Catalyst for Societal Impact through Healthcare
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Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare

The Center was established to integrate, amplify, and extend efforts to improve healthcare by investing in issues deeply relevant to society.

Improving healthcare has long been a central part of the mission of McKinsey’s Healthcare Systems & Services Practice. We have honored that mission by serving our clients effectively and investing in issues deeply relevant to society, such as social determinants of health, rural health, maternal health, and behavioral health—including mental health, substance use, and the opioid crisis.

We have established the Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare to integrate, amplify, and extend these previous efforts. We aspire to collaborate with other organizations to drive positive innovation in historically underinvested areas to ultimately improve overall health and well-being and reduce healthcare disparities. In light of the current healthcare crisis, we are also working with a range of stakeholders to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations, including but not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, essential service workers, older adults, and those with clinical risk factors.

We hope to accomplish our objective through four strategies. First, by conducting and sharing research. Second, by co-investing with other organizations to define and launch innovations with the explicit purpose of sharing results so others can replicate what proves effective. Our effort here includes open-access sharing of select analytic models, data sets, and software tools. Third, by partnering with other organizations to convene and support multi-stakeholder collaborations. Finally, by continuing to focus on achieving tangible impact as we serve clients in these areas.

We bring McKinsey’s full global capabilities and resources to bear, including our healthcare expertise, advanced analytics, functional knowledge, technology assets, network, and investment capacity. That said, making progress will depend on collaborating with other organizations seeking to innovate in these areas. Please contact us if you are interested in partnering.


Vulnerable Populations Dashboard

McKinsey’s open-access dashboard looks at individuals with physical or behavioral health vulnerability and their risk for developing COVID-19.

Unlocking whole person care through behavioral health

Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare co-leads Erica Coe and Kana Enomoto discuss the systemic challenges facing behavioral healthcare, key actions to address these challenges, and the societal benefit that stakeholders can achieve by implementing these actions, including a reduction of $185 billion in annual US healthcare spending.

Healthy mind, healthy body

McKinsey partner Erica Coe explains how leadership in healthcare is an essential component in addressing behavioral health in a holistic way.

Featured initiative

Combatting Stigma Related to Opioids

We have supported Shatterproof, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the U.S., in their development of a national strategy to help reduce the stigma around opioid addiction. This work builds on the research conducted by our Opioids Insights group over the last several years. View this report, “A Movement to End Addiction Stigma,” for more detail, including specific action plans that organizations across the country can adopt to reduce stigma.

Featured insights


Five ways to design a better mental-health future for a stressed-out workforce

– Almost 41 percent of Americans struggle with mental-health issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but many companies remain ill equipped to address the problem.

Understanding the hidden costs of COVID-19’s potential impact on US healthcare

– While the direct impact of COVID-19 has already been substantial, additional layers of delayed or indirect impact have the potential... to dwarf the immediate effects. These additional layers of impact related to COVID-19 could result in $125 billion to $200 billion in incremental annual US health system cost.

The math of ACOs

– Several factors will shape the financial performance of physician- and hospital-led organizations under total cost of care payment... models.

A holistic approach for the US behavioral health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic

– COVID-19 creates additional challenges for healthcare leaders seeking to improve behavioral health while offering an opportunity... for meaningful change.

Rethinking health priorities: A conversation with Vivek Murthy

– The former US surgeon general discusses COVID-19 and a path forward for a healthier, stronger, and more resilient society.

Acknowledged but unaddressed

– The COVID-19 crisis and global mental health

National employer survey reveals behavioral health in a COVID-19 era as a major concern

– McKinsey’s annual employer survey provides insights into one of the most pressing concerns for employers, the behavioral... health of their workforce.

COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime

– New evidence shows that the shutdowns caused by COVID-19 could exacerbate existing achievement gaps.

Adapting healthcare to COVID-19: An interview with the CEO of Boston Medical Center

– Kate Walsh shares how Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety-net hospital, has had to adapt to the pandemic—and why... there’s no going back.

The implications of COVID-19 for vulnerable populations

– McKinsey’s open-access dashboard looks at individuals with physical or behavioral health vulnerability and their risk for... developing COVID-19.

Safely back to school after coronavirus closures

– As they consider the path to reopening schools, systems can consider three questions: when to reopen, for whom, and with what... health and safety precautions in place.

Changing views on mental and substance use disorders: An interview with Patrick Kennedy

– Former congressman, Patrick Kennedy, discusses mental and substance use disorders and how healthcare stakeholders can help these... populations especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food security and the coronavirus crisis: A view from Feeding America’s COO

– Katie Fitzgerald discusses the efforts of Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization, to obtain and distribute food... amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19: Investing in black lives and livelihoods

– The unfolding public-health and possible economic disaster of the pandemic will disproportionately affect black Americans—unless... stakeholders respond immediately.

Returning to resilience: The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and substance use

– As governments race to contain COVID-19, it is important to know the actions society can take to mitigate the behavioral health... impact of the pandemic and economic crisis.

The case for accelerating financial inclusion in black communities

– A lack of financial inclusion for black Americans exists at every level of the financial system. Understanding the sources of... exclusion is the first step to fixing the system.

Understanding the impact of unmet social needs on consumer health and healthcare

– Income, employment, education, food security, housing, transportation, safety, and social support are all factors that affect... health and well-being.

Insights on mental health from a 2019 McKinsey Consumer survey

– McKinsey conducted a national survey to understand the impact of unmet social needs on consumer health outcomes, utilization,... and preferences. Given the link between unmet social needs and lower socioeconomic status, respondents for this survey included adult Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries as well as low-income adults who were uninsured or who had purchased insurance through the individual market.

Why does prosperous King County have a homelessness crisis?

– A careful analysis reveals a primary driver of homelessness in Seattle and King County and a costly, multifaceted solution to... the problem.

The role of academic-based health systems: An interview with Catherine Jacobson and Thomas Zenty

– Catherine Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert Health, and Thomas Zenty, CEO of University Hospitals, explain how their academic... medical centers and academic-based health systems are finding their niche in the healthcare ecosystem. As these centers develop, how do changing consumer expectations and social determinants of health change their vision for the future?

Why social determinants matter for children’s health: An interview with Michael Fisher

– The president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital explains how social determinants of health (e.g., education, housing,... social support) affect children’s health outcomes, and how organizations that invest and intervene early can generate both near- and long-term value.

Homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area: The crisis and a path forward

– Homelessness in and around the San Francisco Bay Area continues to rise. Coordinated efforts among governments, nonprofits, and... the private sector could stem the crisis and spark progress.

Addressing the social determinants of health: Capturing improved health outcomes and ROI for state Medicaid programs

– The social determinants of health (SDoH) strongly contribute to variations in health status. Addressing SDoH can help ensure access... to high-quality care, improve outcomes, and manage costs.

Insights from McKinsey's Consumer Social Determinants of Health Survey

– Survey findings shed light on how social determinants of health affect healthcare utilization rates and consumers interest in... social program offerings.

How states can improve well-being for all children, from birth to age five

– State governments have a unique opportunity to improve children’s developmental trajectories. An integrated approach can... help.

Why we need bolder action to combat the opioid epidemic

– Although the opioid crisis in the US is gaining increased attention, the steps taken to date to combat it are insufficient. Our... research suggests that much broader—and bolder—action is required.

Related Practices

We collaborate with our colleagues in other industry and functional practices. In particular, we work closely with McKinsey experts in the following areas to drive meaningful change in healthcare: 

Public and Social Sector

We work with social sector and government organizations to improve the lives of citizens worldwide by helping solve the most pressing economic and social challenges.


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