difficulties, and interpersonal violence; to connect beneficiaries with community services that can help them resolve those issues; and to foster collaboration between health care organizations and community social service programs.

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