pedestrian bridge According to PCW, 80 percent of the responsibility for health outcomes lies in patient behaviors, one’s physical environment and socioeconomic conditions. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Can nations like the U.S. solve the puzzle of why the health of its people worsens even as it spends more per capita than most countries on health care? A recently released report by PwC’s Health Research Institute says the two trends can be reversed. But there’s a catch: It will not happen without a strategic plan that envisions bringing together partners from sectors that have not worked in a coordinated fashion in the past.

The report–Social Determinants of Health–lays out the challenge ahead for those who would truly reform and restructure the composition and delivery of the health care system. The report is based on an ominous premise: that clinical care is responsible for 20 percent of personal health, while 80 percent of the responsibility lies in patient behaviors, one’s physical environment and socioeconomic conditions.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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