Ten California counties have made great strides toward establishing a patient-centered health care system that provides access to coordinated and efficient care, but more work remains to be done.
That’s the upshot of a new Center article in the August issue of Health Affairs that examines how effectively counties have transitioned from a fragmented safety-net model to an integrated health care network as part of the Health Care Coverage Initiative (HCCI). The article examines local health care coverage programs for low income adults in the counties from 2007 to 2011.
A companion Center report also released today, includes detailed county-level information and data. The article and the report highlight county advances in improving specialty access, quality of care, and health information technology.
For example, prior to HCCI, not all counties coordinated outpatient specialty care referrals, whereas under the new program they conducted extensive referral management. Counties also responded to challenges such as (more…)
Many parents are not taking their kids outside to play everyday, according to a recent study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Parents with children ages 3-5 answered one question as part of the much larger Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort: “In the past month, how often did you take [child] outside for a walk or to play in yard, a park, or a playground?” Response categories were: “once a day or more,” “few times a week,” “few times a month,” “rarely” or “not at all.” Of the responses, only 51 percent of parents answered “once a day or more.”
The study finds the odds of a child playing outside daily with a parent were:
- 15 percent lower if the child was a girl
- 36 percent greater if the child had one to two friends outside of school, and twice that if the child had three or more friends
- 49 percent lower if the mother was Asian, 41 percent lower if the mother was black and 20 percent lower if the mother was Hispanic, compared to white mothers
Additionally more children (58 percent) were likely to go outside and play with a parent if they (more…)
While automobiles provide many benefits, they also have negative impacts. For example, car crashes account for an estimated $180 billion and air pollution from traffic accounts for an estimated $50-80 billion, according to a report by the American Public Health Association. The report draws on numerous sources to better understand the costs behind transportation.
The authors conclude:
- The economic cost of road congestion ranges from $50 billion to $80 billion annually.
- The estimated health-related cost of traffic crashes in five San Francisco neighborhoods is approximately $116 million. By instituting health-enhancing development, this could be reduced by more than 97%, to $3.4 million.
- An estimated $22 billion in health-related costs could be saved per year in the South Coast of California if air quality standards were met.
Additionally the authors’ recommend that transportation planning should include healthier options including: increasing the number of bicycle lanes and greater access to public transportation.
Read the APHA report: The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation
Susan H. Babey, a Center research scientist, is the author of a journal article that reveals teens are glued to their TV or computer screens more than 24 hours a week. In this interview, Babey sheds light on why teens watch TV and use computers so much, how the physical environment impacts this trend, and what parents can do about it.
Q: Why are so many teens spending so much time in front of screens?
Televisions, computer games, and other types of screen media are everywhere, so it is not surprising that kids are spending so much time in front of screens. In addition, families are busy. Many parents use TVs and computer games to help them manage their busy schedules. Parents who work long hours may use these devices to help supervise or occupy their children when they are not around or when they need to get things done around the house. However, our results suggest that parental knowledge of kids’ activities is more important than actual parental presence. This suggests that even busy families can reduce the amount of time kids spend in these sedentary activities by keeping tabs on it and perhaps setting limits. In addition, in many households, TV is pervasive. There are TVs in multiple rooms and at least one of them is on most of the day, including during meals. Household environments that are saturated with screens encourage more use of those screens.
Read the interview.
How many children are uninsured in your county? What percentage of teens are affected by childhood obesity, asthma, low levels of physical activity and other health challenges? The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research now has easy-to-read and printable county-based Child and Teen Health Profiles on topics ranging from exercise, fast food and soda consumption, and more. Child and Teen Health Profiles contain quick statistics on the state’s 58 counties. Specifically, each of the state’s 41 most populated counties has its own Health Profile. The remaining 17 counties are grouped into three different Health Profiles.
These profiles follow the Center’s release of its first Adults Health Profiles in March 2012. The Child and Teen Health Profiles were created using 2009 data from the California Health Interview Survey, the nation’s largest state health survey. Conducted by the Center, CHIS provides a detailed picture of the health and health care needs of California’s large and diverse population.
The creation of the health profiles was supported with a grant from The California Endowment.
View the Child and Teen Health Profiles.
Learn more about the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Learn more about the California Health Interview Survey
A new report by PolicyLink, combines lessons and best practices on community-based participatory research (CBPR) from around the country with insights drawn from six case studies in California. (CBPR, is defined as an equal partnership between community members and academic researchers where everyone provides their expertise on a research project.) The report also includes resources and tools that can assist health leaders who are interested in starting their own CBPR project.
Read the report: Community-Based Participatory Research: A Strategy for Building Healthy Communities and Promoting Health through Policy Change