HHS Urges Federal Agencies To Focus on Preventive Health Care
The strategy focuses on preventing substance misuse and violence and promoting healthy eating, physical activity, reproductive health, and mental and emotional well-being.
It does not include any additional funding, but it could influence how HHS allocates $15 billion provided by the federal health reform law for prevention (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 6/16).
"The Administration is laying the foundation to help transform our health care system from a system focused on treating the sick to one that's focused on keeping every American healthy," said Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.
The strategy was drafted by the National Prevention Council, which includes representatives from 17 federal agencies, all of whom have committed to emphasizing prevention in their day-to-day decisions.
The strategy states that:
- Prevention starts at home and in the community, not just at physicians' offices;
- Immunization, cancer screenings and other preventive care, if made available, will translate to better care and lower health care costs;
- Providing easy-to-understand educational materials on preventive care will help U.S. residents make better choices; and
- Eliminating health disparities is important (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 6/16).
Jeff Levi -- executive director of the Trust for America's Health and chair of an advisory group that was involved with developing the strategy -- said the initiative adds "a health lens to the work that people are already doing." He added, "For example, as the Transportation Department considers a new street, how are they contributing to active living as opposed to just building a road?" (Schatz/Sapatkin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/17).
HHS Announces $4 Million in Grants Available for Prevention
In related news, HHS on Thursday also announced that $4 million from the federal health reform law's Prevention and Public Health Fund is available to community-based health care organizations, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The grants are available to organizations with a national network of affiliates that operate in at least 85% of the country. Groups with a focus on reaching minorities must demonstrate that they can reach at least 30% of their selected demographic and have affiliates in at least four states.
Organizations can apply for grants for a wide range of projects, including tobacco cessation and anti-obesity efforts.
HHS will accept applications through July 22 (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.