Health Economics @Milken Institute
We study evolving medical and lifestyle trends affecting peoples’ ability to sustain good health and focus on the policy implications of health care costs, resource constraints, regulatory environments, and behavioral factors. Our work focuses on:
- Public Health Risks — bridge the existing knowledge of public health risks with new realities by identifying and quantifying socio-economic determinants of public health and their resource implications.
- Health Disparity — investigate the extent of location-, gender-, and race-based health inequalities domestically and abroad. It identifies policy amenable drivers of disparities – and to develop a set of practical and politically feasible policy recommendations to improve public health.
- Health Policy Evaluation — measure health policy impacts and identifies effective policy alternatives that are based on credible, evidence-based solutions.
The Community Explorer investigates US health disparities by first understanding populations’ specificities then looking at their health profile. It identifies the different populations or communities based on their behavioral, demographic, economic, and social profiles. Then it links these profiles to chronic disease prevalence rates. The eight community profiles were identified by using Explanatory Factor Analysis and machine learning techniques, to sort 26 behavioral, demographic, economic, and social factors across 3,192 US counties.
A disease’s cost and impact on society are challenging to assess. This Milken Institute analysis illustrates the benefit of new methods such as text mining and machine learning in merging and sorting information and argues for the necessary development of a metric that allows a systematic assessment of diseases’ cost, impact on society, and investment level.
Obesity impacts segments of the US population differently based on their behavioral and socioeconomic profiles. The Milken Institute COVID-19 Community Explorer sorts US counties around eight profiles of communities that share common patterns across behavioral, economic, and social factors. This report uses these communities and identifies which of the 26 factors considered are systemically correlated with high obesity rates for each community.