PEPC Statement on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

The Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care (PEPC) applauds the Biden-Harris Administration for hosting the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which unveils a national strategy to meet the goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030.   As an organization that focuses on supporting independent physicians and practices in value-based care, we are acutely aware of the impact hunger and nutrition have on physical health outcomes and the important role of the provider community in addressing non-medical, social needs. Traditional fee-for-service payment methodologies do not pay for or support the care coordination and investment needed to address social determinants of health, including nutrition.   

PEPC continues to advocate for value-based care as one way to address social determinants of health.  Value-based care allows for more flexibility to make the needed investments in social determinants of health and health disparities. To make these investments, providers need to spend time with their patients, assessing their needs and connecting them to services even when there isn’t a specific code to bill for doing so.  Identifying and addressing unmet needs is part of the longitudinal patient-physician relationship and is made possible through non-utilization-based reimbursement models. Value-based care provides a critical opportunity to do this, as it creates the incentive structures for physicians to invest in upstream care and in increased care coordination with medical and non-medical providers. It also incentivizes payers and physicians to proactively identify the social risk factors and unmet social needs that pose a barrier or threat to an individual’s health.

PEPC was pleased to see the inclusion of several provisions in the White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health supporting value-based care, including that CMS will considering extending the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model and broadening access to the model and encouraging additional Medicare Advantage Organizations to provide food and nutrition services in their offerings under the Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill. We look forward to working with the Administration to advance the strategy and leverage opportunities to address social determinants of health while improving health care value and quality through value-based care.

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