Why employers should provide caregiving benefits | Self-reported depression among working women jumps 83% | Passive stretching may lower diabetes, heart disease risk
July 8, 2020
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
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Wellness Programs & Trends
Caregiving benefits help employees stay productive and improve their well-being, says Dave Jacobs, co-CEO of Homethrive. "There's a change afoot that employers are viewing this as a benefit akin to child care and how that's become a staple benefit of almost every organization," he says.
Full Story: Employee Benefit News (free registration) (7/6) 
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Mental health self-monitoring platform Total Brain, in conjunction with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions and One Mind at Work, used a random selection of 500 anonymous assessments to gauge shifts in mental health and well-being since February. Working women's level of depressed mood has increased 83% since February and anxiety levels increased 52%, compared to 36% and 29%, respectively, for working men, indicating the mental health toll of the pandemic is weighing disproportionately on women workers.
Full Story: Human Resource Executive (7/7) 
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COVID: Deferred Care Can Cost Payers $110M+
Half of the respondents of a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Poll reported that they or someone in their household had deferred medical care because of COVID. Declines in chronic health encounters and vaccinations can cost payers more than $100M. Download this whitepaper to get the full story.
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Fitness
Performing passive leg stretches 5 times a week for 3 months decreased the stiffness of patients' arteries and allowed the arteries to dilate easier, which led to better blood flow and could reduce the risk for diabetes, stroke and heart disease, according to a study in The Journal of Physiology.
Full Story: Medical Dialogues (7/1) 
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AI Technology Correctly Predicts & Classifies Risk
COVID-19 has shined a harsh light on the shortfalls of the current system. The US health system is moving in the direction of better AI and analytics to flag and predict member risk. Download the whitepaper to learn more about AI helping payers manage future risk resulting from deferred care.
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Health News & Research
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that more than half of new COVID-19 cases were transmitted by presymptomatic and asymptomatic patients, highlighting the role of silent disease transmission as a significant driver of COVID-19 outbreaks. The findings "underscore the need for mitigation strategies, such as contact tracing, that detect and isolate infectious individuals prior to the onset of symptoms," researchers said.
Full Story: CNN (7/7),  U.S. News & World Report (7/7) 
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People who had biennial fecal occult blood test screenings for colorectal cancer had a 16% lower risk of dying from colorectal cancer and a 2% reduced risk of all-cause mortality, compared with those who had usual care, according to a study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The risk reduction was greater for men than for women.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (7/6) 
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A study in ERJ Open Research found that teens who preferred to sleep later were around three times more likely to have asthma compared with those who preferred to sleep earlier. The findings, based on data involving 1,684 teens in India, also showed that teens who sleep late had a twofold increased risk of allergic rhinitis compared with those who sleep earlier.
Full Story: Psych Central (7/7),  Medical Dialogues (7/5) 
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Researchers studied 36,233 children attending 18- and 24-month primary care visits and found that 73% were screened for autism spectrum disorder and 1.4% were later diagnosed with ASD, with screening less likely among Hispanic children and less likely to be performed by family physicians. The findings in Pediatrics also showed that children who screened positive were more likely to be diagnosed with ASD and were diagnosed at a younger age, compared with those who were not screened.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (7/6) 
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An analysis of Census Bureau data found that Hispanic and Black households with children are almost two times more likely to struggle with feeding their families during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with white counterparts. The percentage of food-insecure families has soared across all age groups during the pandemic and is much higher than during the worst of the Great Recession, according to Northwestern University research.
Full Story: Politico (7/6) 
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Schools & Community
Groups around the country are gathering surplus crops from farmers' fields, many of high quality, to donate to anti-hunger organizations and prevent waste as the need for food grows amid the coronavirus pandemic. The practice, known as gleaning, is mentioned in the Bible and has been growing in popularity.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (7/6) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
AHIP News
At the National Conferences on Medicare, Medicaid & Dual Eligibles (Sept. 14 through 17 in D.C.), AHIP will bring together the experts who make health care better for more Americans. Take home solutions relevant to your mission, your members, and the work you do. Discover why all three meetings belong on your calendar. Request to be notified when registration opens.
Health disparities keep millions of people from getting the quality care they need to improve their health and well-being. Health insurance providers have stepped up to overcome health care disparities that affect underserved communities.
Join us on July 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET for "Personalizing MA: Optimizing Supplemental Benefits for Chronically Ill Beneficiaries (SSBCI)" as CareJourney discusses SSBCI and the CHRONIC Care Act of 2017; how an understanding of chronic condition prevalence can impact MA Plan decision-making; and the potential ROI impact for MA plans if they offer SSBCI-specific benefits.
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