GNYHA submitted comments (attached) last week on the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) proposed set of food insecurity measures, which were developed via an NQF project involving clinicians, insurers, researchers, measure developers, and patients discussing strategies to overcome the impact of food insecurity on health outcomes. Three electronic clinical quality measures examine food insecurity screening, appropriate clinical action, and change in food insecurity status.

GNYHA supports developing measures around food insecurity and other social determinants of health (SDH), and wrote that our members are committed to assessing and addressing patients’ social needs to improve health outcomes in their communities. But GNYHA cautioned against developing measures that place inappropriate accountability on health care providers to directly change complex environmental and social conditions. GNYHA also addressed the definitions, specifications, usefulness, and potential unintended consequences of the measures.

GNYHA’s comments are part of a larger effort to help member hospitals incorporate social needs-related screenings, interventions, and partnerships with community-based organizations. GNYHA also operates the Health Information Tool for Empowerment, a publicly available directory of health and social services located throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County. In addition, GNYHA developed an SDH Learning Series to highlight member programs and interventions to address social needs and the SDH Workgroup, which convenes member hospitals to discuss common challenges and best practices, and to develop SDH-related tools and resources. GNYHA also participates in various additional SDH initiatives to represent members and ensure they are updated on related policies and information.