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Social determinants of health and its impact on healthcare expenditure

Zheng, Jason (2019) Social determinants of health and its impact on healthcare expenditure. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The United States’ healthcare system is ineffective when addressing the social needs of its patients and has contributed to its staggering 17.9% GDP expenditure on healthcare. In order to address this issue, stakeholders from different disciplines including but not limited to government agencies, healthcare providers, social workers, community organizations, policy-makers, etc. should be considered when attempting to address social determinants of health holistically. Current statistics associated with issues such as food insecurity has contributed to the nation’s obesity epidemic in which approximately 40% of the United States’ population is medically classified as being obese. The chronic conditions that are comorbid with an individual’s high body mass index has been researched and well documented. As a result, health systems and larger payers such as the government have had an additional burden of paying for expensive medical treatments and care for patients.
To address this ongoing problem, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has implemented a three-track system that takes on differing degrees of complexity to address social determinants of health. The three systems are: awareness, assistance, and alignment. Hospitals have been selected for each pilot program with differing strategies that meet the same goal. Additionally, large associations such as the American Hospital Association have allocated resources in promoting awareness about the impact of social factors on hospitals. Effort has been made in addressing issues related to housing, transportation, and food insecurity. The goal for these initiatives is to focus on improving the social environment of their respective patients as a means of mitigating the development of later, chronic conditions. The upfront investment from hospitals will be able to save substantial costs for the healthcare system overall.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zheng, Jasonjaz65@pitt.edujaz65
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBarron, Geraldgbarron@pitt.edugbarronUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMaseru, Noblenam137@pitt.edunam137UNSPECIFIED
Date: 26 April 2019
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 30
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 00:34
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2019 00:34


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