Medicaid Action, Primary Care Key for Addressing Childhood SDOH

A new guidance from Manatt Health and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) offers an outline for state Medicaid agencies and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) to create social and emotional health programming for children to prevent adverse social determinants of health (SDOH).

It has been widely agreed upon that social and emotional health are key considerations during early childhood, the researchers said. Social and emotional health can impact the other social factors a pediatric patient may experience later in life, thus impacting that individual’s health.

“A strong foundation can affect whether a child is prepared to begin school, achieve academic success, become a productive member of the workforce and society, and can anticipate physical and mental health and wellbeing as an adult,” the researchers wrote. “With so much to gain, the focus on supporting the social and emotional development of young children by policymakers and health care leaders is imperative.”

Primary care providers have a key role to play in caring for social and emotional health. After all, these medical professionals conduct a recommended average of 12 well-child visits with patients and their families by the time a child reaches age three.

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