Health value

HPIO releases new brief on link between outdoor air pollution, health in Ohio

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The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new 2021 Health Value Dashboard policy brief titled “A closer look at outdoor air pollution and health.”

Clean air and water, safe places to walk outside and access to healthy food are examples of conditions in the physical environment that affect the health and well-being of Ohioans. Outdoor air quality is included in the 2021 Health Value Dashboard™, where Ohio ranked 46th, meaning that most other states have cleaner outdoor air.

The brief found that there are differences in air pollution exposure from county to county, as illustrated in the graphic above. Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties have the highest levels of PM2.5 air pollution in the state, with high levels also reported across western and central Ohio.

Analysis by HPIO has found that the physical environment (including outdoor air quality) is strongly connected to a state’s overall health, only surpassed by public health and prevention. In fact, analysis of 2021 Dashboard data finds that the physical environment has a much stronger correlation with the overall health of a state than access to care or healthcare system performance.

The policy brief focuses on the importance of clean air and provides additional information on the outdoor air quality metric in the Dashboard, including how:

  • Air pollution affects health outcomes
  • Recent policy changes may affect air pollution
  • Outdoor air quality can be improved in Ohio

Uninsured rate drops for all races in Ohio, with biggest reduction among Asian and Black Ohioans

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The percent of Ohioans who are uninsured dropped by almost half from 12.3% to 6.4% between 2011 and 2019 (see graphic above).

Every race saw a drop in the percent of uninsured, with the percentage of Asian and Black Ohioans dropping most dramatically compared to other groups. Despite these gains in access, however, Ohioans of color are still more likely to be uninsured than white Ohioans.

Much of the drop in Ohio’s uninsured population is attributable to the state’s 2014 decision to expand Medicaid eligibility as part of the Affordable Care Act. In HPIO’s 2021 Health Value Dashboard, Ohio ranked seventh out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for access to care — the first time Ohio has ranked in the top quartile on any Health Value Dashboard domain.

While access is clearly a bright spot for the state, the Dashboard found that Ohio’s population health outcomes remain poor. Access to care is critical, particularly for Ohioans with serious health conditions. But the Dashboard and national research shows that health is shaped by many factors, including social, economic and physical environments.

This April, HPIO is creating a series of data graphics in recognition of National Minority Health Month


CMS expects health care spending to mirror inflation over next decade

U.S. health care spending is likely to grow at about the rate of inflation over the rest of the decade after the pandemic fueled a nearly 10% jump between 2019 and 2020, federal experts said Monday (Source: “New normal for health care spending,” Axios, March 29).
 
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services actuaries' projections in Health Affairs came with plenty of caveats. But if trends hold, out-of-pocket spending is going up, as is spending on private coverage, Medicare and Medicaid.
 
National health spending surged 9.7% in 2020, but is expected to have slowed to 4.2% growth in 2021. Spending is expected to grow an average of 5.1% between 2021 and 2030. Growth in the Gross Domestic Product is also projected to be 5.1% annually over the same period.


New HPIO Health Value Dashboard fact sheet provides closer look at public health and prevention data

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new Health Value Dashboard fact sheet titled “A Closer Look at Public Health and Prevention.”

The fact sheet provides additional information on the public health and prevention metrics included in HPIO’s 2021 Health Value Dashboard, with a focus on state and local public health. Because most Dashboard data was collected prior to 2020, this fact sheet describes the status of public health in Ohio prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large number of deaths in 2020 caused by COVID-19 and a new surge in overdose deaths indicate major threats to health that further strained the public health system over the past year.

Public health and prevention is one of seven topic areas included in the 2021 Health Value Dashboard. Ohio’s strengths in this area include decreases in opioid prescribing and senior falls. Overall, however, Ohio performed worse than many other states, ranking 32nd out of 50 states and D.C. on an overall ranking of public health and prevention metrics. Public health workforce, funding and emergency preparedness and response stand out as areas needing improvement.

“From addressing the addiction crisis to combatting infectious disease, public health and prevention play an important role in ensuring that Ohioans live longer, healthier lives and rely less on clinical care,” according to the fact sheet. “While Ohio has made some improvements in preventing illness and injuries, policymakers and others can take additional actions to strengthen Ohio’s public health system.”


ICYMI: HPIO brief explores connections between criminal justice and health

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio last week released a new brief titled, Connections between Criminal Justice and Health.

According to the brief, “The research evidence is clear that poor mental health and addiction are risk factors for criminal justice involvement and that incarceration is detrimental to health.”

The brief highlights the many factors that impact both criminal justice and health outcomes, finding that:

  • There is a two-way relationship between criminal justice and health. Mental health and addiction challenges can lead to arrest and incarceration, and incarceration contributes to poor behavioral and physical health for many Ohioans.
  • Racism and community conditions contribute to criminal justice involvement and poor health. Racist and discriminatory policies and practices and community conditions, such as poverty, housing instability and exposure to trauma, lead to increased criminal justice involvement and drive poor health outcomes.
  • Improvement is possible. There are evidence-informed policy solutions to combat the drivers of criminal justice involvement and poor health outcomes.

The brief includes 15 specific evidence-informed policy options focused on:

  • Supporting mental well-being and improving crisis response for people at higher risk of criminal justice involvement
  • Reducing the number of people incarcerated in Ohio
  • Improving health for people who are currently or formerly incarcerated
  • Improving community conditions for people who are at higher risk of criminal justice involvement

ICYMI: New HPIO Health Value Dashboard ranks Ohio near bottom

Last week, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio released the latest edition of its Health Value Dashboard.

Ohio ranks 47 in the nation in health value compared to other states and D.C. according to the latest edition of the Dashboard. That means that Ohioans live less healthy lives and spend more on health care than people in most other states. Ohio’s overall health value ranking was 47 in 2014, 46 in 2017 and 46 in 2019.

The Dashboard found that Ohio’s healthcare spending is mostly on costly downstream care to treat health problems. This is largely because of a lack of attention and effective action in the following areas:

  • Children. Childhood adversity and trauma have long-term consequences
  • Equity. Ohioans with the worst outcomes face systemic disadvantages
  • Prevention. Sparse public health workforce leads to missed opportunities for prevention

Ohio ranks near bottom in latest HPIO Health Value Dashboard

Ohio ranks 47 in the nation in health value compared to other states and D.C. according to the latest edition of the Health Value Dashboard, which was released earlier this week by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio.

“Ohioans live less healthy lives and spend more on health care than people in most other states,” according to the Dashboard.

Ohio has consistently ranked near the bottom on health value in each of the four editions of the Dashboard. Ohio’s overall health value ranking was 47 in 2014, 46 in 2017 and 46 in 2019. 

The Dashboard found that Ohio’s healthcare spending is mostly on costly downstream care to treat health problems. This is largely because of a lack of attention and effective action in the following areas:

  • Children. Childhood adversity and trauma have long-term consequences
  • Equity. Ohioans with the worst outcomes face systemic disadvantages
  • Prevention. Sparse public health workforce leads to missed opportunities for prevention

The Dashboard is a tool to track Ohio’s progress toward health value — a composite measure of Ohio’s performance on population health and healthcare spending. In ranked profiles, the Dashboard examines Ohio’s rank and trend performance relative to other states across seven domains. In addition, through a series of equity profiles, the Dashboard highlights gaps in outcomes between groups for some of Ohio’s most systematically disadvantaged populations.

The Dashboard includes examples of nine evidence-informed policies that could be adopted by Ohio policymakers and private-sector partners to make Ohio a leader in health value.


HPIO fact sheet outlines link between transit, health equity

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio released a new fact sheet titled “Transit and Health Equity,” which explores the connection between transportation access and health.

According to the fact sheet, “Transportation access is critical for good health across the lifespan.” The fact sheet notes:

  • Transportation to prenatal care and healthy food can improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality disparities.
  • Reliable transportation offers better access to jobs which supports self-sufficient employment, and in turn, can lead to higher income and better physical and mental health.
  • Transportation access connects older adults to friends and family, health care, volunteer opportunities and other activities and supports necessary for healthy aging.

The fact sheet also includes links to existing state plans that include strategies for policymakers to consider for improving transit.


ACEs cost Ohio $10 billion a year in healthcare costs, new HPIO analysis finds

First-of-its kind analysis by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio has found that if adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are eliminated, more than $10 billion in annual healthcare and related expenses could be avoided in Ohio.

The analysis is included in a new HPIO policy brief, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Economic Impact of ACEs in Ohio. The study also found that focusing action on reducing ACEs, particularly those associated with behavioral health, can yield significant savings. For example, more than $4.5 billion in annual spending to treat depression in Ohio is attributable to ACEs.

“The research is clear that ACEs result in both significant health and economic impacts,” the brief states. “Economic costs from ACEs are incurred across the public and private sectors, including substantial costs to the healthcare system. The economic burden of ACEs also impacts the state child protection, behavioral health, criminal justice and education systems, as well as private sector businesses. By preventing and mitigating the impacts of ACEs, policymakers and others can put Ohio on a path towards improved health value.”

The brief is the second in three planned briefs as part of HPIO’s Ohio ACEs Impact Project. In August 2020, HPIO released the first brief, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Health impact of ACEs in Ohio.


HPIO releases updated equity resource page, Dashboard data tools

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released several new tools for policymakers and stakeholders interested in better understanding the health equity challenges facing the state.

Ohio ranks 46 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia on health value in HPIO’s 2019 Health Value Dashboard. The Dashboard highlights in a series of equity profiles that communities of color, Ohioans who have lower incomes or educational attainment, are sexual or gender minorities and/or live in rural or Appalachian counties, experience the worst health outcomes.

The Dashboard underscores that “Improving health value in Ohio means closing Ohio’s troubling health gaps and ensuring that all Ohioans have the opportunity to live to their full health potential.”

The Dashboard also highlights a set of evidence-based strategies that can move Ohio towards health equity and improved health value.

The new HPIO tools to further illuminate the issue are: