Basic Needs: Health

How do we know that people and communities are healthy? Health is about how people are doing in terms of their physical and mental health at every age. It has to do with how people feel they are doing, and whether health stops them from living their life. It is about their health conditions and their health outcomes. It is about both health behaviors and about whether people have access to health services and health insurance. Just as a person and a community’s social well-being can affect their health, health can affect a person’s and a community’s social well-being. Health care costs are the most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Rising health care costs have made it difficult for cities and states to invest in education, social services, housing and other areas that would promote a community’s well-being.


Other Interesting Measures

HEALTH OUTCOMES

  • Physical health: average number of days during the past 30 days adults’ self-reported physical health was not good. Source: BRFSS.
  • Mental health: average number of days during the past 30 days adults’ self-reported mental health was not good. Source: BRFSS.
  • Maternal mortality rate (number of deaths per 100,000 live births). Source: CDC Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.
  • Teen pregnancies: Percent of females age 15-19 who gave birth within past 12 months. Source: Census.

HEALTH CONDITIONS AND RISK FACTORS

  • Heart Disease Prevalence: Percent of older adults (Medicare beneficiaries) diagnosed with heart disease. Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Cancer prevalence: Percent of older adults (Medicare beneficiaries) diagnosed with cancer. Source: CMS.
  • Childhood trauma: Percent of children 0-17 who have 1 or more adverse childhood events (ACEs). Source: National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH).
  • Percent of older adults (Medicare beneficiaries) diagnosed with depression. Source: CMS.
  • Percent of adults experiencing serious mental health issues/ mental illness. Source: CMS.

HEALTH BEHAVIORS

  • Childhood vaccination rates: Percent of children with age-appropriate vaccination between ages 19-35 months. Source: CDC, NCHS.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with primary care visit: Percent of older adults (Medicare beneficiaries) with 1+ preventive care visit within past year. Source: CMS.
  • Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: Percent of adults who did not participate in leisure-time physical activities or exercise in past month. Source: CMS.
  • Percent of adults engaging in advance care planning (discussions, proxy selected, advance directive on file). Source: To be developed.

HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Number of primary care doctors per 100,000 population. Source: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • Number of dentists/100,000 population. Source: American Dental Association.
  • Number of mental health providers/100,000 population. Source: CMS.