Blue Cross Blue Shield Addresses Social Determinants of Health With Dallas Meal Delivery

Health Care Service Corporation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Institute will be delivering meals to 15 South and East Dallas zip codes to address some of the social determinants that impact health outcomes. The service is called foodQ, and is meant to address food deserts where access to healthy food is less common. Anyone in the included zip codes can participate, regardless of whether they are a Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan carrier. Residents can go to the foodQ website and choose healthy ready-to-eat lunch and dinner options that will be delivered to their door. A $10 subscription… Full Story

The U.S. Wastes $8.3 Billion Annually on ER visits. Is There a Local Solution?

Preventable healthcare spending in the emergency room topped out at $8.3 billion, according to a white paper from Premier Inc. The paper analyzed 50 ACOs and 750 hospitals across the U.S. to unearth the unnecessary spending. Premier found that 30 percent of visits to the emergency department could have been treated by primary care doctors or other care settings. The average cost of an visit to the emergency room is estimated to be nearly $1,917 by the Health Care Const Institute, and the study found 4.3 million visits to that could have been avoided, resulting in $8.3 billion in wasted… Full Story

Texas Health and the Arlington Fire Department are Cutting Readmissions in Half

Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Arlington Fire Department have helped reduce emergency department or inpatient readmissions by 50-75 percent through a home visit program. Patients with complex medical issues are identified by clinical staff who may need a nurse, a social workers, or other medical care to help them manage their chronic illness. Providers make home visits to Arlington patients who enroll in the program and are at risk of mismanaging their condition after leaving the hospital. They have 24/7 access to paramedics and are given a direct line for non-emergencies. The program has impacted frequent 911 callers and keep… Full Story

Self-Interested Altruism: Impacting Health Through Social Determinants

Social determinants of health have an outsized impact on the health of vulnerable populations. Access to quality housing, nutrition, and transportation can greatly improve communities’ health, but it can be difficult to sell to investors because these determinants are in effect public goods, and not limited to those who pay for them. But healthcare economists hope they can use the self interest of community health stakeholders to improve these determinants. During the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Conference, economist Len Nichols of George Mason University shared his research that details how to get self-interested healthcare systems to collaborate to… Full Story

Parkland Joins National Cooperative to Reduce the Healthcare Divide

Parkland Health and Hospital System will be one of 10 hospitals nationwide to participate in a program meant to close the health divide called Hospital Community Cooperative. Studies have shown that one’s zip code has an outsized impact on life expectancy, with the five miles between Lakewood and South Dallas resulting in a difference of around 18 years in life expectancy. The cooperative is meant to engage the community and prevent gaps like that from happening. The partnership was launched by the American Hospital Association and its affiliate the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity with support from the Aetna… Full Story

Blue Cross Blue Shield Teams Up With Texas A&M to Improve Rural Healthcare

In order to address rural healthcare challenges, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is partnering with Texas A&M University in order to learn more about the problems that face these underserved communities and find solutions to solve them. BCBSTX is committing $10 million to the Texas A&M Health Science Center to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes by improving health disparities and social determinants of health. They will join other organizations that are working to improve rural healthcare, such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation, who received a Community Mental Health Grant to provide mental health first aid training… Full Story