US Invests $250 Million in Foundation for Prevention and Public Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $250 million in new Affordable Care Act investments to support prevention activities and develop the nation's public health infrastructure.

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year among Americans, and account for 75% of the nation's health spending. Many Americans engage in behaviors such as tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol abuse, which harm their health.

"Investing in prevention and public health builds the foundation for improving the health and well-being of Americans, and for lowering costs in the health care system," said Secretary Sebelius. "Investing in proven preventive services will help patients get the care they need early, avoiding costly and unnecessary care later. This prevention-focused approach is better for doctors, patients, and our national balance sheet."

The investments announced today in prevention and public health are the second allocation for fiscal year 2010 from the new $500 million Prevention and Public Health fund created by the Affordable Care Act.

The $250 million investment in prevention and public health will go to:

· Community and Clinical Prevention: $126 million will support federal, state and community prevention initiatives; the integration of primary care services into publicly funded community-based behavioral health settings; obesity prevention and fitness; and tobacco cessation.

· Public Health Infrastructure: $70 million will support state, local, and tribal public health infrastructure and build state and local capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

· Research and Tracking: $31 million for data collection and analysis; to strengthen CDC's Community Guide by supporting the Task Force on Community Preventive Services; and to improve transparency and public involvement in the Clinical Preventive Services Task Force.

· Public Health Training: $23 million to expand CDC's public health workforce programs and public health training centers.

"With these investments, we are tackling the underlying causes of chronic diseases as well as strengthening our ability to meet the public health challenges of the 21st century," said Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin. "This moves America in the direction of becoming a fit and healthy nation."

Earlier this week, Secretary Sebelius announced the allocation of the first half of the Prevention and Public Health fund to increase the number of clinicians and strengthen the primary care workforce. Building on the earlier investments made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Affordable Care Act, particularly for the National Health Service Corps, the investments will support the training and development of more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next five years.

With these investments and others, the Affordable Care Act is continuing the Obama Administration's historic work to promote wellness and reduce chronic disease. The new law also calls for a national strategy to improve the nation's health, eliminates co-pays for key preventive services like cancer screenings, and provides new support for employer wellness programs.

A fact sheet will be available at www.healthreform.gov.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

Affordable Care Act: Laying the Foundation for Prevention

Chronic diseases -- such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes -- are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation's health spending. Often due to economic, social, and physical factors, too many Americans engage in behaviors -- such as tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol abuse--that lead to poor health.

President Obama believes a focus on prevention will offer our nation the opportunity to not only improve the health of Americans but also control health care spending. By concentrating on the underlying drivers of chronic disease, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps us move from today's sick-care system to a true "health care" system that encourages health and well-being.

The ACA creates a National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, composed of senior officials across the government, to elevate and coordinate prevention activities and design a focused strategy across Departments to promote the nation's health. On June 10, the President signed an Executive Order creating the National Prevention Council.

In addition, the Affordable Care Act creates a new Prevention and Public Health Fund designed to expand and sustain the necessary infrastructure to prevent disease, detect it early, and manage conditions before they become severe. This new initiative will increase the national investment in prevention and public health, improve health, and enhance health care quality.

Earlier this week, President Obama announced plans to spend $250 million from the Fund to support the training and development of primary care professionals who frequently deliver preventive services to patients. Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the allocation of another $250 million in federal fiscal year 2010 for prevention from the new Fund. These new funds are dedicated to four critical priorities:

Community and Clinical Prevention ($126 million)

The initiative supports prevention activities that we know will work to reduce health care costs and improve the promotion of health and wellness.

· Putting Prevention to Work ($74 million). Support federal, state and community initiatives to use evidence-based interventions to address tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, and better nutrition and physical activity.

· Primary and Behavioral Health Integration ($20 million). Assist communities with the coordination and integration of primary care services into publicly-funded community mental health and other community-based behavioral health settings.

· Obesity Prevention and Fitness ($16 million). Advance activities to improve nutrition and increase physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce weight association health conditions and costs. These activities will support the First Lady's "Let's Move" initiative and help implement recommendations of the President's Childhood Obesity Task Force.

· Tobacco Cessation ($16 million). Implement anti-tobacco media campaigns showing the negative health consequences of tobacco use, telephone-based tobacco cessation services, and outreach programs targeting vulnerable populations.

Public Health Infrastructure ($70 million)

The allocation strengthens state and local capacity to prepare health departments to meet 21st century challenges.

· Public Health Infrastructure ($50 million). Support state, local, and tribal public health infrastructure to advance health promotion and disease prevention through improved information technology, workforce training, and regulation and policy development.

· Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Grants ($20 million). Build state and local capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Research and Tracking ($31 million)

The initiative supports the Affordable Care Act's expansion of coverage for community and clinical preventive services by increasing resources for guidance and evaluation of preventive services.

· Surveillance ($21 million). Fund data collection and analysis to measure the impact of health reform and support strategic planning.

· Community Preventive Services Task Force ($5 million). Strengthen CDC's Community Guide by supporting the Task Force on Community Preventive Services' efforts to identify and disseminate additional evidence-based recommendations on important public health decisions to inform policymakers, practitioners, and other decision makers.

· Clinical Preventive Services Task Force ($5 million). Expand the development of recommendations for clinical preventive services, with enhanced transparency and public involvement in the processes of the Task Force.

Public Health Training ($23 million)

These funds support the training of existing and next generation public health professionals.

· Public Health Workforce ($8 million). Expand CDC public health workforce programs to increase the number of fellows trained and placed in public health positions.

· Public Health Training Centers ($15 million). Support training of public health providers to advance preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention, and improve the access and quality of health services in medically underserved communities.

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