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What We’re Reading in Prevention, September 1

Welcome to What We’re Reading in Prevention. This new, quarterly publication will share highlights from recent publications, speeches and testimony focused on the intersection of health and health care. Please let us know if you have comments or suggestions we should consider.

Compiled by Caitlin Krutsick and Madison Ethridge

Retreat Is Not An Option For North Dakota
By Mission Readiness

“While the Nation’s obesity epidemic makes daily headlines, its effect on the U.S. military has largely been unreported: a 61 percent rise in obesity since 2002 among active duty forces; more than $1.5 billion in annual obesity-related health care spending and costs to replace unfit personnel; significant recruiting challenges with nearly one in four young adults too heavy to serve; and newly released data in this report showing overall ineligibility above 70 percent in most states.” Read the report.

Advancing transparency in healthcare: A call to action
By former Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle, The Hill

“‘How much does health care cost?’ It isn’t an easy question to answer. Your yearly check-up, a colonoscopy, or trip to the emergency room doesn’t typically come with an obvious price tag. And it isn’t just finding out the price of a service or product that’s difficult; it’s also difficult to determine the quality of the care provided. In fact, Princeton Economics professor Uwe Reinhardt has likened “shopping” for healthcare to trying to find a purple sweater in a department store while blindfolded.” Read the op-ed.

How the Health-Care System Can Encourage Healthy Eating
By Susan Devore, The Wall Street Journal

“Our diet is filled with processed foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugars, with low intakes of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. As a result, researchers estimate that 14% of all U.S. deaths can be attributed to poor diet, with an economic impact of $71 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity.” Read the article.

A bipartisan victory for medical research in Congress
By Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute

“The House passed by overwhelming margins the 21st Century Cures Act. It beat back a poison-pill amendment by Republican Representative Dave Brat of Virginia. Some Democrats withdrew their own amendments that might have complicated passage after a promise by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton to find a way to accommodate their concerns. It was a remarkable spectacle of bipartisan cooperation.” Read the post.

Funding, focus lacking for health care that gets results
By Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Ungar, USA TODAY

“‘We’re seeing the beginning of the health care system reaching out to these community and health-based partners in a big way now,’ says Bo Bobbitt, a Raleigh, N.C., health care lawyer who was lead author of the report. “The bad news is that the gap between the medical system treating illness and disease and the community health system was larger than we had feared.” Read the article.

Insurers move gradually toward wellness care
By Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Unger, USA Today

“Cigna insurance CEO David Cordani says the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ recent payment changes that emphasize quality over quantity in healthcare will shift the focus on “sick care to more well care.” But a widespread embrace of diet, fitness and other wellness programs is still a way off.” Read the article.

Implementing Value-Based Payment Reform: Learning From The Field Of Practice
By Douglas Conrad, Health Affairs

“For the last four years, our team at the University of Washington (UW) has been evaluating seven value-based payment reform programs in six states for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). We found that although the foundational work of value-based payment is proceeding apace for the most part, what’s missing is the sense of urgency required to move payers and providers toward patient-centered global payment based on value. Clusters of innovation are emerging across the country, and these experiments are generating valuable insights into the design and implementation of value-based payment?both what works and what doesn’t.” Read the article.

The impact of accountable care: Origins and future of Accountable Care Organizations
By Tianna Tu, David Muhlestein, S. Lawrence Kocot and Ross White, Brookings

“The fragmented and misaligned state of the U.S. health care system has become a catalyst for payment and delivery system reforms. Traditional fee-for-service (FFS) payment structures incentivize high volume rather than high quality care, and lead to the suboptimal provision of medical services across the disjointed provider landscape. Despite various attempts to improve care delivery, health care costs continue to rise. The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model seeks to reverse these trends by promoting a simultaneous restructure of the payment and delivery systems to incentivize higher quality, lower cost care.” Read the article.

Health Plans Preventing Diabetes and Improving Well-Being

“One out of every three American adults has prediabetes, and most of them do not even know it. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 11 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years.” Read the article.

Johnson & Johnson Pegs Its Long-Term Growth Potential On Prevention
By Arlene Weintraub, Forbes

“‘The basic idea is that people are interested in learning what their DNA sequence tells them about their susceptibility to disease,’ William Hait, global head of Janssen R&D says. ‘If we could go from susceptibility to understanding risk, then the problem becomes what do you do about it? I believe the first company that begins to answer that question with a variety of different types of products will be the major healthcare company of the future.’” Read the article.

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