Novu Health Engagement Blog

5 best practices for addressing social determinants of health to engage members

Novu Health

Did you know that social determinants of health (SDoH) can account for as much as 80% of health outcomes? With such a significant impact on member health, many plans are beginning to address these social factors—even though they’ve been seen as outside the realm of health care in the past. Plans are realizing that considering social factors is a smart business decision, with the power to decrease cost and utilization. That’s why we believe that addressing SDoH—and removing social barriers to better health—is so essential.


NovuHealth EVP of Marketing and Engagement Jordan Mauer recently discussed our point of view with MedCity News, sharing 5 best practices for designing an engagement program that addresses social determinants of health.


Here's a preview of those 5 best practices:

  1. Improve awareness: Increase beneficiary awareness of available community services through omnichannel communications, information dissemination, and referrals.
  2. Provide assistance: Provide navigation services to assist high-risk beneficiaries with accessing services.
  3. Encourage alignment: Encourage partner alignment to ensure that services are available and responsive to the needs of beneficiaries. Optimize plan performance by aligning teams for engagement programs that address SDoH.
  4. Provide time and resources: Set aside time for a designated team of social workers, health care providers and behavioral specialists to work together to tackle SDoH issues that impact successful health outcomes, under the umbrella of a targeted rewards and engagement program.
  5. Align incentives: Plans and providers must provide the right type of incentives for their members to engage in a more meaningful and holistic manner in their own health care and well-being. Extrinsic motivators, such as gift cards or program-specific items (i.e., strollers for prenatal program participation), can kickstart member engagement and overcome SDoH barriers.

Click here to see the full article, “Considering social factors helps plans engage hard-to-reach Medicare and Medicaid members,” for more on SDoH insights and best practices. Plus, check out our new white paper, Social Determinants of Health: Improving Member Engagement and Satisfaction.


Questions or comments, please contact us.


About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the health care industry’s leading consumer engagement company. Combining performance analytics, behavior science and comprehensive technology solutions, our rewards and engagement programs enable health plans to increase high-value member activities—improving member health and driving plan performance. Visit us at