Maternal & Child Health Newsletter, Iss. 20
News from NIHCM
NIHCM Foundation recently hosted a webinar entitled "Partnering to Promote Health Equity for Adolescents." The webinar featured presentations by Renee Jenkins, Howard University; Rochelle Rollins, Office of Minority Health; Nedra Kline Weinreich, Weinreich Communications; and Marsha Shotley, BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota Foundation. The discussion focused on how health plans and health plan foundations can support health equity for adolescents. An archive of the event is available on our website.
NIHCM Foundation also co-hosted a webinar with Partnership for Prevention’s National Chlamydia Coalition entitled "Opportunities for Health Plans to Improve Chlamydia Screening Rates." The webinar featured presentations by Eduardo Sanchez, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; Gail Bolan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Adam Atherly, Colorado School of Public Health; and Kathryn Armstrong, Molina HealthCare. The discussion focused on the importance of chlamydia screening and strategies for health plans to increase chlamydia screening rates. An archive of the event is available on our website.
As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) expands access to private and public health insurance for adolescents and young adults, it may also raise challenges for ensuring confidential care is delivered to a newly insured segment of the adolescent and young adult population. In a new issue brief, "Protecting Confidential Health Services for Adolescents & Young Adults: Strategies & Considerations for Health Plans," we review the legal protections in place to ensure confidential care delivery for adolescents and young adults, recent research on the effect of privacy and confidentiality concerns on the use of health services by adolescents and young adults, and health insurance system barriers and other challenges to delivering confidential care to adolescents. We present several opportunities for health insurers to assure that their billing processes are protecting adolescents’ access to confidential care.
Summaries of Recent MCH News
- Pediatric Palliative Care: Opportunities for Health Plans
- Opportunities to Educate Parents on the Importance of Vaccination
- American College of Preventive Medicine Adolescent Health Time Tools
Promising Practices in MCH
NIHCM is excited about the positive response to our Promising Practices in Maternal and Child Health program. We would like to continue to invite you to submit your success stories. Under several projects funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), NIHCM has been working with health plans to improve their maternal and child health programs and practices for over 13 years. This work has focused on the exchange of information between the health insurance community, the federal government and other national MCH stakeholders through meetings, webinars and publications. In order to continue to build the MCH infrastructure and capacity of health plans, NIHCM created the Promising Practices in MCH program to recognize emerging and promising programs or policies in MCH, promote program replication and new collaborations, and create a dedicated space where health plans and other MCH leaders can share their success stories with peers. NIHCM is accepting submissions to the program through July 30, 2011.
NIHCM will soon release our first Promising Practices fact sheet highlighting how health plans are partnering with the Text4Baby program.
Health Plan Initiatives to Improve MCH
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida awarded a $100,000 grant to the recently opened Bay County Health Department Children’s Dental Clinic, also funded by the Florida Department of Health. This new clinic provides free preventative and restorative care to eligible children, with an estimated 17,600 potential patients. A companion mobile clinic called “Miles of Smiles” will target areas with the greatest need.
Highmark Inc. recently partnered with Family First Health and United Concorida Dental to offer a day of free health and dental services to children and adults who are uninsured or have minimal coverage. Health care providers were on hand to offer a variety of free screenings and services as a part of the ongoing “Highmark Partners for a Healthy Community” free health screenings program.
Highmark Inc. also awarded a $10,000 grant to Childhood Development Centers, Inc. (CDC), an after-school program currently serving approximately 100 children in Venango County, Pennsylvania. CDC provides children with computers, desk space and teachers for homework help, as well as access to a playground and healthy meal options. The funds from Highmark will allow CDC to hire additional student mentors.
Wellmark, Inc. recently hosted its second annual Grand Blue Mile street run. This fun community fitness event brought together both recreational and competitive runners for several one-mile events and a quarter mile youth run.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is set to host the 3rd Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Conference this August. The conference will bring together a multi-disciplinary audience with a focus on enhancing understanding of SRTS efforts and promoting the integration of SRTS into transportation, planning and education.
WellPoint Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to the March of Dimes to fund two initiatives that promote healthy pregnancy and delivery. The grant will support 29 program sites for CenteringPregnancy, a unique model of group prenatal care delivery that has successfully reduced c-sections, preterm births and low-birthweight babies. The funding will also provide California hospitals with toolkits to help clinicians and patients understand the consequences of early elective delivery.
Health Care Service Corporation launched a three-year initiative called “Healthy Kids, Healthy Families” to encourage nutrition education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children. By funding and partnering with local non-profit organizations, this initiative aims to reach at least 1 million children throughout Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Horizon NJ Health employees put on their walking shoes to support maternal and child health with the annual March of Dimes March for Babies walk. The Horizon NJ Health Walk Team will contribute the money raised to infant health research and community programs that support mothers in fostering healthy, full-term pregnancies.
The Highmark Foundation has taken action to keep kids safe by rewarding schools for successfully implementing bullying prevention programs. The foundation, which has provided bullying prevention tools and resources to more than 260 Pennsylvania schools, surprised three exemplary schools with a $2,500 award at the annual Safe Schools Conference in May.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is helping to educate children with asthma through the new CatchAir Youth Asthma Program, which is free to plan members. Program participants receive monthly mailings of age-appropriate tools for managing asthma, along with supplemental guides for parents.
Grantmakers in Health released a Bullying Prevention Newsletter, which identifies successful programs aimed to reduce bullying in schools.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will be launching a new program for pediatric health care providers offering practice service solutions. The program includes a series of webinars open to all maternal and child health professionals providing family centered primary care. The first of this webinar series, launched June 21, 2011, was Access and Continuity in the Medical Home Setting: Enhancing Continuity of Care in Your Practice Through 21st-Century Communication.
AAP has also published a report entitled “Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Health Emergencies in the Emergency Medical Services” in the May 2011 issue of Pediatrics. This report examines the stabilization and management of people in mental health crisis and addresses other issues related to mental illness including children with special health care needs and children’s mental health during trauma.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) developed case studies in January of 2011 in order to identify best practices in state and local collaborations of the Woman Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental food program. State and local WIC agencies highlighted three important areas of coordination: policy and administrative, clinical, and community-based.
NACCHO has recently updated its Adolescent Health Resources webpage to include an expanded selection of resources to improve information sharing.
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) released a fact sheet on state birth defects performance measures. This updated fact sheet highlights innovative and effective ways state Title V agencies utilize birth defects surveillance systems to improve maternal and child health.
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) hosted a meeting in February 2011 that featured a special session on adolescent mental health. Dr. Susie Wiet and Jane Park presented information about the prevalence of mental health problems among adolescents and about mental health care utilization rates. More information, including video and audio archives, is available through the ACPM Adolescent Health Center under the heading Preventive Medicine 2011, Session 14.