“In the absence of data, we will always make up stories.”
– Brene Brown
Every other year candidates running for public office magically remember to talk about healthcare and 2018 will be no exception. In 2017 we heard nothing from Washington about the nation’s largest industry but get ready for that to change in August and September. In years past the country has heard phrases such as “Medicare For All,” “Patients Bill of Rights,” and “Obamacare.” But the way the healthcare industry, armed with an alarming about of data on the American population, is investing in strategic mergers and acquisitions and ever-increasing profits, we will hear politicians start using the phrase “Social Determinants of Health.”
What does this phrase mean? Social determinants of health is an explanation as to why some people tend to be healthier than others based on socioeconomic factors such as food supply, access to doctors, and income. This generalizing of subsets within the US population is being targeted by large healthcare providers to begin mitigating risks within those communities. Generalizing subsets is important to politicians so they can craft their message and their policy to reach voters in these communities.
As a business owner or human resource professional of a company with employees in these communities, be aware that providers and politicians are going to be marketing to your workers on these issues. To make sure your company is navigating these tricky PR and HR waters, contact a BenefitCorp consultant to make sure your company is prepared.