Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI) Collaborative Hub

Social Determinants of Health


SDOH Projects

To make best use of the opportunity to improve health by understanding social determinants, the AMA is supporting consensus-driven efforts to develop and implement free, global standards for codifying and exchanging SDOH data.

  1. IHMI is committed to promoting practical use and adoption of standards that can be implemented and used in conjunction with existing health IT infrastructure.

Most of the codified SDOH data exchange that occurs today is from large payers and is based on administrative and claims infrastructure. Focusing on code sets in existing workflows is a pragmatic first step toward capturing and normalizing SDOH data:

  • Improve ICD-10 Z-codes. AMA formed a strong alignment with UnitedHealthcare in their submission to refine and expand ICD-10 SDOH terms based on real-world demand and utilization. If broadly adopted, utilizing ICD-10 codes for SDOH can enable provider organizations to better track patient needs and identify solutions to improve the health of their communities.
  • Apply for CPT Codes. AMA is working with the New York Department of Health and medical societies to understand the need for CPT codes to document the time a clinician spends screening for health-related social needs.
  • Educate. AMA is collaborating with industry partners and educators to drive awareness and consistent use of existing SDOH standards.
  1. AMA will continue to use its convening capabilities to build consensus and alignment across stakeholders that is expected to help prioritize and drive the development of freely available, open standards that are well aligned with real-world problems.

As a convener and representative body for physicians in the US, the AMA is dedicated to collaborating with healthcare industry stakeholders to accelerate the development and adoption of SDOH data standards. AMA IHMI is a founding member of the HL7 FHIR AcceleratorGravity Project. Gravity Project will facilitate increased adoption and use of current SDOH data standards (based in ICD-10 and other code systems) and extend them to richer, clinically contextualized representations of SDOH data in FHIR.

Gravity Project standards for capturing data related to nutrition, housing and transportation are expected to be matured and adopted for use by government and industry. AMA clinical informatics experts supported Gravity Project by authoring the first output, a FHIR Implementation Guide for screening food insecurity that is being piloted and released in 2020.

Participate in SDOH Connectathons