Neighborhood Disadvantage: Informing New Approaches to Medicare Policy and Health Delivery for Vulnerable Older Adults

Living in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood is associated with education, health behaviors, stress, mortality and disease. These associations have been recognized for decades, yet applications of these concepts have been limited in fields of health policy and health delivery.

Amy Kind, MD, Ph.D., associate professor in the UW-Madison Department of Medicine and associate director of Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center at the William S. Middleton Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, looks at new approaches to Medicare policy for vulnerable older adults.

Her objectives are to:

  1. recognize that neighborhood disadvantage is one underlying factor in health disparities;
  2. discuss the barriers to inclusion of socioeconomic metrics within national-level health policy and health delivery;
  3. increase awareness of a practical approach to quantifying neighborhood disadvantage;
  4. discuss examples of early practical applications of this tool.