Study: Health care inequality a burden on Rochester’s economy

Health Watch

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local health group has released a massive study on the effects of poverty on our region’s overall health.

Common Ground Health conducted the study, which examines health data from nearly 7,000 people in the Rochester region over the past year.

According to the report, towns and counties with the highest rates of poverty also saw the most early deaths and signs of poor health.

The study affirms that health care inequality isn’t just a moral problem, but an economic one as well.

“If we think about the economic costs associated with absenteeism or presenteeism, if we think about lost productivity of people who are living with illness or dying early — it is staggering the economic drag that this issue is having on our region,” said Wade Norwood, Common Ground Health CEO.

Norwood adds that this new data doesn’t make solving health care inequality any easier. He says big changes need to happen in industries like transportation to make access to health care easier.

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