The Importance of Health and Social Services Spending to Health Outcomes in Texas

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From the Southern Medical Journal:
Public health and social services spending have been shown to improve health outcomes at the county level, although there are significant state and regional variations in such spending. Texas offers an important opportunity for examining nuances in the patterns of association between local government health and social services spending and population health outcomes. The primary objectives of this study were to describe local investments in education, health, and social services at the county-area level for all of Texas from 2002 through 2012 and to examine how changes in local investment over time were associated with changes in health outcomes.

Investments in certain social services in Texas were associated with improvements in health outcomes, as measured by improvements in the County Health Rankings, in the years subsequent to spending increases. Similar analyses in other states and regions may yield actionable avenues for policy makers to improve population health.

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