Health is foundational for personal and community well-being for all people in America. Yet, the nation struggles to achieve health compared to our international peers and now, compared to even to prior United States health statistics.
Though measures show that quality of care has improved in the past few years, evidence indicates that population health outcomes in the U.S., like infant mortality and life expectancy, have declined. This is despite record spending on the healthcare sector.
Recently, the health care system—largely driven by the shift toward value-based care—is considering how interventions to impact social and environmental circumstances can improve health and decrease the need for costly care and procedures. These interventions are targeted at social determinants of health (SDOH), which include a broad array of domains that affect health and well-being. Examples include access to healthy and affordable food, transportation, housing, incarceration and recidivism, employment and wages, safety, education and other community-based and environmental conditions.