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HomeCategoriesPopulation Health Spotlight - November 2016

Population Health Spotlight - November 2016


Health Care Leaders Discuss Population Health on Capitol Hill

NIHCM Foundation hosted an in-person briefing on Capitol Hill on October 5, 2016 that brought together leading health care experts with diverse backgrounds to discuss the future of health care, including potential policy reforms and new ways of thinking about long-term care, the consumer experience and the concept of value in health care. A recording of the event is now available.


ACA Check-up: What’s the Prognosis for the Exchanges?

This NIHCM webinar brought together experts to discuss the state of the ACA exchanges, including projections for the 2017 open enrollment period, ideas for policy reforms to safeguard consumer choice and affordability, and strategies for reaching and enrolling more Americans. A recording of the event is now available.

Can Our Health Care System Provide a 'Good Death'?

USC Annenberg's Center for Health Journalism hosted a webinar, with support from NIHCM Foundation, examining the issues around end-of-life care and offering insights for journalists to spur more conversations about how we approach death in America. A recording of the event is now available.

Research & Analysis

Adult Obesity Rates Decline in Four States - Where Does Your State Rank?

Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released State of Obesity 2016: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a report showing that despite rates slowing in some states, obesity continues to contribute to a range of chronic diseases and costs the country between $147 and $210 billion each year. State data, interactive charts and graphs, and policy recommendations are also available at

The Cost of Obesity in Iowa

A new report by Wellmark, Inc. identifies obesity as the common, underlying factor that contributes to the most costly conditions in Iowa, including cancer, bone and joint disorders; heart conditions; digestive disorders; and back pain. The report draws attention to the importance of preventive care and offers suggestions for fitting physical activity into your lifestyle.

Donors Seek Control of Genetic Samples Used in Medical Research

The Boston Globe published a front-page story on the growing demand for biological samples used in drug development and other medical research—and the growing interest of patients in controlling their own genetic material. This ongoing NECIR investigation is supported by a NIHCM journalism grant.

Community Investments

Expanding Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in North Carolina

This fall, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Parks system launched a new community initiative called Hike NC! to create opportunities for outdoor recreation and to encourage North Carolinians to get outside. The initiative includes introducing North Carolina’s first bike share program, expanding biking and walking trails, and installing fun and interactive games at parks.

Partnering to Increase Access to Mental Health Services

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services partnered to provide a combined total of $535,000 to six Michigan-based, safety-net providers to help develop, enhance or expand programs to support uninsured and low-income patients coping with mental illness and substance abuse.

Over $2.4M Awarded to Community Programs in Arkansas

The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas recently awarded over $2.4 million in grants to 31 health improvement programs, including grants to a program providing weekend food packs to children on reduced or free school lunch programs and to a mobile dental unit program that will provide services to low-income adults.

Partnering with Law Enforcement to Reduce Opioid Overdoses in TN

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation is partnering with the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center and providing $285,000 in funding to train and supply Tennessee law enforcement officers with Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the deadly effects of opioid drug overdoses. This program is part of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's larger effort to understand and address opioid abuse. See the health plan's recent infographic.

Program Updates

Improving Care Coordination for Children with Special Needs

Children with special health care needs and their families will soon have access to a new coordinated care plan called STAR Kids, offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. This program will offer streamlined access to medical, behavioral, social and developmental services.

Customer-Centric Health Care in Washington & Alaska

Premera Blue Cross is creating a consumer-obsessed culture to improve the experience of health care for its members, including adopting new programs called Premera Listens and Let’s Be Clear. Premera Listens is a reactive survey to help inform and improve Premera practices that collects information on customer service and the consumer’s experience at the primary-care physician office. Let’s Be Clear is a company-wide initiative to replace health care jargon and acronyms with simple, clear phrases when working with customers. Hear Premera’s CEO discuss the company's transformation.