Health Disparities are Costing Americans
In a Commonwealth Fund study of 11 high-income OECD countries, the US ranked last in health equity, as well as outcomes and overall health system performance, with the biggest range in income-based disparities.
This is not new: other analyses have also shown a clear lack of progress in health equity.
This is despite yearslong commitment—at least a verbal commitment, lip service—to health equity… Yet we’re not getting where we want to be, and we’re going backwards.Frank Zimmerman, professor and health economics expert at UCLA, and lead author of a study examining trends in health equity in the US in 1993–2017.
The estimated yearly cost of health disparities in the US is $320 billion, expected to reach $1 trillion in 2040 if left unaddressed. This will likely fall harder on historically under-served groups, costing the average American at least $3,000 annually up from today’s $1,000.
Without universal health coverage and a primary care system, achieving health equity in the US is more challenging than in other high-income countries. A change needs to come fast. At Sidekick Health, we think the answer might lie in the fast-growing world of digital therapeutics.