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August 31, 2023

Not All SDOH Indices are Created Equal

Lisa Holbach
Senior Healthcare Data Scientist
Artemis by Nomi Health

For years, our clients would often rely on a handful of popular public SDOH indices in the market, including the ATSDR/CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and UChicago’s Social Vulnerability Metric (SVM).  Although incredibly useful, particularly for government agencies and public health entities, these public indices were simply not built for employers and the broader health benefits market. We found that our clients were increasingly asking us to help them better understand the ways in which SDOH risks were impacting their benefits program, worker productivity, and cost of care.

That is why I have spent the last year leading our company’s effort to build a proprietary index. It is built atop the foundations of the public indices but is specially calibrated to serve our clients. Our model, the Artemis SDOH Index, is truly unique in the following ways:

  1. Private Market Data Sources: The Artemis SDOH Index is not limited by public data sources. We join our book-of-business data, which includes member eligibility and claims data, to a variety of highly reputable data sets to produce member-level scores at the ZIP code level.
  1. Measures beyond Geography: Our index is not constrained to using data at only one geographic granularity. Our geographic weighing allows us to utilize and generate scores at different levels of aggregation, which means our clients can evaluate SDOH at their organizational level, at an SDOH domain risk level, or even at a member level.
  1. Refreshed Regularly: Most public data sources are only refreshed annually, and many like the SVM have not received updates in years. Our methodology and metrics are updated no less than quarterly, which means our clients can be confident in the fact that they are always using the latest data.  

Artemis SDOH Index Compares Favorably to SVI and SVM

To validate our model, we compared the performance of our Artemis SDOH index to the SVM and SVI.  In relation to health outcomes at the county level, we found that our index improves upon the socio-economic focused SVI and is comparable to the complex methodology of the SVM. The table below shows how each index is correlated with specific health outcomes (i.e., percent variability).

SDOH Indices Comparison Chart

The SDOH Index Will Only Get Better from Here

Right now, my team is hard at work to add Women’s Health as a new domain in our index. Plus, we are continuously tweaking and updating our model to improve its performance. So be sure to stay tuned for more updates coming soon.  

Ready to be a part of the next generation of health insights? Learn more here and book your demo today!  

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