When Meagan Brown, a collaborative scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, surveyed the communities the health system serves, she and her team found massive disparities in social risk among Black, Hispanic and multiracial people. Income was the underlying driver of differences.
“This speaks to a generational and compounding impact of wealth over time that intersects with employment and healthcare,” Brown said during Modern Healthcare’s recent Social Determinants of Health Symposium.
Kaiser has partnered with social services organizations to combat some of the inequities. The collaborations will help save the healthcare conglomerate money in the long run, according to Dr. Anand Shah, the system’s vice president of social health.
Addressing issues that affect a person’s overall wellness could soon play an even greater role in healthcare organizations’ financial viability.