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American Public Health Association releases report on Prevention and Public Health Fund

Posted on June 20, 2012 | No Comments

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Key Developments

The United States spends twice what most other industrialized nations spend on health care, yet ranks 24th out of 30 such nations in terms of life expectancy. America spends 3 percent of health care dollars on preventing diseases (as opposed to treating them), when 75 percent of costs are associated with preventable conditions. To adequately meet prevention needs, and to control unsustainable growth in health care costs, a 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report recommended that the U.S. increase federal funding for public health and prevention by $12 billion annually.

According to a report recently published by the American Public Health Association, a key first step toward meeting this need is the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a mandatory fund for prevention and public health programs created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The purpose of the Fund is to provide a stable and increased investment in activities that will enable communities to stay healthy in the first place, and it was designed to gradually build from $500 million in FY 2010 to $2 billion per year by FY 2015. Despite a recent legislative reduction of $6.25 billion over nine years to help postpone a cut in Medicare physician payments, and some use of the Fund to replace existing appropriations, the Fund still represents a crucial investment in the health of communities and in the nation’s long term fiscal health.

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A new poll conducted by the The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research suggests that high deductibles remain a significant barrier to health care for many privately insured Americans. The survey finds that of privately insured adults under age 64, about one in five said they don’t go to a doctor when they are sick despite having health coverage. A similar number of survey respondents reported going without preventive care and cutting back on retirement savings, or having to use all their savings for care. These issues were particularly acute among the 26 percent of respondents with high deductible plans. Consequently, about half of those surveyed said they preferred higher premiums over higher out-of-pocket costs.
A new report published today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) contains key facts about the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Truth about the Prevention Fund, describes the various components of the Prevention and Public Health Fund that utilize evidence-based research and partnerships to actively improve the health of Americans. The fund intends to expand preventative care and build upon community-based programs that address a multitude of preventable diseases by allocating $14.5 billion in mandatory spending over 10 years. The report contains evidence and examples of how the Prevention and Public Health Fund is already being successfully used in various communities throughout the country.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to provide expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs, including prevention research, health screenings, and immunization programs. The ACA appropriated $500 million for fiscal year 2010, $750 million for fiscal year 2011, and additional amounts for future fiscal years to operationalize the PPHF. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to provide information on how PPHF funds were allocated for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The GAO report describes (1) the HHS agencies and activities for which PPHF allocations were made, (2) the process and criteria HHS used to allocate PPHF funds, and (3) HHS reporting of the outcomes of activities receiving PPHF funding.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to expand access to health insurance coverage for people living with HIV, many of whom are uninsured, underinsured, or otherwise unable to access quality and stable health care coverage. Access to care for people living with HIV not only improves health outcomes, but also carries important public health benefits, as antiretroviral use is shown to reduce the risk of HIV tranmission. An issue brief recently released by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) explores the implications of the ACA for people living with HIV and takes into account the Supreme Court's June 28th ruling. The brief reviews key ACA provisions, the changes resulting from the Supreme Court decision, and looks ahead to questions and opportunities.
According to a survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), preventive health services are well-covered by state Medicaid programs, despite the fact that these services are optional for nonelderly adult Medicaid enrollees. The KFF study reported that 44 states covered a least 30 out of 42 optional preventive services, with 25 states covering 40 or more of the optional preventive services. These optional services include 1) screening for cancer and sexually transmitted infections, 2) services related to chronic conditions such as diabetes, and 3) immunizations. There was significant variation with regard to cost-sharing requirements for these services. Of the 13 states that covered all of the 42 preventive services, only five of these states covered these services without cost sharing. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes available financial incentives for covering these preventive services. State Medicaid programs, for example, may receive an increased federal Medicaid matching rate if they cover immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and certain preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report released today, many Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions would be slashed under the $120 billion sequester. Medicare, for example, would be cut by more than $11.6 billion over 10 years. The Medicare cuts would apply to Parts A and B and the prescription drug program. The report, almost 400 pages long, details the effects that the sequestration would have if Congress and the White House cannot reach an agreement to avert it. The sequester cuts would slash $2.5 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds, cut ACA exchange establish grants, and trim the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Budget Control Act sequester would cut 8.2 percent from discretionary HHS programs and 7.6 percent from mandatory ones. Importantly, the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans, and premium subsidies to assist low-income individuals obtain health insurance through the exchanges were left untouched.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) updated estimates for 15 selected health measures based on data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and presented estimates from 1997 through 2010 for comparison in an early release of data from the National Health Interview Survey. The 15 measures included in the present report are...
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $750 million in funding for prevention and public health in the United States. Funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund, this allocation contains $250 million of new money to strengthen clinical and community prevention efforts and public health infrastructure around the country. “This investment is going to build on the prevention work already under way to help make sure that we are working effectively across the federal government as well as with private groups and state and local governments to help Americans live longer, healthier lives,” Sebelius said.