Applying the ROI Calculator for Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Health

May 2022

Health care organizations increasingly partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) to address patients’ health-related social needs such as nutrition, housing, and transportation. While these cross-sector partnerships can help integrate services for people with complex needs, health care and social service organizations often struggle to establish partnerships and contracts given their different structures and financial resources.

The ROI Calculator for Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Health (ROI Calculator) was designed to assist CBOs and their health care partners to explore, structure, and plan financial arrangements to fund social services for people with complex needs. Health systems, payers, medical providers, social service providers, and CBOs can use the ROI Calculator to determine the overall return on investment (ROI) from integrating social services with medical care. The easy-to-use resource compares how the financial returns and risks could be divided between the partners under different payment models.

This Better Care Playbook webinar described how health care organizations and CBOs can apply the ROI Calculator to their work. It featured a case example on how a Washington State CBO used this tool to quantify the value of their services when developing a partnership with a Medicare Advantage plan.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Logan Kelly, MPH, Senior Program Officer, Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)

II. How to Use the ROI Calculator

Speakers: Douglas McCarthy, MBA, Senior Research Advisor, The Commonwealth Fund

D. McCarthy described how organizations are using the ROI Calculator, as well as strategies to effectively identify needed data and develop a reported ROI to help inform contract negotiations.

III. Understanding the Evidence Behind the ROI Calculator

Speakers: Corinne Lewis, MSW, Program Officer, and Tanya Shah, MBA, MPH, Strategic Advisor, The Commonwealth Fund

C. Lewis and T. Shah summarized the evidence used to develop the baseline assumptions of the ROI Calculator, such as the financial and health outcomes of interventions to address social determinants of health. 

IV. How a Community-Based Organization Used the ROI Calculator to Contract with a Health Plan

Speakers: Lori Peterson, MA, and Victor Tabbush, PhD, Collaborative Consulting

L. Peterson and V. Tabbush provided a case study of Homage, a nonprofit social services organization serving older adults and people with disabilities in Washington State, which used the ROI Calculator to determine the value of the services that they provide and build the business case to contract with Medicare Advantage plans.

V. Moderated Q&A 

Moderator: Logan Kelly, CHCS

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