The High Health Toll of Social Isolation — and What Providers Can Do to Help

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<p>Most patients don’t get a call from the doctor’s office inquiring about their Thanksgiving plans. But that’s exactly how one health care system is addressing a clear threat to patients’ health — social isolation. In a new post to the<em> Wall Street Journal </em>blog<em> </em>“The Experts” (subscription only), Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., explains that social isolation is common among the one-third of adults over 65, and half of those over 85, who live alone. And it can worsen their health. </p><p>Blumenthal cites Commonwealth Fund data showing that adults with high health care needs are also vulnerable to social isolation and its adverse effects. That’s why a number of U.S. health care systems are treating social isolation as well as medical conditions. Through their innovative initiatives, these providers aim to build personal connections with their patients and link them to local support resources.  </p> Learn more