Saturday, February 15, 2014

Insights on improving the nation’s health

Sharing some recently reported information from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) on steps to improve the nation’s health. The RWJF convened the Commission to Build a Healthier America in 2008. It’s Co-Chair Mark McClellan, MD, PhD made this point in a talk last week:

“To become healthier and reduce the growth of public and private spending on medical care, we must create a seismic shift in how we approach and the actions we take.”

The Commission full report can be found here.

I have heard him speak at different occasions, one of which was several years ago when he was head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Mark is a sharp and insightful person and I can state the above words are important. He also indicated in the talk:

“As a country we need to expand our focus to address how to stay health in the first place.”

To accomplish this he believes the “critical needed changes include”:
● Improve opportunities [for people] to make healthy decisions where we live, learn, work.
● Improve access to a good education, jobs, and health care.
● Work across sectors, collaborating to improve the health of all Americans.
● Make investing in America’s youngest children a high priorit.
● Fundamentally change how we revitalize neighborhoods, full integrating health into community development.
● Adopt new health “vital signs” to access noin-medical indicators for health such as jobs, income, housing, transportation and access to healthy food.
● Create incentives tied to reimbursement for health professional and health care institutions to address non-medical factors that affect health.

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