Health Equity - Economic Impact of Health Disparities
Presentation to National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention
December 14, 2022
Health Equity - Economic Impact of Health DisparitiesDownload Presentation
Meg Guerin-Calvert, President, FTI Consulting's Center for Healthcare Economics & Policy, presented at National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention’s 20th Annual Meeting on “Economic Impact of Health Inequity.” As noted in her talk, local community leaders face high economic costs of health disparities that add to already substantial costs associated with chronic conditions. National results provide an important catalyst for local assessment and action, which is needed given variation in specific needs, populations, and conditions across communities. She shared Center research from communities that quantifies linkages between chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and significant lost productivity costs that compound direct costs from medical spending. Findings on local data show significant disparities in prevalence of these conditions for African Americans, exacerbated by further disparities in cost and outcomes.
The pandemic heightened business and community leader awareness of substantial economic costs of poor health in their communities, and impact on vitality and growth. Annual costs of even a few chronic conditions (diabetes, hypertension) in communities studied by the Center represent roughly 2% of GDP, a portion of which is directly linked to health disparities. Research showed increased awareness of costs and disparities led innovative collaborations to create new efforts around data collection, shared vision, and priority setting to galvanize action.
FTI Consulting’s Center brings extensive community-level datasets, metrics, and modeling to quantify total economic costs and adapts its modeling to assess specific community needs, including disparities, for insights into economic benefit from addressing social determinants of health and health disparities.
- Economic and social impact of poor health and health disparities are high: Increasing prevalence and substantial disparities exist in many US communities. For most, lost productivity and medical costs of even the top few conditions (diabetes, hypertension) tax the community, its business, and its residents with reduced vitality, growth opportunities, and competitiveness. Health disparities are a significant contributor of these costs. Opportunities for action go beyond business-led interventions to include collaborative action on specific populations, such as with proposed Medicaid waivers.
- Actionable data and rigorous modeling of economic impact of health, health disparities, and potential savings from action provide community leaders with essential data for interventions for community well-being and economic prosperity.
- Innovative collaboratives break down silos, build trust, and use new measures of success to spur alignment for interventions: Center research shows increased focus by collaboratives on economic measures, e.g., lost current or future productivity from poor health in the community, and highlights substantial potential gains from ‘gap-closing’ on disparities in health and economics outcomes.
- Innovative leaders look to health not just as a cost or a public health issue, but as an investment in their people and their community’s future economic and social vitality. This broadens opportunities for improving workforce and community health and addressing health inequity – in everyone’s best interests.
December 14, 2022
Senior Managing Director, President, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy
Healthcare & Life Sciences