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Doctor's Office Study participants who were successfully connected to social services say a 10 percent reduction in health care costs — equating to more than $2,400 per person per year savings. (Photo: Shutterstock)

People’s health may greatly benefit when they are connected to social service programs that help them secure housing, healthy food, transportation to their doctor and assistance with their utility bills and other finances, according to the research study, “Expenditure Reductions Associated with a Social Service Referral Program,” published in Population Health Management.

The study, conducted by WellCare Health Plans Inc. and the University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, reviewed the medical expenditures associated with 2,718 WellCare Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plan members who called WellCare’s Community Assistance Line. The toll-free line provides referrals to locally based public assistance programs for anyone with unmet social service needs.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.

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