Why Healthcare Policy Needs To Focus On Prevention

Episode 88 1h 4m


We have the best hospitals, most highly trained doctors, and people come from all over the world to get medical treatments in the US. Yet, we’re lagging behind almost every other country in health metrics, including life expectancy and infant mortality. That’s because we’re not being set up for success: The policies and systems we rely on for healthcare aren’t supporting prevention, education, and accessibility for all our communities. We are spending a massive amount of money on healthcare (1 of every 5 federal dollars) but we’re not spending on the social services to invest in lifestyle wellness that prevents disease in the first place.

This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I sit down with Dr. Anand Parekh to talk about solutions to our country’s healthcare crisis and examine what’s already working. Dr. Parekh and I dive into the major healthcare problems that we’re facing, like health disparities related to income and race, reactive versus proactive policies, and lobbying power in Washington that is not in the best interest of the public. From his time in the trenches with BPC, Dr. Parekh has gained some really valuable insights for how we can solve these problems and he shares those with us in this episode.

There are many powerful treatment models that are working in different communities all over the country. In Pennsylvania a real Food Farmacy tailored to families’ needs had dramatic effects; Virta Health has had a 60% reversal for poorly controlled diabetics using their digital platform; I also see patients thriving every day in the Functioning for Life group program at Cleveland Clinic. There are solutions out there, we just have to keep pushing policymakers to support them and take action in our own communities. Healthcare doesn’t have to be stagnant. I hope you’ll tune in to hear how we can change the future of wellness.


This episode is brought to you by and Thrive Market. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Why life expectancy and other health metrics are so poor in the United States

    (2:45 - 5:09)

  • Why policymakers do not focus on prevention and proactive policies to improve health

    (10:57 - 13:21)

  • Personal responsibility in a toxic health environment

    (16:57 - 19:24)

  • Challenges with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or our food stamp system

    (18:40 - 21:06)

  • Social needs vs social determinants of health

    (25:46 - 28:12)

  • Obesity: the public health crisis of our century

    (29:20 - 31:46)

  • Dr. Parekh’s 5 key takeaways for policymakers

    (36:22 - 38:48)

  • Targeting and creating pathways for existing healthcare programs and interventions that have been shown effective

    (44:36 - 47:02)

  • Why the government is so important in scaling healthcare solutions

    (49:38 - 52:04)

  • The need for clinical-community linkages

    (50:05 - 52:31)

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Ep. 88 - Why Healthcare Policy Needs To Focus On Prevention