Treating the Whole Person

08.20.18

Personalized Strategies to Address Social Determinants of Health Can Bend U.S. Healthcare Cost Curve and Improve Patients’ Chronic Disease Outcomes

America has one of the highest per capita healthcare spending levels in the world, but patient outcomes aren’t improving as much as costs skyrocket. Poor outcomes have become particularly pronounced in the area of chronic disease. Chronic Diseases plague 117 million Americans— roughly half the population—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chronic disease is the primary cost driver. In fact, 85% of the $2.7 trillion of 2014 healthcare spending was for people with at least one chronic condition. We’re investing a fortune in clinical care, yet we have failed to shift to treating the whole person. In particular, we’ve failed to address the wellness challenges in people’s day-to-day lives.

The nation will continue on an unsustainable healthcare cost curve, and patients will struggle to self-manage their conditions, until we recognize and fulfill their social needs in addition to their medical needs. Fortunately, industry leaders are beginning to recognize social needs as important factors in health outcomes and spending.

Click here to read the full report, Treating the Whole Person.