Healthy Vision 2020
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Healthy Vision 2020
Bringing into focus a clear and distinct view of the rest of this decade in Texas health care. Offering a sharp perception of what lies ahead and what we must change to keep us all healthy.
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Criminally negligent physical education

Did it really take the American Medical Association to tell us this? The AMA has pronounced childhood obesity a disease — also, that boiling water scalds and wood splinters.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

 

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

 

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs.

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Prevention Means Business

Prevention Means Business | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Recommendations

 

•    Actively involve patients in the health care decisionmaking process.

•    Promote participation in smoking cessation programs, worksite wellness, and routine screenings.

•    Provide incentives via merit grants that recognize those state agencies that are promoting productive worksite wellness efforts.

•    Continue full funding for the Texas Women’s Health Program.

•    Streamline efforts to vaccinate people who work with high-risk populations.

•    Support statutory changes that allow parents of Texas schoolchildren access to data specific to the schools their children attend regarding the number of conscientious objector claims to vaccination.

•    Improve access to vaccinations, including improvements in the state’s Vaccines for Children Program and the adult safety net programs; this will ensure uninsured and low-income persons can get appropriate vaccinations.

•    Keep public health disease surveillance systems robust.

•    To address the growing obesity problem in Texas, increase funding for improving access to healthy foods; increase access to parks and recreational facilities; and promote worksite wellness policies.

•    Reduce or prevent childhood obesity by increasing physical activity and reducing barriers to student participation in safe school sport activities.

•    Promote physician participation in school health advisory committees and other public health prevention programs. Support legislation that requires inclusion of a primary care physician on all school health advisory committees.

•    Require Texans who smoke and communities that allow it in public venues to fund an increasing portion of health care costs related to smoking-related illnesses.

•    Adequately fund proven interventions to reduce tobacco use, such as Texas’ Quitline and education in schools.

•    Provide smoking cessation benefit coverage for state employees and retired teachers.

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Obesity causing health care costs to rise, study finds | Business | NewsObserver.com

Obesity causing health care costs to rise, study finds | Business | NewsObserver.com | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Whether you're obese or not, obesity increases Americans' health expenditures by $1,723 a year per person.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

 

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

 

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs.

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Religious leaders urge funding for family planning, birth control

Dozens of clergy members took to the Capitol on Monday to ask the Legislature to restore family planning funding and to counter assertions that all religious leaders support those cuts.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in preventive care for low-income women

 

Lost in the highly charged political debate is the fact that “women’s health” includes far more than abortions. Now that the federal government has withdrawn its support, the state must continue to find a way to ensure that women continue to have access to preventive services and to finance a robust Texas Women’s Health Program..

 

The Women’s Health Program, which does not provide abortions, delivers cost-effective basic health care screenings — such as for cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as birth control. This is the only source of such preventive care for many low-income women in Texas.

 

More than 70 percent of pregnancies among single young women in Texas are unplanned.Increasing the number of women who enroll in the Women’s Health Program after a Medicaid delivery is especially important. Women who have had a Medicaid-funded delivery are at particularly high risk for subsequent pregnancy, often so soon that risks of prematurity and low birth weight are elevated. Babies born too soon or too small often have significant health problems, such as respiratory or developmental delays, contributing to higher medical costs at birth and as the child ages. In 2007, unplanned Medicaid births cost the state more than $1.2 billion.

 

If we want healthy children and adults – healthy Texans – who are not going to continue to be a burden on the social welfare system, then we should champion ways to make individuals responsible for their contraception and personal health. Texas must educate young people about contraception. Studies show educating teenagers about contraception actually delays sexual intercourse and decreases unintended pregnancies. By rebuilding Women’s Health Program, Texas can give young couples the tools to take responsibility for their future and protect their own health and their children’s.

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Texas mental health care funding has stagnated, even as calls to boost efforts grow

Texas mental health care funding has stagnated, even as calls to boost efforts grow | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
As the gun-control debate includes calls for expanded services, critics complain Texas hasn’t accounted for its growing population.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in mental health and substance abuse community treatment

 

Mental illness and substance abuse hurt the Texas economy through lost earning potential, treatment of coexisting conditions, disability payments, homelessness, and incarceration.

 

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the United States. About 13 million adults have a debilitating mental illness each year, and almost half of all adults will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. Five percent of adults have a serious mental illness.About one in five children are affected by a mental health disorder with severe impairment in their lifetime.

 

More than 8 percent of Texas adults report current depression, and 5.2 percent report serious psychological distress.37 In 2011, almost 30 percent of Texas high school students reported they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks. Suicide is a leading cause of death among Texans under 35 years.

 

More than 66,000 Texans were cared for in state-funded substance abuse treatment programs in 2010. Substance use is common in Texas students (grades 7-12), with 62 percent reporting they had used alcohol and 17.2 reporting inhalant abuse. Despite significant legislation to curtail drinking and driving, almost 40 percent of Texas driving fatalities are still associated with alcohol use.

 

In 2009, 23 percent of the adult offenders in Texas state prisons, on parole, or on probation were current or former clients of the Texas public mental health system.43 A Texan with a serious mental illness is eight times more likely to be in a jail than in a hospital or treatment program, at a cost of $50,000 a year. A person in jail without a mental illness costs the state about $22,000 annually.

 

Mental illness is also strongly associated with high-risk behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use, and results in conditions such as obesity. U.S. mental health costs were estimated to be $57.5 billion in 2006 including the cost of mental health care and the indirect costs of disability caused by mental illness. One recent study estimates that Texas state dollars spent on mental health exceed $13 billion each year.

 

Mental health treatment costs in the United States totaled almost $9 billion in children in 2006; Medicaid covered more than one-third of these costs.47

 

Proper care for persons with mental illnesses saves costs associated with the cycle of incarceration, homelessness, and so forth. Assessing the return on investment connected with mental health and substance abuse care is complex because there are many different diagnoses, and the disability caused by each and the treatment plans vary greatly. In 2003, depression cost U.S. employers $44 billion in lost productivity alone. One employee assistance program in California showed a return on investment of $5.17 to $6.47 for every dollar spent on employee assistance for a mental health problem.

 

While Texas has recently made significant investments in community mental health services, we still rank 50th in state public mental health funding per capita.

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AAP: All Work and No Play Bad for Kids

Recess during school offers children cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits they don't get through academics alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

 

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

 

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs.

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In U.S., Obesity Up in Nearly All Age Groups Since 2008

In U.S., Obesity Up in Nearly All Age Groups Since 2008 | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Nearly every age group in America today is more likely to be obese than the same age groups were four years ago. Obesity is up the most among older adults -- 14.4% of those aged 84 to 87 years are obese today, up from 12.2% in 2008.

 

TMA Says:

Increase funding for improving access to healthy foods; increase access to parks and recreational facilities; and promote worksite wellness policies. Improve the health of Texas students by increasing physical activity and reducing barriers to student participation in safe school sport activities.

 

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Our View: Politics is putting health care for indigent women in jeopardy

Abortion has always been a controversial issue and will always be one. Whenever the political live wire of abortion is thrust into the political arena for any reason, it should be considered only on its own merits.

 

The Women’s Health Program, which does not provide abortions, delivers cost-effective basic health care screenings — such as for cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as birth control. This is the only source of such preventive care for many low-income women in Texas.

 

More than 70 percent of pregnancies among single young women in Texas are unplanned. Increasing the number of women who enroll in the Women’s Health Program after a Medicaid delivery is especially important. Women who have had a Medicaid-funded delivery are at particularly high risk for subsequent pregnancy, often so soon that risks of prematurity and low birth weight are elevated. Babies born too soon or too small often have significant health problems, such as respiratory or developmental delays, contributing to higher medical costs at birth and as the child ages. In 2007, unplanned Medicaid births cost the state more than $1.2 billion.

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Houston-area school districts adopt new take on sex ed

Houston-area school districts adopt new take on sex ed | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Some Houston-area school districts are shifting away from traditional abstinence-only sex education classes this school year, part of a statewide trend that has prompted concern among some parents that kids are learning too much, too soon about sex.

 

Texas needs to support our citizens in taking more responsibility for their health and health care decisions.

 

The key to maintaining health lies in helping patients assume responsibility for their own health with regular support from their physicians. Competent, compassionate medical care, delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect are critical components of this responsibility. Conversely, patients have a responsibility to make informed, healthy decisions. 

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One in Five U.S. Adults Smoke, Tied for All-Time Low

One in Five U.S. Adults Smoke, Tied for All-Time Low | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Twenty percent of U.S. adults say they smoked a cigarette in the past week, tying the all-time low in Gallup trends since 1944. Recent declines in smoking are steepest among young adults, those aged 18 to 29, and those in the East.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further – to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

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Doctors Should Screen All Adults for Obesity, U.S. Panel Says | Healthland | TIME.com

Doctors Should Screen All Adults for Obesity, U.S. Panel Says | Healthland | TIME.com | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

With more American adults qualifying as obese than ever before, doctors should be screening all adult patients for unhealthy weight, says a government panel.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients

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Are Obese Employees Killing Your Company? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Are Obese Employees Killing Your Company? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Obese employees cost American companies a lot of money. This infographic breaks down how, and offers some prevention tips.

 

The leading causes of death and disability in Texas and the United States today are preventable because they are closely associated with personal lifestyle decisions. Texans’ personal behaviors contribute to more than 60 percent of all deaths in our state every year The leading causes of death and disability in Texas and the United States today are preventable because they are closely associated with personal lifestyle decisions. Texans’ personal behaviors contribute to more than 60 percent of all deaths in our state every year 

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Are Vaccines Safe? A Major Media Outlet's Specious Story Fans the Debate

Are Vaccines Safe? A Major Media Outlet's Specious Story Fans the Debate | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Can vaccines cause the disease they're supposed to prevent? Do they lead to autism? Every leading medical organization says no — and supports immunization — yet parents are growing increasingly skeptical.

 

Every time one of these sham stories runs, more children lose out on important vaccinations. We're already seeing a whooping cough epidemic in Washington state.

 

 

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Obesity's death toll could be higher than believed, study says

Obesity's death toll could be higher than believed, study says | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new...
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

 

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

 

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs

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Bills aim to help schools make kids healthy

Bills aim to help schools make kids healthy | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Two bills dealing with what kids consume at school are under consideration by the Texas House on Tuesday.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs.

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Health reformers fail to hold patients accountable for health costs

Health reformers fail to hold patients accountable for health costs | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Patients also play a role in cost control. It’s time that health reformers acknowledge that.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Encourage Texans to take personal responsibility for their own health

 

Texas needs to support our citizens in taking more responsibility for their health and health care decisions.

 

The key to maintaining health lies in helping patients assume responsibility for their own health with regular support from their physicians. Competent, compassionate medical care, delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect are critical components of this responsibility. Conversely, patients have a responsibility to make informed, healthy decisions.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further — to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

 

Personal health and wellness depend on the behavioral decisions we make as well as the social and environmental factors to which we are exposed throughout a lifetime. Four out of 10 Texas adults report at least one factor — high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or a smoking habit — that puts them at high risk of developing a chronic disease. Many adults have more than one risk factor and can develop multiple chronic conditions.

 

These chronic diseases are killers that strike down Texans before their time. Tobacco, for instance, is directly responsible for the death of 24,000 Texans each year. This is more than homicide, HIV, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, and diabetes — combined.

 

Patients and their families trust their physicians to guide and influence decisions made to protect the patient’s health. However, with the massive information and misinformation in today’s super technology-driven environment, each patient and family needs the truth. Health literacy — patients’ education and ability to read, follow instructions, and communicate verbally — also affects their health. Nine out of 10 adults struggle with fully understanding basic health information as seen in advertisements, stores, the news, and in their communities.

 

All physicians and health care providers need to educate themselves on the cross-cultural dynamics that can impact a patient’s understanding and compliance with treatment. So, too, must the government’s education efforts evolve to accommodate the diverse cultures among poorer populations to ensure materials and programs connect with our population.

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Motivating patients to make wise choices - amednews.com

Motivating patients to make wise choices - amednews.com | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Patients are often the biggest obstacle to their own health. Physicians are exploring new communication techniques to help patients make lasting changes.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Encourage Texans to take personal responsibility for their own health

Texas needs to support our citizens in taking more responsibility for their health and health care decisions.

 

The key to maintaining health lies in helping patients assume responsibility for their own health with regular support from their physicians. Competent, compassionate medical care, delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect are critical components of this responsibility. Conversely, patients have a responsibility to make informed, healthy decisions.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further — to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

 

Personal health and wellness depend on the behavioral decisions we make as well as the social and environmental factors to which we are exposed throughout a lifetime. Four out of 10 Texas adults report at least one factor — high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or a smoking habit — that puts them at high risk of developing a chronic disease. Many adults have more than one risk factor and can develop multiple chronic conditions.

 

These chronic diseases are killers that strike down Texans before their time. Tobacco, for instance, is directly responsible for the death of 24,000 Texans each year. This is more than homicide, HIV, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, and diabetes — combined.

 

Patients and their families trust their physicians to guide and influence decisions made to protect the patient’s health. However, with the massive information and misinformation in today’s super technology-driven environment, each patient and family needs the truth. Health literacy — patients’ education and ability to read, follow instructions, and communicate verbally — also affects their health. Nine out of 10 adults struggle with fully understanding basic health information as seen in advertisements, stores, the news, and in their communities.

 

All physicians and health care providers need to educate themselves on the cross-cultural dynamics that can impact a patient’s understanding and compliance with treatment. So, too, must the government’s education efforts evolve to accommodate the diverse cultures among poorer populations to ensure materials and programs connect with our population.

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Coordinated approach urged on preventive care

Coordinated approach urged on preventive care | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The not-for-profit Trust for America's Health is calling for a revamp of public health management at the federal, state and local levels in a report that urges a greater focus on preventive care.

Texas Medical Association's insight:

Encourage Texans to take personal responsibility for their own health

 

Texas needs to support our citizens in taking more responsibility for their health and health care decisions.

 

The key to maintaining health lies in helping patients assume responsibility for their own health with regular support from their physicians. Competent, compassionate medical care, delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect are critical components of this responsibility. Conversely, patients have a responsibility to make informed, healthy decisions.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further — to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

 

Personal health and wellness depend on the behavioral decisions we make as well as the social and environmental factors to which we are exposed throughout a lifetime. Four out of 10 Texas adults report at least one factor — high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or a smoking habit — that puts them at high risk of developing a chronic disease. Many adults have more than one risk factor and can develop multiple chronic conditions.

 

These chronic diseases are killers that strike down Texans before their time. Tobacco, for instance, is directly responsible for the death of 24,000 Texans each year. This is more than homicide, HIV, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, and diabetes — combined.

 

Patients and their families trust their physicians to guide and influence decisions made to protect the patient’s health. However, with the massive information and misinformation in today’s super technology-driven environment, each patient and family needs the truth. Health literacy — patients’ education and ability to read, follow instructions, and communicate verbally — also affects their health. Nine out of 10 adults struggle with fully understanding basic health information as seen in advertisements, stores, the news, and in their communities.

 

All physicians and health care providers need to educate themselves on the cross-cultural dynamics that can impact a patient’s understanding and compliance with treatment. So, too, must the government’s education efforts evolve to accommodate the diverse cultures among poorer populations to ensure materials and programs connect with our population.

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Antismoking Outlays Drop Despite Tobacco Revenue

Antismoking Outlays Drop Despite Tobacco Revenue | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

States have spent less on tobacco prevention over the past two years than in any period since a settlement in 1998, despite high revenues from the settlement and taxes, according to a new report.

 

TMA Says: Invest in Tobacco Prevention

In 2012, total revenue to Texas from tobacco taxes and fees and tobacco settlement funds is expected to be $1.9 billion. But Texas will spend less on tobacco prevention in 2012 than most other states, ranking 39th in the nation for tobacco prevention expenditures. CDC recommends that Texas spend $266 million on tobacco prevention to have an effective and comprehensive tobacco prevention program. In 2012, Texas will spend a paltry $6 million in state funds on tobacco prevention.


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Flu vaccination rate hits 66% for healthcare workers - Modern Physician

Flu vaccination rate hits 66% for healthcare workers - Modern Physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

"

A significantly higher percentage of physicians and nurses compared with other  healthcare workers received flu vaccines in the last flu season, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention reports.
"

 

With legislation passed in 2011, Texas is set to lead the nation in ensuring health care workers are properly vaccinated and do not spread preventable diseases to patients.

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F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012 - Trust for America's Health

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a report released by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). 

 

“This study shows us two futures for America’s health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable.”

 

For Texas, report estimates adult obesity rate could reach 57.2 percent by 2030. Related health care costs could climb by 17.4 percent.

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How Americans Think About Screening Tests : NPR

How Americans Think About Screening Tests : NPR | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

There are conflicting guidelines on when women should get mammograms and mounting questions on when the PSA blood test for prostate cancer is worthwhile. We asked how people are sorting things out.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further – to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

 

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Issue Brief: Analysis of Obesity Rates by State - Trust for America's Health

Issue Brief: Analysis of Obesity Rates by State - Trust for America's Health | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Report: Texas is one of 12 states with obesity rates of 30 percent or more.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

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Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future | Bipartisan Policy Center

Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future | Bipartisan Policy Center | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

"Our nation is in the midst of a public health crisis so profound that is it undermining our national well-being, our economic competitiveness and even our long-term national security."

 

TMA's Healthy Vision 2020 recommendations:

Increase funding for improving access to healthy foods; increase access to parks and recreational facilities; and promote worksite wellness policies. Improve the health of Texas students by increasing physical activity and reducing barriers to student participation in safe school sport activities.
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A population health approach to wellness

A population health approach to wellness | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Population health encompasses the distribution of health outcomes within a population.

 

Personal accountability plus team-based preventive care will keep us healthier -- and save us money. 

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