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Urban Health Collaborative: The Business Case for Health Prevention and Management Programs


April 5, 2016

Addressing economic impacts of public health and prevention programs can improve funding and program adoption, explained Jose Pagan, PhD, director of Center for Health Innovation at the New York Academy of Medicine, at a recent Urban Health Collaborative talk.

“It is hard to tell whether somebody’s going to be convinced by a cost argument or by consequences argument,” said Pagan. “You have to listen to what a person wants or needs and then figure out how you make that case once you gather that information.”

According to Dr. Pagan, professionals in the health care services industry have difficulty understanding the impact of social determinants of health. To make a case for public health in all policies, public health professionals must show that addressing social services helps make health care programs more cost-effective, especially in today’s world of increasing health care costs.

To persuade insurance companies, private or public funders and health services providers to consider these social determinants of health, he contended, public health professionals must use economic language and pitch ideas within the funder’s realm of expertise.