Population Health is defined as strategies that link clinical and non-clinical approaches (such as housing or access to food) for improving the health of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. These groups can be geographically defined (e.g., zip code or city) or they may share some characteristics (such as age or income level).
Z codes are a subset of the ICD-10-CM codes for the reporting of factors influencing health status. When assigned properly, these codes carry great potential in addressing population health. Identifying socio-economic factors for patients and patient populations facilitates combining clinical and social interventions to improve care coordination and identify the most appropriate modes of care. Z-codes help to paint a picture of the overall environment of patients to be considered by providers and payers. Melissa Brown, RHIT and Julie Engelland, RHIT, CCS, CIC recently published an article in KS Engage that lists the codes, explains their importance and provides a list of reference materials and resources. Please view the full article here.
This KHA white paper was published in February 2020, measuring community health needs with hospital data. Assessing community health and social factors at the ZIP code level within counties across Kansas is a powerful strategy to optimize resources for effective community health improvement initiatives.
To help clinicians address social determinants of health within a framework that maximizes their skills while helping organizations systemically approach these challenges, the AHA Physician Alliance has created a virtual expedition consisting of five modules. Built around the proactive concept of upstream care, the series was developed with Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH., president and CEO at HealthBegins, an organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the work of frontline clinicians and community partners to improve care and address the social determinants of health.
Check out these resources and more at www.aha.org/physicians/SDOH