What’s leading to worse health in America? According to a physician survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in December:

  • Four in five physicians surveyed (85%) say unmet social needs are directly leading to worse health for all Americans.
  • Four in five physicians surveyed (85%) say patients’ social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions. This is especially true for physicians (over 9 in 10, or 95%) serving patients in low-income, urban communities.
  • Three in four physicians surveyed (76%) wish the health care system would cover the costs associated with connecting patients to services that meet their social needs if a physician deems it important for their overall health.
  • Only one in five of physicians surveyed (20%) feel confident or very confident in their ability to address their patients’ unmet social needs.
  • Physicians surveyed reported that if they had the power to write prescriptions to address social needs, these would represent one out of every seven prescriptions they write — or an average of 26 additional prescriptions per week.

The Rx for a better health system goes beyond the clinic and into the community — the people, places, choices and conditions that account for more than half of what makes us healthy or sick. We’re working with a few health plans, employers and providers who see this as the path forward.

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