Pediatric Social Risk Screening: Leveraging Research to Ensure Equity

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The effects of poverty on child health have been exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemic and concurrent economic recession, magnifying the urgency for pediatric healthcare institutions to effectively address patients’ unmet social needs. Simultaneously, there is increasing policy and payer pressure to implement screening protocols for social risk factors—such as food and housing insecurity, financial strain, and unsafe environments—within pediatric healthcare. Although the intent to bring equitable care to families is paramount, it remains unclear what effect standardized social risk screening has on engagement with resources and whether the screening process itself unintentionally introduces disparity.

Authors:

Cullen D, Wilson-Hall L, McPeak K, Fein J