Healthify Blog

Three Healthcare Trends Expected to Impact SDoH

These big-picture trends may play a role in shaping SDoH strategies in 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, preliminary data shows that low-income Americans are much more susceptible to catching — and dying from — the virus. It's a powerful reminder that social determinants of health (SDoH) are critical drivers of overall health outcomes.

Topics: social determinants of health Medicaid public health Medicare

Leveraging Supplemental Benefits to Address SDoH

Flexibility in MA supplemental benefits can move the needle on outcomes

The coronavirus outbreak first suspended — then upended — ordinary life for most Americans. Now, with the explosion of COVID-19 cases across the country, broader health and safety concerns around the epidemic are hitting close to home. The recently enacted coronavirus emergency supplemental legislation, which includes enhanced telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, will then be welcome news.

Topics: social determinants of health public health Medicare

Evaluating Public Health Interventions

One of the most important tools available to public health practitioners is the intervention. These interventions can take a variety of forms - from targeted ad campaigns to educational workshops designed to inform the public about steps they can take to improve their health.

Two recent articles in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine aim to evaluate the progress of public health interventions that utilize different tactics. The first article examines the use of targeted ad campaigns to increase public use of stairs rather than, for example, elevators or escalators. The second looks at the utility of text message reminders as an intervention tactic, as well as whether or not such messages have a lasting effect on public behavior.

Topics: public health

The Trump FMSA: Implications for Food Safety

Are you an American who eats food? When you sit down to a meal, do you ever worry that your food is contaminated?

Topics: public health

Want to Get Americans Active? Study Suggests Prioritizing Education Spending

It’s no secret that regular physical activity can affect overall health and well-being. Exercising regularly can lower the risk of a variety of ailments including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and even depression. Unfortunately, according to the CDC only 1 in 5 adults in the United States met the CDC-established physical activity guidelines. Since many of the leading causes of death in the United States are potentially preventable with regular physical activity, incentivizing activity is an important public health imperative.

Topics: public health

More Than a Tooth Ache: The Need for Comprehensive Dental Care

No one likes going to the dentist. But what if a visit to the dentist wasn’t even an option? Dental care is a luxury for many Americans. Nearly one-third of Americans are without dental insurance, and millions go without necessary dental care because they do not have access to it or simply cannot afford it.

Topics: health disparities public health

The Hidden Hunger Crisis in the LGBT Community

First, the bad news: Back in May, Gallup reported that 15% of U.S. adults did not have enough money to buy food for themselves or their families in the last year. Now, the good news: This is a 5% decrease from the 2013 high of nearly 20% and represents the lowest percentage of Americans struggling to afford food since Gallup started tracking the measure in 2008.

Topics: public health

A Growing Problem – The Global Epidemic of Diabetes

In 1916, Elliott Joslin, MD, published the first edition of “The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus,” and he would become one of the leading voices on the disease and treatment. Now, 100 years later, the disease has reached epidemic status as the global population rapidly approaches 500 million diabetics, a startling increase from 108 million cases in 1980. –

Type 2 diabetes is not only impacting more individuals annually; it is also creating a serious financial burden. In 2012, in the US alone, $176 billion was spent treating diabetes. And it is estimated that in the US, 29 million people are diabetic and 87 million, one out every three adults, is at high-risk of developing the disease. Research has shown that diabetes knows no bounds — poor and affluent countries alike have shown steady increases in the prevalence of diabetes.

Topics: public health

Curbing the Spread of HIV among Black Women in Washington, D.C.

Current HIV Rate at Severe Epidemic Level

It’s hard to believe that the HIV rate in our nation’s capital is almost as high as those of some African nations. In 2009, almost 3% of D.C. residents were living with HIV, three times the World Health Organization’s classification for a severe epidemic, and comparable to or even higher than the rates of Ghana, Rwanda, or Ethiopia.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities public health

A Closer Look at America's Infant Mortality Rate

U.S. Ranks 26th in Infant Mortality Rate

The U.S. ranks behind 25 other industrialized nations when it comes to how well it keeps babies alive, the New York Times recently reported.
The U.S. infant mortality rate is 4.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is higher than most European countries and about twice the rates for Finland, Sweden and Denmark, according to a 2014 CDC report.
(The 4.2 figure excludes babies born at less than 24 weeks of gestation to ensure international comparability, the CDC noted in its report.)
Topics: health disparities public health