WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) announced today they will be introducing the Leveraging Integrated Networks in Communities (LINC) to Address Social Needs Act, legislation that would offer grants to states to establish statewide or regional partnerships to better coordinate the work of health care and social service providers, and improve the health and well-being of Americans as a result.
The senators’ bill would enable states to leverage local expertise and technology through public-private partnerships to connect individuals with food, housing, child care, job training and transportation—services that invariably impact a person’s health care outcomes. The goal of the legislation is to connect health care providers with existing social services in order for every American to be able to access quality care, regardless of where they live.
“What we know in Connecticut is that it’s virtually impossible to separate access to health care from access to safe housing, nutritious food and all of the other important building blocks of a healthy life. So it makes sense to ensure that health care providers are linked with social service providers in our communities,” said Murphy. “The legislation I’m introducing with Senator Sullivan incentivizes this collaboration by establishing a federal grant program to help states establish referral networks to better coordinate between health care and social services. It helps improve care and resource access for underserved communities to get to the root of the problems people are facing. I’m grateful for the Connecticut Hospital Association and many local organizations for being at the forefront of working on this commonsense objective that will make our communities across Connecticut safer and stronger.”
“Alaska has a rich history of leading health care innovation,” said Sullivan. “We were the first state to implement ‘wraparound services’ on a statewide level, and also the first state to successfully implement a 1332 waiver under the Affordable Care Act. Now, many states have followed suit. With this legislation, Senator Murphy and I are endeavoring to bring this spirit of innovation and community empowerment to the nation, helping states bridge the gap between poor health outcomes and the services that already exist in our communities—services that could meaningfully improve a person’s health, long before they need an emergency room. The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the disparities that exist in our health care system, and the LINC Act presents an opportunity to create more efficient and effective wellness networks that can meet the unique needs and circumstances of Alaskans and Americans.”
The LINC to Address Social Needs Act would:
The legislation is endorsed by Aligning for Health, Alliance for Better Health, America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Council on Social Work Education, Healthcare Leadership Council, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), National Association of ACOs, National Coalition on Health Care, Nemours Children’s Health System, Purchaser Business Group on Health, Signify Health, SNP Alliance, Unite Us, UPMC Health Plan, Well-being and Equity (WE) in the World, and Well Being Trust.
“As an organization dedicated to catalyzing the change that will break down the barriers between health and social service organizations, we applaud Senators Sullivan and Murphy for their leadership in introducing the LINC to Address Social Needs Act,” said Melissa Quick, co-chair of Aligning for Health, “The legislation will help to build and expand shared community resource referral networks, helping to improve coordination between the health care and social service sectors. Aligning for Health looks forward to the passage of this exciting legislation.