Optimizing Governmental Health and Social Spending Interactions

Optimizing Governmental Health and Social Spending Interactions

The results of this S4A study can inform decision-making about investments in public health to support COVID-19 response and recovery. Read the new Spotlighting the Underspending: Public Health Receives Fewer Funds than Previously Recognized​ one-page report for more key findings and recommended action.  

The United States spends more money on healthcare than other developed countries while experiencing significantly worse health outcomes, indicating a need to explore health drivers other than healthcare spending. While nonmedical barriers such as lack of adequate housing, education, and transportation are known to influence well-being, how spending that addresses these social needs affects health outcomes is less clear. This study will examine total government spending across both medical care and social service sectors to characterize the impact of such spending on health outcomes and disparities. The research team will create a novel longitudinal dataset that merges medical, public health, social services, and community service governmental spending with population health outcomes. Based on U.S. Census of State and Local Governmental Finance data, this new dataset will allow researchers to examine public spending across medical, public health, social and community service sectors at both the state and county levels. Study findings will engage cross-sector stakeholders in conversations about aligning public spending to achieve better health and reduce health disparities.

Principal Investigators:

  • Beth Resnick, DrPH, MPH
    Senior Scientist & Director
    Office of Public Health Practice and Training
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • David Bishai, MD, MPH, PhD
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

Project Details

Primary Investigator: 
Beth Resnick