Healthcare lobbying on upstream social determinants of health in the US

Nathaniel Z. Counts, Lauren A. Taylor, Charley E. Willison, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Healthcare stakeholders are increasingly investing to address social determinants of health (SDOH) as they seek to improve health outcomes and reduce total healthcare costs in their communities. Policy heavily shapes SDOH, and healthcare lobbying on SDOH issues may offer large impacts through positive policy change. Federal lobbying disclosures from the ten highest spending health insurance and healthcare provider organizations and related associations between 2015 and 2019 were reviewed to identify lobbying reported on the salient SDOH issues, defined based on the Accountable Health Communities Model health-related social needs screening tool. Five of the organizations reported lobbying on some SDOH issues, including financial strain, employment, food insecurity, and interpersonal safety, but none reported lobbying on other issues, such as non-healthcare-related employment, housing instability, transportation, or education. Lobbying has been a missed opportunity for addressing SDOH. Healthcare organizations have the opportunity to expand their lobbying on upstream SDOH policy issues to increase the impact of their SDOH strategy and further improve population health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106751
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Health policy
  • Healthcare reform
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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