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Driven in part by a desire to contain health care costs, policymakers are looking beyond medical care for opportunities to reduce the need for expensive services. This paper briefly reviews current public health concepts and strategies for improving health that emphasize nonmedical factors such as behavior, socioeconomic status, and environment. It also provides examples of how these concepts and strategies undergird many of the public health provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, other legislation, and several programs and initiatives. These concepts include prevention, health in all policies, global health, the One Health Initiative, and climate change and health.


Background paper no. 78

Open Access




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