Fortune July 31, 2020
Erika Fry

It’s always been a challenge for the health care system that much of what affects a person’s health happens outside the doctor’s office—and beyond the reach of even the most attentive physician. 

Those hard-to-manage factors are many, from behavioral ones (a person’s eating, exercise habits) to socially-determined ones (like whether the individual has access to fresh, healthy food, a walkable neighborhood, or a safe home) to matters of mental health. And they can be costly, both in terms of their human toll and in terms of health care dollars that go towards managing chronic disease, which accounts for the vast majority of America’s health care spending.

“As a physician you might have the best hospital set-up, or healthcare...