Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
The NIHCM Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of America's health care system.
  • News

    To help you find answers to questions concerning COVID-19, NIHCM is providing you with links to expert sources that are frequently updated. We will continually update this list.

    Learn More
  • Awards

    We are honored to announce the finalists for the 26th Annual Health Care Research and Journalism Awards. The winning entry in each category will be announced in late Spring and will receive a $15,000 to $20,000 cash prize.

    See the Finalists Press Release The NIHCM Awards
  • Data Insights

    Mental illness is increasingly common among young people but many are not receiving the treatment that they need. This Data Insights explores current trends in youth mental health and opportunities to improve outcomes.

    Learn More
  • Grants

    NIHCM Foundation has awarded 14 grants for health care journalism including investigative reporting and educational opportunities for reporters.

    Press Release All Journalism Grantees
  • Grants

    NIHCM Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in grants to support nine investigator-initiated research studies.

    Press Release All Research Grantees
  • Briefing

    NIHCM Foundation led a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss social determinants of health and the opioid crisis with Founding President and CEO Nancy Chockley, former CMS Administrator Don Berwick, Curtis Barnett of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Craig Samitt of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Grant Baldwin from the CDC.

    Press Release Watch the Video
  • Advisory Board

    NIHCM Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Sherry Glied, PhD, and Katherine Baicker, PhD, to its distinguished Advisory Board. Their ideas and insights will advance NIHCM's mission to improve health care for millions of Americans.

    Press Release Advisory Board
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Events

April 08, 2020
USC-covid19-webinar-040820

This webinar will highlight how a top reporter stays on top of the story every day, and will offer actionable tips that will bolster fellow journalists' coverage.

March 18, 2020
Alliance-covid19-webinar-image

This COVID-19 Webinar Miniseries synthesizes the information in the headlines to provide cohesive insight into the status of the response and remaining gaps in the system that must be addressed to limit the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

In the News

March 2020
Population Health Spotlight
newsletter rural urban new

The Danger of Rising Premature Births

December 2019, Population Health Spotlight
 

The Dangers of Rising Premature Births

The rate of preterm births in the U.S. has risen over the last four years to a rate of 10.02%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though the Healthy People 2020 goal is to reduce the national preterm birth rate to 9.4%, only 18 states are currently at or below that target. Across the country, Oregon has the lowest preterm birth rate at 7.8% and Mississippi has the highest at 14.2%. You can see how your state compares through the state-by-state report cards recently released by March of Dimes. Nationally, racial disparities in preterm births have also worsened – the rate of preterm birth among black women is 49% higher than the rate among all other women.

Premature birth (defined as birth prior to 37 weeks gestation) is the primary driver of infant mortality in the U.S. It can also cause lifelong health problems including behavioral and neurological disorders or physical impairments like lung problems and intestinal disease.

The best way to prevent preterm birth is to ensure women of reproductive age have access to affordable health care and that they receive the appropriate prenatal care. To help women track their medical milestones throughout pregnancy, Premera launched their Best Beginnings app to provide personalized support.

View the Interactive Infographic

Hover over the chart to view preterm birth rates for each state.


Teen Birth Rates At An All-Time Low

Aside from the concerns about premature births, the CDC's report revealed a positive trend: the national teen birth rate fell to an all-time low in 2018, down 58% from 2007. This trend was relatively consistent across the country, as the teen birth rate declined in 38 states between 2017 and 2018 and stayed about the same in the remaining 12 states. See how your state compares.

What explains the continued decline in teen births over the last decade? Pew Research Center links the trend to the economy as well as “less sex, use of more effective contraception and more information about pregnancy prevention.


How to Find Accessible Behavioral Health Treatment

As we note in our infographic on mental health, treatment gaps persist due to stigma and difficulty accessing treatment, in part because of workforce shortages. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched FindTreatment.gov to help people across the country to find nearby treatment facilities for substance use disorders, addiction and mental illness. The tool contains information on thousands of state-licensed providers, general information about addiction and mental health, and guidance on selecting a treatment option.


Rising Rates of Suicide and Substance Use Among Teens

The teen suicide rate rose 87% between 2007 to 2017 and teen use of e-cigarettes and marijuana have also been rising, according to a recent report from Trust for America's Health. Not only are these trends troubling, there are also large disparities in the communities that are most disproportionately affected by these trends. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are nearly 4 times more likely to report considering or attempting suicide than their heterosexual peers. American Indian/Alaska native teens have the highest rates of suicide relative to any other race or ethnicity in the US, and also have higher rates of substance misuse.

The report offers recommendations for policy action, including expanding Medicaid services in schools and ensuring all schools offer mental health services. Parents can also play a role in preventing substance use among teens, as highlighted in an episode of the podcast Finding Fixes.


How We Can Prevent Avoidable Deaths in Rural America

People who live in rural areas die from the five leading causes of death at higher rates than people who live in urban areas, according to a report released last month by the CDC. Yet many of these deaths were preventable.

To improve rural health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $394 million across 28 states and Puerto Rico to improve critical community facilities including hospitals and emergency services. Similarly, Premera Blue Cross is investing $5.7 million in rural Alaska to expand health care training and workforce programs and to support capital investments like medical equipment. View our infographic on rural health to learn more about rural-urban disparities.


Food Is Medicine: The Evidence Behind Medically Tailored Meals

Eating a balanced diet can help all of us to improve our health, but for certain medical conditions, maintaining a strict diet is necessary to avoid medical emergencies. A new episode of the podcast Tradeoffs explores the history of and evidence behind medically tailored meals, highlighting how they can improve health and reduce costs for certain populations. The episode mentions a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Community Servings through which members with congestive heart failure receive meals to help them recover following hospital discharge.

The rate of premature birth, which can lead to infant death or lifelong health problems, has been rising in the U.S. over the last four years.

Events

April 08, 2020
USC-covid19-webinar-040820

This webinar will highlight how a top reporter stays on top of the story every day, and will offer actionable tips that will bolster fellow journalists' coverage.

March 18, 2020
Alliance-covid19-webinar-image

This COVID-19 Webinar Miniseries synthesizes the information in the headlines to provide cohesive insight into the status of the response and remaining gaps in the system that must be addressed to limit the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

In the News

March 2020
Population Health Spotlight
newsletter rural urban new

Grants

Journalism GrantsJournalism Grant Program

NIHCM has announced its 2019 journalism grantees. We will begin accepting Letters of Inquiry for the 2020-2021 funding cycle in late spring 2020.

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NYTUpshotLogo

Investigator-Initiated Research Grant Program

NIHCM has announced its 2019 research grantees. We will begin accepting Letters of Inquiry for the 2020-2021 funding cycle in late spring 2020.

Read More

Awards

The 26th Annual Research and Journalism Awards

Winners Announcment 2018 1

We are honored to announce the finalists for the 26th Annual Health Care Research and Journalism Awards.

Learn More