Health value

As overall smoking rate continues decline, disparities remain

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that while the cigarette smoking rate continues to decline in the U.S., the decline is slower for minorities and the poor (Source: “Smoking rates decline, but at slower pace for minorities and poor, CDC says,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 8, 2018)

According to the CDC, cigarette smoking among American adults declined between 2005 and 2016; about 15.5 percent of the total population smoked in 2016, the CDC said. However, the percentages were higher for African-Americans (16.5 percent), those with a GED (40.6 percent), below poverty level (25 percent) and uninsured (28.4 percent) in the United States.

Health disparities that affect smoking rates also are a problem in Ohio. Smoking among Ohio adults decreased to 21 percent in 2015, according to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System state report. But smoking rates in 2015 were higher among Ohioans who were African-Americans (28 percent), Hispanics (29 percent), had less than a high school education (43 percent) or whose annual household income was under $24,999 (35 percent). All of those numbers were up from 2013's statistics, the behavioral report said.

HPIO’s 2017 Health Value Dashboard identified tobacco use as one of Ohio’s greatest health challenges and found that addressing health disparities in the state will be critical to increasing the state’s overall health value.

Ohio near bottom in national wellbeing ranking

Ohio once again ranks near the bottom in a national scorecard of health and wellbeing (Source: “Ohio ranks low on wellness survey,” Dayton Daily News,  Feb. 14, 2018) 

Using a survey of more than 2.5 million Americans, The Well-Being Index ranks states based on factors such as whether its residents like what they do every day; have supportive relationships, financial security and a positive community environment; and report having good health.

Ohio ranks sixth from the bottom among the 50 states. South Dakota ranks No. 1 and West Virginia has the lowest ranking.

The overall score for the U.S. on the index dropped in 2017 from 2016. The report said it is the largest year-over-year decline in the 10-year history of the the index and no state showed statistically significant improvement compared to the previous year.

A letter from our President: What is the value of a health policy institute?

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio talks a lot about value. Through the Health Value Dashboard we track Ohio’s performance on more than 100 metrics related to health outcomes and health spending. This summer, we introduced the quarterly Ohio Health Value Review to strengthen connections between public health and healthcare partners in order to improve health value in our state.

HPIO provides value through publications, forums and resources, delivered to policymakers and people like you. We spark conversations about solutions to Ohio’s greatest health challenges and opportunities for collaboration among partners in the health policy arena. HPIO’s regular interaction with policymakers brings evidence-informed analysis to the people making decisions about health policy in Ohio.

Our work is possible with your support. Please consider a donation today though one of these avenues:

  • Send a check to Health Policy Institute of Ohio, 10 West Broad Street, Suite 1150, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
  • Contribute through the Columbus Foundation’s Big Give on Tuesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 11. By making a donation to HPIO through this online event, all credit card fees are covered and donations are eligible for bonus pool funds from Columbus Foundation partners based on a pro rata basis. To make a gift, go to beginning 10 a.m. on Oct. 10 through 12 p.m. Oct. 11. You will be able to search for the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and follow the instructions on the site.
  • Contribute through HPIO’s PayPal site at any time.

Thank you for being a partner in our work!


Amy Rohling McGee

HPIO forum to address health, wealth link

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio is hosting a forum next month titled “Linking health and wealth: How economic vitality can lead to healthier Ohioans.”

There are many factors beyond health behaviors and access to healthcare services that impact our health. In order to be healthy, everyone needs the opportunity to earn a sufficient income and live in affordable, safe housing. The forum will explore state policy options to improve health outcomes and health equity by increasing economic development, labor force participation and income mobility.

Speakers include:

  • Anjum Hajat, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • David Norris, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
  • And more to be announced 

The forum will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 27 at the Ohio University Dublin Integrated Education Center (6805 Bobcat Way, Dublin, OH 43016).

Study: Minorities get less effective care, more ineffective care

A new study has found that minority patients are not only more likely to miss out on effective treatments, but also are more likely to receive excessive ineffective services (Source: “Quantity Over Quality? Minorities Shown To Get An Excess Of Ineffective Care,” Kaiser Health News, June 9, 2017).

The study, published in the June issue of Health Affairs, examined 11 medical services identified as “low value” by the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely initiative. Among the low-value services that researchers studied, black and Hispanic beneficiaries were significantly more likely to receive many of them than were whites. For example, 17.4 percent of black patients and 12.8 percent of Hispanics with advanced dementia received feeding tubes during the study period, compared with just 4.6 percent of white patients. Similarly, while 14.9 percent of white patients received cardiac testing before cataract surgery, the figures for blacks and Hispanics were higher, 17.3 and 20.5 percent, respectively.

A significant body of research has shown that U.S. minorities tend to receive fewer medical services that are considered effective, such as flu shots or aspirin following a heart attack, said William Schpero, a Ph.D. student at Yale School of Public Health who was the study’s lead author. That disparity is typically attributed to problems with access to the healthcare system, he said.

However, visiting the doctor frequently was no guarantee of better care, the study suggested. Researchers found that greater use of the healthcare system was often associated with significantly higher rates of low-value care for many services. “Our findings show that improving access is a necessary but not sufficient part of the policy solution,” said Schpero. “Improving quality is important as well.”

HPIO brief explores health value, tobacco use connection

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released A Closer Look at Tobacco Use and Health Value.

Building on the work of HPIO’s 2017 Health Value Dashboard, the brief explores tobacco use and its impact on population health and healthcare spending.

According to the Dashboard, Ohio ranks near the bottom in adult cigarette smoking (43) and secondhand smoke exposure for children (49) out of the 50 states plus D.C. Analysis of Dashboard data found that states with a lower adult smoking rate are more likely to have a better health value rank.

The brief also highlights the impact of smoking on Medicaid costs and outlines evidence-based approaches that work to reduce smoking rates.

Ohio ranks 46th in latest HPIO Health Value Dashboard

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio this week released the latest edition of its Health Value Dashboard, which ranks states and the District of Columbia on a combination of population health and healthcare spending metrics. According to the Dashboard, Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in health value.

The Dashboard is unique in its emphasis on "health value," rather than on population health outcomes alone. No other national rankings factor in the impact of healthcare spending. The Dashboard also takes a more comprehensive approach in looking at health by evaluating social, economic and physical environments - which are significant contributors to overall health. The Dashboard provides in-depth data on 118 metrics.

The HPIO Health Value Dashboard shows that Ohioans live less healthy lives (43rd in population health) and spend more on health care (31st in healthcare spending) than other states.

The 2017 Health Value Dashboard is the second edition of the rankings. HPIO released its first Dashboard in late 2014. Ohio ranked 47th in health value in the inaugural edition.

HPIO forum to explore intersection of education, health

The Health Policy Institute is hosting a forum Sept. 15 titled “State policymaking at the intersection of education and health.”

At age 25, U.S. adults without a high school diploma can expect to die 9 years sooner than college graduates. This forum will explore the strong relationship between education and health with a focus on state-level opportunities to improve health policy in ways that will support early childhood and k-12 education goals, such as third grade reading proficiency, as well as education policies likely to improve child health and well-being.

Speakers include:

  • Peggy Lehner, Ohio General Assembly
  • Hedy Chang, Attendance Works
  • Damon Jones, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
  • Richard Hodges, Ohio Department of Health
  • Emily Zimmerman, Virginia Commonwealth University

2016 state health assessment draft released

The Governor’s Office of Health Transformation and the Ohio Department of Health today released a draft of the 2016 state health assessment.

The state health assessment is a comprehensive and actionable picture of health and wellbeing in Ohio. The purpose of the state health assessment is to:

  • Inform identification of priorities for the upcoming state health improvement plan
  • Provide a template for state agencies and local partners (uniform set of categories and metrics to use in related assessments)

The report includes information from several sources in order to provide a comprehensive picture of health and wellbeing in Ohio. Using existing data, this document presents data profiles on health outcomes and a broad range of factors that impact health outcomes, healthcare spending and disparities. These data profiles are followed by summaries of new information collected for this assessment, including qualitative information gathered through key informant interviews and regional forums. The Health Policy Institute of Ohio was commissioned to facilitate the state health assessment process and produce the publication.

The public is invited to provide input on the state health assessment until noon on July 5, 2016.

The final state health assessment is expected to be released later this summer, followed by the release of the 2016 state health improvement plan later this year.

HPIO seeks data analysis consultant for next Health Value Dashboard

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio released this week a Request for Proposals for data analysis consultation for the next iteration of its Health Value Dashboard.

Responses to the RFP are due by May 18, 2016. 

HPIO released its first-ever Health Value Dashboard in late 2014. The tool is a new and unique national ranking of states based on health value, a composite measure of population health outcomes and healthcare costs.

In February, HPIO began work on its 2017 Health Value Dashboard by hosting an initial meeting of its Health Measurement Advisory Group, the group that will advise on the creation and dissemination of the next Dashboard.