The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released the latest edition of its biennial Health Value Dashboard, which found that Ohio ranks 44 on heath value compared to other states and D.C. (as displayed in the graphic above).
That means that Ohioans are living less healthy lives and spending more on health care than people in most other states.
The Dashboard is designed for policymakers and other public- and private-sector leaders to examine Ohio’s performance relative to other states, track change over time and identify and explore health disparities and inequities in Ohio. The report also highlights evidence-informed strategies that can be implemented to improve Ohio’s performance.
With more than 100 data metrics, the report can be a valuable tool as Ohio’s leaders continue to develop the state’s biennial budget over the next two months.
In the fifth edition of the Dashboard, HPIO identified three specific areas of strengths on which Ohio can build to create opportunities for improved health value in the state:
- Strengthen Ohio’s workforce: Ohio can build upon recent success in attracting employers in high-growth industries to strengthen the workforce and reduce poverty
- Foster mental well-being: Ohio can build upon expertise with, and community response to, the addiction crisis to become a national leader in behavioral health
- Improve healthcare effectiveness: Ohio can build upon strengths in access to care to reinvigorate approaches to improving outcomes and controlling healthcare spending
More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults without access to a vehicle or public transportation missed or skipped a medical appointment in the previous year, according to a new national study (Source: “Over 1 in 5 skip health care due to transportation barriers,” Axios, April 28).
The new study found that while telehealth may have reduced transportation barriers for mental health, primary care and some other services, it's not accessible to all and can't substitute for in-person care for some medical needs, the Urban Institute researchers wrote.
The findings point to gaps that could be filled by Medicaid coverage of nonemergency medical transportation, which varies by state, or expanded access to telehealth where public transit options are limited, they said.
Transportation is one of the social drivers of health that HPIO examined in its recently released policy brief, Social Drivers of Infant Mortality: Recommendations for Action and Accountability in Ohio.
While the recent drop in life expectancy has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and a spike in drug overdoses, some academic experts and activists said the trend also underscores the lasting health consequences of mass incarceration (Source: “As US Life Expectancy Falls, Experts Cite the Health Impacts of Incarceration,” Kaiser Health News, April 27).
A major reason the U.S. trails other developed countries in life expectancy is because it has more people behind bars and keeps them there far longer, said Chris Wildeman, a Duke University sociology professor who has researched the link between criminal justice and life expectancy.
Although no one has proven that incarceration alone shortens life expectancy, research from the early 2000s did show the death rate for people leaving prison was 3.5 times higher than for the rest of the population in the first few years after release. Another study found that currently or formerly incarcerated Black people suffered a 65% higher mortality rate than their non-Black peers.
Over the past several years, HPIO has developed several resources exploring the connection between criminal justice and health.
The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out proposals to set national standards for care in Medicaid and children’s health care plans, amid upheaval for millions of Americans’ coverage in both programs (Source: “Biden officials propose slate of Medicaid transparency changes,” Stat News, April 27).
A pair of draft rules released by federal health officials Thursday would require Medicaid plans to book enrollees for appointments within two weeks. The rules would also require states to track and report the quality of care patients receive, to share provider payment rates and to oversee these changes through “secret shopper” surveys.
However, while the agency proposed a slew of reporting requirements, the changes did not come with clear penalties or incentives for improving wait time and care.
The draft plans come as states reassess Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency. Congress allowed states to begin removing people from Medicaid rolls this month, ending a pandemic freeze that saw Medicaid coverage balloon with more than 20 million new enrollees. An estimated 18 million people could lose coverage in the next year, according to a KFF survey of state Medicaid programs.
Five years after HPIO’s report A New Approach to Reduce Infant Mortality and Achieve Equity identified 127 policy recommendations in housing, transportation, education and employment to reduce infant mortality in Ohio, the majority of those policy options saw some progress toward implementation (as illustrated in the graphic above).
In March, HPIO released a new follow-up report, Social Drivers of Infant Mortality: Recommendations for Action and Accountability in Ohio, that builds upon recommendations first included in the original report.
The new report found that, despite the efforts of many in both the public and private sectors, progress since 2011 in reducing infant mortality has been minimal and uneven, and Ohio’s infant mortality rate remains higher than most other states.
In recent weeks, HPIO has released action guides that highlights policy options for improving education and housing, two of the social drivers of infant mortality in Ohio. Guides on transportation, employment and racism are planned to be released in the coming months.