Social needs screening and referral interventions are increasingly common in health care settings. Although remote screening offers a potentially more practical alternative to traditional in-person screening, there is concern that screening patients remotely could adversely affect patient engagement, including interest in accepting social needs navigation.
We conducted a cross-sectional study using a multivariable logistic regression analysis and data from the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model in Oregon. Participants were Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the AHC model from October 2018 through December 2020. The outcome variable was patients’ willingness to accept social needs navigation assistance. We included an interaction term (total number of social needs + screening mode) to test whether in-person versus remote screening was an effect modifier.
The study included participants who screened positive for ≥1 social need(s); 43% were screened in person and 57% remotely. Overall, 71% of participants were willing to accept help with social needs. Neither screening mode nor interaction term were significantly associated with willingness to accept navigation assistance.
Among patients presenting with similar numbers of social needs, results indicate that type of screening mode may not adversely affect patients’ willingness to accept health care–based navigation for social needs.