Lasker President Claire Pomeroy argues in this Huffington Post op-ed that innovations in health spending and expanded research on the social determinants of health can ensure that we become a healthier nation. Medical leaders increasingly recognize that health is driven only to a small (10-20 percent) extent by clinical care delivery. Much more powerful predictors of health or illness are the social determinants of health – the circumstances into which we are born, live, work and play. When we fail to address the social determinants of health, we miss opportunities to prevent some illnesses altogether and too often see patients presenting to clinical care with more advanced conditions which cost more to treat.
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