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HomeCategoriesPopulation Health Spotlight - November 2017

Population Health Spotlight - November 2017


Stabilizing the Individual Health Insurance Market

NIHCM Foundation hosted a webinar to provide an analysis of individual health insurance market dynamics and discuss potential stabilization strategies and the potential impact of a repeal of the individual mandate. Watch the event recording here.


Capitol Hill Briefing: Transforming Health Care to Drive Value

NIHCM Foundation hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill featuring experts from various fields on ways to improve health outcomes while managing the cost of care. Speakers discussed ideas for reining in prescription drug costs and offered on-the-ground insights on the transition from fee-for-service to pay-for-quality. Watch the event recording here.

America’s High Maternal Mortality Rate & What Can Be Done

USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism hosted a webinar, with support from a NIHCM Foundation journalism grant, to discuss the high rates of maternal mortality in the United States as well as initiatives to reduce deaths and improve pregnancy outcomes. Watch the recording here.

BCBSWNY Podcast on Health Insurance: CEO Special Edition

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York released two new episodes of its Point of Health podcast series featuring the company’s President and CEO, David Anderson. He discusses basic fundamentals of health insurance and shares his thoughts on the future of health care at the national and local level.
CEO Special Edition Part 1: Health Insurance 101 
CEO Special Edition Part 2: Health Care Landscape

Profiting off the Opioid Crisis

USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism hosted a webinar, with support from a NIHCM Foundation journalism grant, to discuss the impact of fraudulent opioid addiction treatment schemes across the nation and potential legal actions to address the problem. A video of the event is now available.

Marketplace Open Enrollment Preview

The Alliance for Health Policy hosted a webinar, with support from a NIHCM Foundation journalism grant, to help consumers and reporters unpack what is known and still unknown about the individual market heading into the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period for 2018. Watch the event here.

Research & Analysis

CDC Data Shows That Obesity Among U.S. Adults Remains High

The CDC released its 2016 obesity prevalence maps showing that more than 20 percent of adults in all states were obese. The report found the highest prevalence of obesity in the Southern states (32%), followed by the Midwest (31.4%), the Northeast (26.9%) and the West (26%).

Firearms and Public Health & Safety

In a Healthcare Triage YouTube series supported by a grant from NIHCM Foundation, Dr. Aaron Carroll reviews the impact of firearms on suicide in the United States. 

Keeping Youth Drug Free

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, released a resource guide for parents on keeping children drug free. The guide includes statistics on adolescent substance use, drug facts and tips on good communication.

Preterm Birth Rates Rise for a Second Year

The preterm birth rate in the U.S. has increased for the second consecutive year, according to a new report from March of Dimes. The report highlights a rise in preterm birth rate from 9.6 percent in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016— a rise that disproportionately affects minority women. Read NIHCM Foundation’s recent fact sheet on the collaboration between Anthem Foundation and March of Dimes to reduce preterm birth.

Community Investments

Investing in School-Based Health Initiatives

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded Shape the State physical education grants to 20 Tennessee middle schools. Each school will receive a grant of $10,000 to use towards physical education, nutrition and wellness efforts.

Health Plans Invest in Hurricane Relief Efforts

Florida Blue announced that it will donate $1 million to support relief and recovery efforts across the state in the wake of Hurricane Irma. This includes partnerships with local United Way affiliates, the American Red Cross and Volunteer Florida’s Florida Disaster Fund.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas announced a contribution of $1 million to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. These funds will be allocated to leading nonprofits and food banks. In addition, BCBSTX employees also helped more than 1,900 displaced families by administering vaccinations to 700 adults and children through the Care Van® Program, and they provided more than 1,600 toiletry bags to local organizations for distribution.

Partnering with Local University Sports Teams to Create Healthier Hometowns

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield awarded grants to six communities in Iowa and South Dakota between as part of its 3-Point Play program to promote projects on health and wellness in partnership with local university sports teams.

Expanding Access to Nurse-Family Partnership in South Carolina

Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina continues to support services for at-risk moms by pledging $17 million to support the Nurse-Family Partnership in South Carolina, a local affiliate of the national Nurse-Family Partnership program. This effort seeks to reduce the number of preterm births, child hospitalizations and injury-related emergency visits. The expansion will add 3,200 women to the program.

Program Updates

Innovative Lab Launched to Address Health Care Challenges

Health Care Service Corporation announced the launch of a Customer First (C1) Lab that will develop health care solutions for national employers with a focus on improving customer experience and look at issues such as rising pharmacy costs, in-patient hospital stays, cost and quality variations among providers, and health care access and affordability.

Anthem Takes New Steps to Reduce Opioid Abuse Among Members

In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, Anthem announced a three-pillar approach focused on prevention, treatment and deterrence. As a part of this strategy, Anthem is now requiring provider prior authorization of opioid prescriptions, limiting coverage to seven days. Early results include a 31.4 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions filled at pharmacies.