Mitchell H. Katz

What the US health care system assumes about you

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About Mitchell H. Katz

Public health advocate and physician Mitchell H. Katz has spent his career shaping and implementing policies that improve health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable patients in urban settings. As the current leader of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public healthcare system in the United States, Mitch ensures that more than one million New Yorkers receive essential inpatient, outpatient, and home-based health services every year. Previously, Mitch directed the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the country’s second largest public safety net system, where he created the ambulatory care network, eliminated the department deficit, updated the city's electronic health system, and moved over 1000 medically complex patients into independent housing. Mitch is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the Los Angeles County Medical Association 2015 Healthcare Champion of the year.

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About This Talk

The difficulties low-income patients have when trying to receive healthcare can be easily overlooked. Katz points out the many assumptions healthcare in the United States makes­—that patients can take off of work in the middle of the day to get care, can speak English, are literate, have enough food, have a home with a refrigerator, a bathroom, and a bed where they can sleep without worrying about violence while they are resting. As he says, “Healthcare is built on a middle-class model that often doesn’t meet the needs of low-income patients. That’s one of the reasons why it has been so difficult for us to close the disparity in healthcare that exists along economic lines despite the expansion of health insurance under the ACA.”

Having run the safety net programs in many of the country’s largest cities, Mitchell Katz has dedicated his career working to improve health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable patients in urban settings. Watch Mitch’s TEDMED 2018 talk, “What the US health care system assumes about you” to learn more about his work to eliminate the effects of economic disparities in healthcare and find ways to meet all patients on their own terms.

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