Friday, July 2, 2010

Health Updates

State Health Plan

The new state health plan has been released, outlining strategies for making Maine the healthiest state with the most efficient and effective health care delivery system by 2012. Currently, Maine is ranked the ninth healthiest state, up from sixteenth in 2003.

Other Health-related Reports

A new government report reveals that 90% of Americans are eating more salt than they should. Most salt comes from processed foods that don’t taste salty. For more information:

This new report shows Maine as the 29th most obese state in the nation:

Health Reform Update

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established a new website - This web site features consumer information and implementation updates where people will be able to research plans available in their area. Pricing information will be available starting in October, and the site will also provide additional resources on quality.

The National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, which was created by the health reform law, has submitted its first report to Congress. For more information:

Secretary Sebelius has announced an Affordable Care Act program to provide temporary coverage for Americans without insurance due to preexisting conditions. The program will cover people from now through 2014, when the new insurance exchanges are established. For more details, see this press release.

Questions and Answers related to Health Reform

· This blog post from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discusses protections that apply to people with private health insurance starting on or after September 23.

· Q&A for families and small business.

· Fact Sheet: The Affordable Care Act’s New Patient’s Bill of Rights

Updates related to Medicare and Medicaid

· This link describes strategies for reaching out to low-income individuals eligible for coverage through Medicaid and CHIP and enrolling them in the appropriate programs

· CMS has issued a proposed rule on preventive and primary care

Funding opportunity

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced a funding opportunity that will support school-based health center efforts to expand capacity to provide primary healthcare services to school-aged children. There will be awards of $50,000 to 1,000 school-based health centers nationwide for the purchase of moveable equipment to address significant and pressing needs and to support the expansion of services at SBHCs. Applications are due to HRSA July 30.

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