We were delighted to read Julia Hotz’s article “Take this cash and call me in the morning” (Ideas, March 27), in which she highlights the challenges of addressing the social determinants of health, particularly in large, bureaucratic systems that still rely on poor financial reimbursements for primary care.
Boston Community Pediatrics, the first nonprofit pediatric private practice in Boston and one of the first in the country, was created in 2020 to bring equity to pediatric health care. As part of BCP’s innovative and intersectional model of care, it offers on-site care navigation to help families address social determinants of health through comprehensive, relationship-driven care and resource navigation. BCP’s asset-based, relationship-driven model centers patients and families and expands the traditional view of providing health care. We have embedded in our practice the providing of food, diapers, and hygiene and menstrual products with every visit and other important support, such as paying for a prescription, ride-hailing vouchers, a gift card, a stroller, a car seat, help with rent or utility payments — because that is real health care. Ultimately, in order to address the social determinants of health, we must treat each patient the way we would want to be treated.