Why is the U.S. falling behind other wealthy nations when it comes to life expectancy? LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones tells the New York Times that underinvestment in core human needs like housing, education and jobs is damaging the health outlook for millions of Americans. He pointed to innovative partnerships, like LISC's collaboration with Toledo-based ProMedica, as a way to raise standards of living and improve longevity. “Let’s make this the new standard of care…,” he urged.
The letter below was originally published on the New York Times:
Lagging on Health Care
By Maurice A. Jones
To the Editor:
“Medical Mystery: Something Happened to U.S. Health Spending After 1980” (The Upshot, nytimes.com, May 14) offers several explanations for why Americans have poorer health than people in other wealthy countries, despite paying more for their care.
The strongest explanation for why the United States lags its peers is its underinvestment in basic human needs like housing, education and good jobs, which are the primary predictors of life expectancy.
Progressive hospitals are addressing these needs, both driving improvements in patient health and cutting costs. ProMedica Health System in Toledo is connecting its hungry patients to healthy food, helping to slash clients’ hospital readmission rates by 53 percent in 2016.
And now it is linking arms with my organization, LISC, to invest $45 million in a hard-hit neighborhood to build quality housing, spur the local economy and increase access to good jobs.
These are the kinds of partnerships needed to redefine health care and stem the tide of costly illnesses like diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular diseases. Let’s make this the new standard of care and get America back in the game.
Massive investment effort in Toledo serves as national model to spur health gains, improve quality of life and revitalize communities.