Investing in Health: A Federal Action Plan

Date published: January, 2021 (42 pages)

In the wake of a pandemic that has pushed our health care system to its limits, crippled the economy, and brought into stark relief longstanding racial inequities, we are faced with both the opportunity and the imperative to rethink the role of federal leadership in creating a healthier America. Over the past decade, policy makers and industry leaders have pursued significant changes in the way we deliver and pay for healthcare, moving away from incentivizing volume and high-cost interventions, and linking payment more closely to “value.” To date, these efforts have focused overwhelmingly on health care—attempting to change the way medical services are delivered and reimbursed. Yet improvement in health care is not enough to improve health. An estimated 20 percent of health outcomes are linked to medical care; the remaining 80 percent stem from socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral factors collectively referred to as drivers of health. A growing evidence base has established that addressing drivers of health can improve health outcomes and do so more cost-effectively and equitably than medical interventions alone.

This Federal Action Plan developed in partnership with Manatt, The Health Initiative, The Commonwealth Fund, and Blue Shield of California Foundation, describes a series of strategies, as well as associated recommended policy and program changes for Medicaid, Medicare, the Marketplace, and CMMI to address drivers of health in order to improve overall health outcomes. 

Related Content: Investing in Health: Seven strategies for states looking to buy health, not just healthcare.