Population Health Spotlight - September 2018
Preventing Chronic Diseases: Eliminating Obstacles to Healthy Living
Chronic diseases are widespread, costly and preventable. Register for NIHCM’s upcoming October 3rd webinar on preventing chronic diseases to learn more about how innovative partnerships can address risk factors and help eliminate the obstacles to healthy living. Register here.
Putting Medicaid to Work
USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism hosted a webinar, with support from NIHCM Foundation, that explored the current state of Medicaid programs and outlined topics that reporters should be covering. This included an overview of state efforts to expand Medicaid and the role of federal waivers in implementing work requirements for Medicaid eligibility. Watch the recording.
Master Class: Reporting on Health Policy
USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism hosted a webinar, with support from NIHCM Foundation, highlighting the challenges involved at the national and local levels in covering health care topics and provided reporters with tips and lessons learned from two top health policy reporters. Watch the recording.
Research & Analysis
CDC Study on Smoking
The CDC released data showing that smoking in the United States is at an all-time low of 13.9%. An analysis compared smoking rates among metropolitan, rural and suburban areas, and concluded that smoking is more prevalent for people not living in urban areas. The study also found that areas with higher rates of smoking also have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and psychological distress.
Food Insecurity Remains a Problem for Families
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research estimates that 15 million (11.8%) U.S. households were food insecure in 2017, down from 12.3% in 2016. Food insecurity rates for children remained relatively unchanged during the time period–7.7% of children were food insecure at times during 2017 compared to 8.0% in 2016.
BCBSA Report on the Opioid Crisis
The BCBS Association published a report analyzing the progress toward preventing inappropriate prescription opioid use. It found that the total number of opioid prescriptions filled by commercially insured BCBS members has declined by 29% since 2013. Reduction rates varied by state, with Massachusetts showing the largest drop at 51 percent. The report also found that 68% of people suffering from opioid abuse disorder in 2017 did not have a diagnosed pain condition.
Funding to Support Nursing and Healthy Community Programs
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is investing $1.8 million in three programs that support nursing, address the opioid epidemic and promote community wellness: Nurses for Tomorrow, Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP), and Building Healthier Communities.
Supporting Evidence-based Child Abuse Prevention Programs in North Carolina
BCBS of North Carolina is investing $1 million in preventing child abuse. Recognizing the importance of healthy childhood development, BCBSNC aims to support evidence-based programs that influence the factors that put children at risk for abuse. Investments in early childhood development are recovered later through decreased adult chronic care disease costs.
Investing in Healthy Children and Education for Clinicians in Western New York
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York recently announced the creation of the Blue Fund, a new health-focused annual grants program that will award major grants between one and three million dollars in Western New York. Grants will target programs that address behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health care workforce development, healthy children and the opioid epidemic.
Raising Money for Cancer Research Through Cycling
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota recently announced its sponsorship of the 2018 Chainbreaker Ride. Chainbreaker, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, will direct 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to cancer research. Blue Cross employees will participate as both cyclists and volunteers.
Telehealth Services to Engage Members in Active Lifestyles
Anthem has partnered with Samsung and American Well to provide telehealth services to its members. Anthem members will now have access to medical advice through an app on their Samsung devices. This partnership encourages members to take a more active role in their well-being by making care more easily accessible through technology.
New Program to Help Members Shop for Affordable and High-quality Care
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) launched “SmartShopper,” a program that raises cost awareness by paying members to shop for health care. SmartShopper makes it easier for members to compare health care costs and pays a cash reward for choosing cost-effective locations for their procedures and using Blue Cross NC's local and national provider networks.
A recent study, funded by NIHCM Foundation, found that patients very rarely shopped for health care. This new program from BCBSNC aims to promote shopping by simplifying the process for consumers and allowing them to save money on health care while receiving high-quality care.
Partnering to Better Understand Opioids in South Carolina
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, South Carolina Hospital Association and South Carolina Medical Association have partnered to form the Opioid Risk Prevention Partnership (ORPP). This 18-month initiative is designed to advance the conversation around the issues of pain and the appropriate use of alternatives to opioids in pain management.
HPV Roundtable Cancer Campaign Update
The HPV Vaccination Roundtable, a national coalition created by the American Cancer Society (ACS), recently launched a campaign to encourage members of the health care system to promote HPV vaccines. The campaign follows a team of superheroes with the power to prevent HPV cancers, and each superhero represents a clinical audience and is powered by a clinical action guide. The action guides were carefully developed and reviewed by experts in each target profession and include specific tools to help clinicians prevent HPV cancers. Learn more about the campaign.
NIHCM Foundation is looking for a communications officer to join our productive, collaborative team. Learn more about the opportunity.