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Approximately $40 Million in Affordable Care Act Funds for Statewide Chronic Disease Prevention Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of approximately $40 million to strengthen and better coordinate activities within state and territorial health departments aimed at preventing chronic diseases and promoting health. Created by the Affordable Care Act, this initiative targets the nation’s five leading chronic disease-related causes of death and disability: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.

"Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year, and they account for about three-fourths of the more than $2.5 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Fortunately, many chronic diseases are preventable, and these new resources will assist states and territories in the implementation of proven prevention and wellness programs that will save lives and lower health care costs for all Americans."

This announcement is one part of the first-ever Prevention & Wellness Month, as the Obama Administration is highlighting announcements, activities, and tips that will help Americans get healthy and stay healthy. The new initiative will support the implementation of public health programs, surveillance of chronic diseases, translation of research into public health practice, and development of tools and resources for health workers and other leaders at the national, state, and community levels.

State and territorial health activities will focus on reducing age-adjusted mortality due to chronic diseases and reducing the prevalence of disabling chronic diseases. In addition, the initiative will aim to improve health and quality of life by promoting environmental and policy changes related to nutrition, physical activity, and clinical preventive services and by promoting education and management skills for people diagnosed with or at high risk for chronic diseases.

"Many chronic diseases share common risk factors, afflict similar population groups the hardest, and can be effectively addressed by the same public health strategies," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which oversees the initiative. "That’s why it’s so important to help state and territorial health departments develop the organizational capacity and management approaches to deal with chronic diseases holistically, not just as separate conditions."

CDC expects to award funds for 3-year coordinated statewide chronic disease programs to all 58 U.S. states and territories, with approximately $40 million available for the first 12-month budget period. As a critical requirement, successful grantees will create or update statewide plans that demonstrate coordinated approaches to addressing the leading causes of chronic disease deaths and their associated risk factors, including but not limited to heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Tobacco use, a leading risk factor for chronic diseases, is not part of the initiative but will continue to be addressed through CDC’s other statewide prevention programs.

State and territorial health departments interested in submitting proposals for the Prevention and Public Health Fund Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program can find more information at www.grants.gov. The application deadline is July 22, 2011.



Affordable Care Act Helps Fight Unreasonable Health Insurance Premium Increases

May 26, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation to ensure that large health insurance premium increases will be thoroughly reviewed, and consumers will have access to clear information about those increases. Combined with other important protections from the Affordable Care Act, these new rules will help lower insurance costs by moderating premium hikes and provide consumers with greater value for their premium dollar. In 2011, this will mean rate increases of 10-percent or more must be reviewed by state or federal officials.

Full Article



New Trade Group Aims To Ensure Sanctity Of Patient Health Records

May 12, 2011

The Clinical Documentation Industry Association (CDIA) announced the launch of a new industry trade association dedicated to ensuring the accuracy, consistency and security of clinical documentation contained within all patient health records.

Full Article



Chronic Procrastination Affects 20 Percent, Hint Of Sub-Disorder

April 14, 2011

Procrastination is, perhaps, an ailment we have all felt at one time or another; but Joseph Ferrari, PhD, found 20 percent of his study participants suffer from chronic procrastination.

Full Article



SAMHSA’s Online Guide Relieves Financial Stress

March 31, 2011

The cost of obesity among U.S. full-time employees is estimated to be $73.1 billion, according to a new study by a Duke University obesity researcher, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Full Article



Virgin HealthMiles Pay-For-Prevention Model

March 17, 2011

With clients including Maidenform, Papa John’s, and Timberland, Virgin HealthMiles’ pay-for-prevention approach to health and wellness has won over 120 employers representing more than 500,000 employees across the U.S. with its unique programming options.

Full Article



"Worksite Wellness Blueprint" Reviews Wellness Activities, Needs And Barriers

March 3, 2011

LiveWell Colorado, a non-profit organization committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promotinghealthy eating and active living, published a "Worksite Wellness Blueprint" to assess the current state of worksite wellness in Colorado and to identify, prioritize, and guide future efforts. The project was a collaborative effort with the Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition (COPAN) program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Full Article



Person-To-Person Can Make The Difference

February 17, 2011

Personal involvement with participants seemed to drive up satisfaction with wellness initiatives, said Patty Calvier, Intel senior project manager, when discussing Intel’s global health wellness program during the audio Webinar, sponsored by Wellness Management Information Center.

Full Article



CIGNA Worksite Wellness Program Takes Aim At Metabolic Syndrome

January 27, 2011

CIGNA has added a new worksite lifestyle improvement program, Metabolic Syndrome Improvement Program (MSIP), to help people combat metabolic syndrome, a condition significantly increasing the risk of an individual developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Full Article



Drug Testing: Increase In Demand And Delivery

January 6, 2011

According to national statistics 70 percent of drug abusers hold jobs, roughly 9.4 million Americans; drug testing has become an increasingly important workplace issue.

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Value-Based Health Benefit Increases Employee Engagement

December 16, 2010

In today’s austere economy, American workers’ attention is focused on spending less and saving more, according to recent research from the Principal Financial Well-Being Index. Employers can take advantage of this increased awareness by rewarding workers who practice healthier lifestyles with savings on healthcare.

Full Article



Most Americans Don’t Prepare For Illness Or Injury That Puts Their Income At Risk

December 2, 2010

Few full- and part-time workers were aware of preventive measures that protect them from injury and illness, nor were they prepared for loss of salary due to layoff, injury, or illness, found a Yankelovich survey conducted for CIGNA that explored attitudes toward work.

Full Article



Benefits Of Incentives To Motivate And Promote A Workplace Wellness Program

November 11, 2010

We have been reporting on the results of our "Workplace Wellness Management Survey on Incentives." In previous issues of Wellness Program Management Advisor, you have received statistics on the numbers of organizations that have formal incentives or rewards for participation in workplace wellness programs.

Full Article



What’s Ahead For Wellness Program Communications: Going Mobile For Your Members

October 29, 2010

The mobile platform, either your PDA and/or combined cell phone, will soon be another way you will be reaching out to your wellness program members.

Full Article



Why Companies Are Making Health Disparities Their Business

October 7, 2010

Within the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 41.5 percent of the workforce will be members of racial and ethnic minority groups. That being said, many of these groups experience significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions, utilization of preventive services, and health outcomes, according to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH).

Full Article



Psychiatric Disorder Three-Minute Checklist Accurate

September 2, 2010

The first step to receiving treatment is through the identification of the medical problem, many individuals are often unaware that their moods may possibly be a psychiatric disorder.

Full Article



Healthy Shiftworking

June 10, 2010

Our complex technological industries make shiftwork an inevitable fact of life. Yet, studies have found that long-term disruptions in Circadian rhythm can have serious physiologic impact on the employee. Approximately 20 percent of shiftworkers never adapt to the health and social strains. The remaining 80 percent experience some degree of negative effect on their quality of life.

Full Article



Today’s Economic Turmoil Seen Driving Need For HPM Programs

May 20, 2010

Now more than ever, employers and employees can benefit from the advantages and lifestyle advice of health and productivity management (HPM) programs, according to an analysis by the non-profit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI).

Full Article



Applying Quality Management Principles To Wellness: After Action Reports

April 22, 2010

Well-maintained after action reports (AARs) are living documents that validate the wellness program’s worth to senior management and the wellness manager’s worth during periodic performance reviews. Ideally, an AAR should be developed for every program, but certainly for major events that require considerable effort to put together.

Full Article



The Health Benefits Of (E-mail) Spam

April 8, 2010

Spam is not just a mysterious lunch meat anymore. As part of a larger Canadian exercise and health study, researchers at the University of Alberta sent weekly e-mail reminders to volunteers at five large workplaces over a 12-week period. Of the nearly 2,600 workers, those who were “spammed” with weekly health promotion emails in their inbox increased their physical activity and were more willing to make changes in their eating habits when compared to the control group who did not receive these messages.

Full Article



Corporate Sponsorship – It’s Not Just For Fun Runs

March 18, 2010

Managers who have never sought corporate sponsors for their programs are overlooking a valuable potential resource. Even those who have used corporate sponsors often restrict their usage to some major event like a fitness challenge or health fair.

Full Article



Finances, Job Security: Stressing Out Employees

March 4, 2010

Workplace Options conducted a survey to develop catered programs that uncovered job insecurity and financial stress as today’s main concerns.

Full Article



Support From Senior Management Should Be Part Of A Wellness Manager’s Job Description

February 18, 2010

It is no secret among wellness managers that the most important key to the overall success of a wellness program is the support of senior management. And, the success of the Intel Health for Life 3 Step Wellness Check program is proof positive.

Full Article



New Survey Findings: Incentives As A Motivator To Participate In Wellness Programs Continues To Grow

January 28, 2010

The majority of wellness managers say their programs offer incentives to employees or members for participation. Some 76.6 percent of wellness professionals reported their program includes some form of formal incentives, found the results of the survey conducted by the Institute for Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion.

Full Article



Bonus As A Piece Of Wellness Managers’ Compensation

January 7, 2010

Some 33 percent of wellness professionals responding to the "Wellness Professionals Salary and Benefits Survey" received a bonus, according to the results.

Full Article


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