Addressing the Health and Social Needs of Our Most Vulnerable Populations


panel presenting at conference

Truly effective healthcare considers a person's total spectrum of wellness. Centene's commitment to addressing "whole health" is reflected in how we work with regulators, providers, and community partners to improve the overall health and well-being of our members. To us, healthcare coverage is only part of the approach to improving health outcomes.

Many factors contribute to an individual's health and wellness beyond access to medical care. Economic and social conditions that influence health risks and outcomes include poverty, food insecurity, housing instability, education, employment, and access to transportation, among others. These social determinants of health are often at the core of health disparities among underserved and vulnerable populations.

Social determinants of health has been a buzzword in the healthcare industry for the last few years, but it's been in Centene's DNA since our founding. Since the beginning, Centene has understood that removing barriers to care is key to receiving the best quality care. From improving provider accessibility and providing transportation options to tackling pre-diabetes and addressing the health risks of homelessness, we continue to consistently eliminate obstacles preventing individuals from receiving the care they deserve.

Centene also goes beyond traditional healthcare by partnering with states and other key stakeholders to offer programs and services that address the health and social needs of our country's most vulnerable populations. As the premier sponsor of Modern Healthcare's Social Determinants of Health Symposium this June, Centene panelists gathered in Cleveland, Ohio, to present our proven and emerging best practices in social determinants of health.

Four panelists at a healthcare eventPictured above (L-R): Chris Priest, Vice President, Medicaid Solutions; Brad Lucas, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Buckeye Health Plan; Liz Lopez Cepero, Vice President, Operations and Business Strategy, Superior HealthPlan; and Leon Lead, Manager, Program Initiatives, Arizona Complete Health. Experts across the enterprise discussed the importance of community hubs, the flexibility of rideshare programs, and the benefits of collaborating with agencies serving a homeless population. The symposium allowed healthcare industry leaders to discuss new challenges, proven strategies, and innovative solutions for bettering the health of those we serve.

Centene believes there is unlimited potential in this space. As part of our holistic approach to healthcare, it's vital that underserved and vulnerable populations receive tailored solutions to their unique challenges. We will continue to focus on leading the market with affordable, high-quality, culturally-sensitive healthcare services and enhancing our robust efforts to address social determinants of health. Instituting large-scale change is not only possible, it is necessary.