On April 17, the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs held the third convening of our community forum series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on complex care. The conversation explored the ways in which this fragmented system is impeding care delivery for complex patients and identified near-term opportunities to address them including solutions that forum participants are finding on the ground to overcome them.

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On April 10, the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs held a second community forum on unique issues facing complex care teams. Issues such as disruption of care delivery, staffing, and burnout were discussed. Once again, participants shared personal experiences and resources with their peers. The full list of resources is linked below. 

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The spread of COVID-19 in the United States and globally has made stark what we in the complex care field already knew: our fragmented care systems and frail safety net leave our most vulnerable community members at heightened risk, especially during times of national emergency. Individuals with complex health and social needs are particularly vulnerable to disruption of services and the social and economic fallout from social distancing measures across the country.

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Understanding a patient’s social complexities is essential to support holistic clinical care, clinical quality improvement, and tailored care interventions. However, complex care programs may find it difficult to incorporate these factors into standard risk stratification methods. They may also face distrust from patients who have historically been poorly served or harmed by healthcare institutions. This webinar featured a risk stratification process developed by the Sooner Health Access Network, which provided care management services for Medicaid beneficiaries in Oklahoma Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and research results on reported patient acceptability of social risk screening in healthcare settings conducted by the Social Interventions Research & Evaluation Network.

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