Achieving and maintaining health and wellness
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has recently adopted a three-year strategic plan that identifies four strategic objectives for informing health policy development in Ohio. One of those objectives is achieving and maintaining health and wellness for all Ohioans.
HPIO’s focus on achieving and maintaining health and wellness recognizes the importance of prevention and population-based health and is based upon several key factors:
- Consensus for a broader approach to health. While 95% of current health care spending goes toward medical interventions, or “sick care,” according to information from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), there is growing recognition that living and working conditions in homes and communities, along with personal health behaviors, have a significant impact on health. Policies that promote healthy community environments and individual engagement in healthy behaviors are garnering increased attention from policymakers and are central to the National Prevention Strategy released by the US Surgeon General in June 2011.
- Human costs of chronic disease and injuries. Preventable chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, as well as accidents/unintentional injuries, are among the leading causes of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). The CDC also has concluded that our modifiable health behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption—are major causes of these conditions. And compared to other states , Ohio performs relatively poorly in measures of these behaviors, according to the CDC’s Chronic Disease Indicators analysis.
- Economic impact of preventable chronic diseases. In addition to reducing life spans and decreasing the quality of life, chronic diseases are a major contributor to rising health care costs. Care for persons with chronic diseases accounts for more than three-quarters of health care spending, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Partnership for Solutions. In Ohio, data from the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation shows that consumers with one or more chronic conditions account for 70% of Medicaid spending, although they only represent 34% of Medicaid enrollees.
- ACA Provisions. Recognizing the high cost of preventable chronic diseases, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) included several provisions designed to increase access to preventive services and create a more coordinated and effective prevention infrastructure. The Act requires Medicare and new health plans to cover preventive services without cost sharing, increases federal Medicaid match payments for states that offer preventive services without cost sharing, and includes incentives and grants for workplace and Medicaid wellness programs. The ACA established the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, which was charged with the development of the National Prevention Strategy. The Act also created the Prevention and Public Health Fund to support public health infrastructure.
HPIO will inform health policy development on issues related to improved health and wellness by working to:
- Analyze and educate policymakers
- Convene stakeholders around health and wellness strategies
- Foster the spread of health and wellness practices and programs that are producing promising results
If you have questions about HPIO's health and wellness work or would like more information, please contact Amy Bush Stevens at 614.224.4950 x308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.