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DBH 9012: Population Health

DBH 9012:  Population Health, Cost Offset, and ROI

What is Population Health?

"The health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group."

Kindig D, Stoddart G. (2003). What is population health? American Journal of Public Health. 93(3):380 -383. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447747/.  

This definition points to two key facets of population health:

  • A focus on the outcomes related to a group of individuals, as opposed to a single person.
  • The mention of distribution places consideration on disparities, which emphasizes the need for health equity among populations.

Kindig's thoughts on population health are constantly evolving.  He stated in a 2015 article from Health Affairs, " A common assumption is that improving overall population health also reduces gaps by race, socioeconomic status, and geography, but this is not always the case.  Many times these goals compete with each other, such as quicker take-up in health behaviors by more educated persons actually increasing disparities."

Kindig, D., (2015, April 6).  What are we talking about when we talk about population health? [Web log post.]  Retrieved from https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20150406.046151/full/ 

Healthy People 2020: An Overview

Healthy People 2020 is an initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services that provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.  These objectives can be used by other agencies and local groups to inform their own work.

The goal of Healthy People 2020 is fairly broad:  to improve mental health through prevention and by ensuring access to appropriate, quality mental health services.

Health People 2020 has more than 1,200 objectives, with each having a reliable data source, a baseline measure, and a target for specific improvements to be achieved by 2020.  These objectives fall within 42 different topic areas.  Each topic area is assigned to one or more lead agencies within the federal government, which is responsible for developing, tracking, monitoring, and reporting on the objectives.

Each of the 42 topics is listed on the Health People 2020 website.

The goal of Healthy People 2020 is fairly broad:  to improve mental health through prevention and by ensuring access to appropriate, quality mental health services.

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