Public Comment Period Now Open for Keystones of Health, PA’s Proposed Plan to Address Social Determinants of Health

This week, the Department of Human Services (DHS) announced a proposed initiative that would create a new Section 1115 Waiver Demonstration program in Pennsylvania aimed at addressing social determinants of health as a way to improve health outcomes. Section 1115 Waiver Demonstrations allow states to develop programs in coordination with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that offer health-related services and benefits not normally covered by Medicaid.

The proposed program, called Bridges to Success: Keystones of Health, focuses on addressing health-related social needs such as having enough food, being able to get medical services, and having a safe and stable place to live. Health-related social needs play a crucial role in shaping an individual's health status and quality of life.

Keystones of Health will focus on four key areas:

  • Supports for reentry from correctional facilities (Fact Sheet)
  • Housing supports (Fact Sheet)
  • Food and nutrition supports (Fact Sheet)
  • Multi-year continuous Medicaid eligibility for children until age 6 (Fact Sheet)

The draft waiver application is available to read in full here. Members of the public are invited and encouraged to submit comments on the proposed waiver application. DHS will use the comments it receives, both written and verbally, to inform the final application it submits to CMS. Comments can be submitted online using this submission form, by mail, or offered verbally during one of the three virtual public forums noted below. Comments are due January 2, 2024.


DHS is hosting three virtual public forums to obtain feedback from the public and answer questions about the proposal. Information about how to join these forums can be found below. Registration is needed to join a forum by webinar. No registration is needed  to join only by phone.. Closed captioning will be provided during each public forum.


Session 1: Monday, December 11, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm
• Join by phone: 1-312-626-6799; Webinar ID 982 3951 9594
Register here

Session 2: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 6:00pm-7:00pm
• Join by phone: 1-312-626-6799; Webinar ID 980 3834 3590
Register here

Session 3: Friday, December 15, 2023, 9:00am-10:00am
• Join by phone: 1-312-626-6799; Webinar ID 951 7040 4572 
Register here


Those who are interested in staying up to date about the proposed 1115 Waiver Demonstration project can sign up for the Keystones of Health e-mail listserv here. Learn more about Keystones of Health at