Healthify Blog

Using Social Determinants of Health Data to Decrease Healthcare Expenditures

How identifying and addressing SDoH can reduce rising healthcare costs and improve quality of care 

Over the last 50 years, health expenditure growth has more than doubled and continues to rise rapidly, while rates of chronic diseases also continue to increase. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending is projected to rise by 5.5% this year and will continue to rise over the next decade. The rise marks a sharp increase from last year’s spending, which is estimated to have been around 4.6%, almost $3.5 trillion. The increase in healthcare expenditures can be attributed to several factors including rising costs associated with medical goods and services, shifts in income growth, Medicaid and Medicare.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Vulnerable populations Population Health

Cooking Up Better Health

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates

Topics: Food Health Disparities Community Based Organizations Community Resources Vulnerable populations

Bringing Coordinated Care to Rural Communities

In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in the southeast corner of Kentucky sits a once-booming coal center. Today, Letcher County, home to 25,000 residents, is distressed; the community faces high poverty rates and poor health.

The story of Letcher County is all too familiar across rural America. About one out of five Americans, 60 million in total, live in places like Letcher County. Rural America has been hit hard in recent years. For half a century, coal mining and other industrial sectors drove the rural economy, and as a result these regions contributed greatly to our country’s overall economic health.

Topics: Coordinate Care Community Based Organizations Community Resources low income Vulnerable populations rural care

A Smart(phone) Solution: Connected Care for Homeless

 The U.S. is home to more than 230 million smartphones. Every population, young and old, rich and poor, now are among the many users. Not surprisingly, smartphones have become a vital tool in helping the nation’s most vulnerable population. For the homeless, a mobile phone can be a lifeline to a spectrum of services, timely information and a connection to their community. For healthcare professionals seeking to improve outcomes, smartphones make coordinated care a reality. 

Topics: Homeless Healthcare Vulnerable populations low income Coordinate Care

Does Money Matter? It Does for Your Health.

“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.” 

—Former President Barack Obama

Wealth influences your education, your environment, and most of all your health.

In the U.S., life expectancy is tied to income, and wealthier Americans have an advantage. The wealthier live longer than low-income counterparts. Because of social circumstances, low-income Americans experience more stress, mental illness, violence, and obesity, among other burdens. Many low-income individuals also struggle to afford medication, lack awareness on where or when to seek care, and do not have the same access to treat and prevent their health issues.

Topics: ACA low income Vulnerable populations Healthcare Healthify

Providing End-of-Life Palliative Care for the Homeless

A significant gap in the health care system for one of the most vulnerable patient populations may be slowly closing. Thanks to innovative new programs, increased numbers of homeless men and women fighting fatal illnesses and chronic conditions are receiving the palliative and respite care they so desperately need. 

With many seriously ill homeless patients seeking care only when in dire need, these vital programs work to improve quality of life, preserve the dignity of the patients, and help to better utilize already stretched health care resources.

Topics: Vulnerable populations Homeless Palliative care Social Determinants of Health Coordinate Care Healthify