Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
HomeCategoriesPopulation Health Spotlight - May 2017

Population Health Spotlight - May 2017


Reducing Preterm Births

A recent fact sheet from NIHCM Foundation, written in partnership with Anthem Foundation and March of Dimes, examines the prevalence and consequences of pre-term births and highlights evidence-based programs to improve birth outcomes.


Prioritizing Super Spenders: Coverage and Care for High-Need Patients

Half of U.S. health spending goes to care for just 5 percent of patients, and any effort to improve the efficiency of our health care dollars must prioritize these patients. This upcoming webinar will discuss coverage and care for the high-cost, high-need population.

Engaging Medicaid Patients: Obstacles, Successes & the Impact of Medicaid Waivers

A recording is now available for NIHCM Foundation’s webinar identifying obstacles to engaging Medicaid patients, as well as success stories, with an eye on meeting the potential challenges of Medicaid reform.

What’s Next for Health Policy?

This webinar, hosted by Alliance for Health Reform with support from NIHCM Foundation, brought together thought leaders to discuss health care’s ongoing challenges, particularly in the individual insurance market. A video of the event is now available.

Podcast on Opioids

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s free podcast, Point of Health, highlights timely health care issues and includes a recent episode on the opioid epidemic.

Research & Analysis

Smoking Costs Minnesota Over $3 Billion Annually

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota released a report illustrating the health and economic impacts of smoking and detailing the need to reduce the burden of tobacco-related health inequities. Researchers found that smoking is responsible for 6,300 deaths in Minnesota each year and $3.19 billion dollars annually in excess medical costs, including nursing home care, ambulatory care, hospital care, prescription drugs and other personal health care for adults.

Improving Quality of Care for Disadvantaged Populations

A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that the innovative payment model of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), has improved quality of care for enrollees across the board, with larger quality improvements in communities with lower socioeconomic status. The AQC’s financial incentives may have enabled providers to invest in outreach programs and other resources to improve care for disadvantaged populations.

Opioid Abuse Remains High for Pregnant Women

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a report finding that while pregnant women (ages 15 to 44) were less likely to use opioids than their non-pregnant peers, 21,000 pregnant women still reported using opioids for non-medical reasons in the past month. SAMHSA is also releasing a new report to Congress outlining proposals to address this problem and will publish it in the Federal Register to solicit public comment on its recommendations.

Providing Support to Babies Born Drug Dependent in Tennessee

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, in response to the growing opioid epidemic in Tennessee, has supported several initiatives to improve access to treatment for babies born with a drug dependence and to improve access to substance abuse services for pregnant women and new mothers struggling with opiate addiction.

Community Investments

Improving Public Health and the Quality of Life in New Jersey

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey recently issued over $2 million in grants to 35 non-profit organizations for health promotion, health literacy and community enrichment programs throughout New Jersey, including an Asthma Action Program intended to reduce the impact of undiagnosed and/or untreated asthma in low-income urban children.

Partnering to Train Individuals in Hands-Only CPR

Anthem Foundation awarded the American Heart Association a $7.8 million grant to train nearly nine million people in Hands-Only CPR. The Hands-Only CPR campaign includes a mobile tour, online training videos and kiosks, and it is part of Anthem Foundation’s efforts to help the American Heart Association in its work to double the number of cardiac arrest survivors by 2020.

Investing in Dental Health

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee recently responded to a call for support from a local school to provide much needed dental hygiene to students, including 500 dental kits containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a cup, dental floss and a timer.

Program Updates

Health Literacy Campaign in Arkansas

In response to an estimate that 37 percent of Arkansans have low health literacy levels, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield recently launched a campaign to help people learn the basics of health insurance and how to navigate the health care system.

Solar Projects to Address Environmental Determinants of Health

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has partnered with solar energy companies, Ameresco and BlueWave, to support five community solar projects in the state in an effort to meet the health plan’s goal of a 30 percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gases by 2020 and to help address environmental determinants of health.

Initiatives to Better Understand and Address Trauma

A “Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services” was recently released by The Administration for Children and Families, SAMHSA, the Administration for Community Living, and the Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS. The guide introduces the topic of trauma, provides relevant resources, and begins a discussion of why understanding and addressing trauma is important for human services programs.

Independence Blue Cross has taken steps to advance trauma-informed care models in community health centers as part of nearly $3.1 million in granted funding to support healthier lifestyles and improve the delivery of care.

Addressing Health Disparities Among African Americans

A recent study by the CDC found that disparities still exist between white and black Americans in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, with black Americans being undertreated for HIV and diagnoses often occurring when the disease has already progressed to AIDS.

Anthem, Inc.; the National Urban League; City of Hope; and Pfizer, Inc. have partnered to pilot Take Action for Health, a free interactive website aimed at reducing some of the greatest health risks facing the African-American community, including breast cancer, heart disease and emotional well-being.

Efforts to Prevent Teen Dating Violence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added an Interactive Guide on Informing Policy to their teen dating violence prevention initiative, Dating Matters. The online interactive guide will help users understand policy as a strategy for preventing teen violence and provide access to worksheets, tools and resources to drive evaluation, partnerships and policy.