Reducing health disparities between low-income and affluent communities
In the last few years, the phrase “your zip code matters more than your genetic code” has floated around the healthcare industry and with sound reasoning too. In cities across the U.S., the average life expectancy is 15-20 years shorter in low-income communities than those in more affluent communities. Rates of preventable, chronic diseases are rising sharply in low-income neighborhoods and health gaps between low-income and affluent communities continue widen. These disparities in health are founded on a complex interplay of racial, economic, educational, and other social factors. But by partnering with community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health, health plans and health systems can dramatically improve health outcomes in their communities.