Quantifying Social Risk

Teachers are often evaluated by how well students perform on standardized tests. Yet so many factors driving student performance are beyond their control. Are students properly nourished? Do they have stable home lives and safe communities? Are they suffering from trauma or abuse, or facing emotional and psychological challenges? Do they have ready access to…

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All the Lonely People

This week, during the end-of-year rush, we took some time out at Carrot Health to analyze how health is affected by the holidays. We were intrigued by one particular question: does loneliness in senior citizens impact their health status? Loneliness is a tricky condition to measure mathematically. But using our vast database of consumer information,…

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The Needle and the Damage Done

It’s not who you think. That’s the immediate observation we made after examining a dataset of 200,000 individuals, over 6,000 of whom had an opioid disorder diagnosis. What are some of the distinguishing behaviors of people with an opioid addiction problem? Some behaviors that got flagged were not surprising; others prompted deeper thought and empathy…

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Magic Bus

When it’s time to visit your doctor, how do you get to and from your appointment? Do you have a safe, convenient, and affordable method of transportation? How about your elderly parents? You might have perfectly good answers to these questions, but for a growing number of Americans, transportation insecurity is a burden preventing better…

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Carrot Health Insights | Medicare Advantage Moneyball

In October 1997, Billy Beane, an outfielder-turned-front-office-executive, was named General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. The A’s were one of the lowest-revenue teams in Major League Baseball, with an aging stadium and a small but dedicated fan base. With no salary cap and limited revenue sharing, the league placed teams like the A’s at a…

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Carrot Health Insights | 2019 Medicare Advantage Market Dynamics

  Around October 1 every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases detailed benefits data for every Medicare Advantage and Standalone Part D Plan that has been approved for the upcoming year. On this date, health plans learn exactly which competitors they will face, and exactly what products will be offered in each service…

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Carrot Health Insights | These are the People in Your Neighborhood

Take a minute to look outside your window. Are you surrounded by parks, health food stores, and neatly maintained sidewalks … or fast-food restaurants, liquor stores, and bowling alleys? Physical environments play a significant, but undervalued, role in determining our overall health status, quality of life, and longevity. In fact, a person’s ZIP code is a…

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Carrot Health Insights | Baby, You Can Drive My Car

If you’re the proud owner of a 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, like the beauty pictured above… you might want to visit your doctor. Why? There’s nothing inherently unhealthy about the Cutlass Ciera (calm down, Ralph Nader!) But it turns out that people who own this particular car model tend to have poor health. Compared with…

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Carrot Health Insights | The Health State of the Union

In the last several issues of Carrot Health Insights, we discussed each of the “Big Four” social and behavioral determinants that affect population health and cost outcomes. To recap: a person cuts his or her risk of cancer by 60%, and risk of most chronic illnesses by 80%, if he or she consistently does these things:…

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Carrot Health Insights | Healthy Behavior #4: Chow Down

Please drop that donut. And step away from that soda machine. Your body will thank you… and so will our healthcare system. In the last several issues of Carrot Health Insights, we’ve been discussing the “Big Four” consumer lifestyle behaviors that affect population health and cost outcomes. To recap: a person cuts his or her risk…

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