Medical transport Can reimbursingfor services such as medical transportation, food and housingactually save Medicare money in the long run? (Photo:Shutterstock)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are considering a pilotprogram that would pay for items as far removed—inappearance, anyway—from health care, such as housing, food and transportation. These areexamples of social determinants of health—elements ofliving that affect health but technically are not healthcare.

Such programs are already being utilized elsewhereto provide housing for the homeless, hot mealsand other outreach for the home-bound, as well as transportation to and from medicalappointments. And they're seeing a substantial reduction in healthcare costs by doing so, reports government policy site Roll Call.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.