Delaware Quitline Offers Free Smoking Cessation Supplies to Celebrate Its 15th Anniversary

DOVER – The Division of Public Health (DPH) is helping the Delaware Quitline celebrate a major milestone this month. The Quitline has now been helping Delaware smokers break their addiction for the past 15 years.

The Delaware Quitline is a toll-free tobacco cessation hotline (1-866-409-1858) that provides tobacco users (including e-cigarette users) the option of receiving counseling by phone or in person. Health care professionals trained in cessation counseling are available statewide for in-person counseling. All Quitline services are free to Delaware residents 18 years of age and older.

For eligible smokers, the Quitline also provides Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription cessation aids and non-prescription nicotine-replacement therapy such as patches, gum, and lozenges. To celebrate the 15-year anniversary, while supplies last, cessation aids will be available, free, to all participants who enroll in one of the Quitline counseling programs.

“This is a significant event in our tobacco prevention efforts and we are so pleased to be able to offer additional assistance to those who want to engage in healthier lifestyles and stop smoking,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. “Quitting smoking is one of the most important things a person can do to reduce their cancer risk. Additionally, we must continue to work with Delawareans on making overall healthier lifestyle choices, such as getting regular physical activity, and eating healthy diets, especially those high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in added sugars like sugar sweetened beverages.”

Since it began in February 2001, the Delaware Quitline has served more than 49,000 Delaware adults. Of those, more than 36,000 received telephone counseling, and almost 13,000 received face-to-face counseling. Additionally, 25 percent of those who responded to the follow-up survey, conducted seven months after services are provided, reported that they had not smoked in the past month.

During the past decade, Delaware has implemented the comprehensive Tobacco Prevention and Control Program statewide, and youth smoking rates have declined. High school students reporting “current cigarette smoking” is at an all-time low of 9.9 percent according to the 2015 Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This is a 69.3 percent decrease since 1999. However, the percentage of Delaware adults who reported that they currently smoke was 19.9 percent, according to the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. This percentage has remained statistically unchanged for the past four years.

Lisa Moore, the Division’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program manager, said, “While the high school data is still promising, we must be diligent in addressing tobacco use at all ages – and we must do everything possible to help smokers who want to quit. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in Delaware and the United States,” Moore said. “Prevention is key, however, the Delaware Quitline is a useful resource for those who already smoke and need help quitting.”

The Quitline also has special programs for pregnant smokers and smokeless tobacco users and has counselors who speak Spanish. The Delaware Quitline is a Division of Public Health program managed through a contract with Alere Wellbeing. It is funded in part by grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Delaware Health Fund. For more information about the Delaware Quitline, visit: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/quitline.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com. Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Two Organizations Receive Federal Grants to Help Delawareans

Two Organizations Receive Federal Grants to Help Delawareans Get Covered Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

NEW CASTLE – Chatman LLC and Westside Family Healthcare were awarded federal grants today to help Delawareans learn about their options and sign up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2016, starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the following grants to fund the work of certified enrollment assisters known as navigators:

• Chatman LLC, $339,096
• Westside Family Healthcare, $260,904

The awards announced today cover the first year of a three-year grant that runs until Sept. 1, 2018. The funds will support outreach efforts designed to help Delawareans understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov.

Chatman, whose Delaware office is at Widener University Law School on U.S. 202 near Wilmington, has employed navigators in Delaware during each of the first two open enrollment periods. Chatman will serve underserved populations statewide, with particular outreach to minorities, special needs individuals, Latinos, African Americans, young adults, immigrants, those with limited English proficiency, and rural residents.

Westside, a federally qualified health center with several locations in New Castle and Kent counties, will primarily serve individuals and families in those counties and will expand its current outreach and education program, which works with existing Westside patients and conducts outreach in the community.

Westside also employed federal navigators last year and was one of four organizations that employed Marketplace guides, who performed similar outreach and education roles during the first two years of Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Contracts for all four Marketplace guide organizations ended last spring.

Navigators provide free, objective information about health coverage to consumers to help them make the best possible choice. They are knowledgeable about the qualified health plans available in Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Through the first two years of the marketplace, 25,036 Delawareans enrolled for private health insurance coverage, with enrollment increasing 74 percent from Year 1 to Year 2. As of March 2015, a total of 22,297 Delawareans were paying their monthly premiums and had active coverage.

“The Affordable Care Act is expanding access to health coverage for thousands of hard-working people in Delaware, but picking the right plan and understanding the benefits it offers can be confusing,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Health care navigators help make that task a little easier. These federal grants will help to spread the word about resources available to consumers who have questions and need assistance enrolling in health plans through Delaware’s marketplace. This crucial federal investment will go a long way toward getting every person in our state the health coverage they deserve.”
Added Congressman John Carney: “More Delawareans are enrolling in health insurance than ever before. They need help to make smart, informed choices for themselves and their families. The navigators supported by this federal grant have already helped thousands of Delawareans. They’ll continue to be an important resource as we get closer to the next enrollment period.”
Federally funded navigators were a key part of Delaware’s enrollment assistance efforts during the first two years of the Health Insurance Marketplace, and they are expected to play an even more critical role now that the state’s contracts with Marketplace guides have ended. Navigators will join agents and brokers, certified application counselors and staff from federally qualified health centers to provide enrollment assistance in Delaware.
“Navigators are in-person, community-based resources for those who need help understanding their health coverage options and how to sign up for a plan,” said Secretary Rita Landgraf of the state Department of Health and Social Services. “We look forward to working with the experienced, trusted partners at Chatman and Westside to help Delaware’s remaining uninsured residents get coverage that fits their needs and that connects them to quality care. We will especially rely on the navigators as we continue to engage traditionally hard-to-reach populations such as Latinos and young adults.”
Delawareans who need health insurance before Jan. 1, 2016, can still get covered if they qualify for a special enrollment period due to a life change like getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage, or through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provide coverage to families and individuals with limited income or other circumstances.
For information about Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace and how to contact navigators for assistance, go to www.ChooseHealthDE.com or call the federal Marketplace help center at (800) 318-2596.

For more information, contact Jill Fredel, Director of Communications, (302) 255-9047 (office) or (302) 357-7498 (cell).

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Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.


Screening for Life Program Now Covers Lung Cancer Screenings

DELAWARE TO OFFER LUNG CANCER SCREENING

DOVER – The Division of Public Health’s Screening for Life Program will now cover lung cancer screenings for Delawareans who qualify for the Screening for Life Program. The Screening for Life Program covers breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer screenings for uninsured or underinsured Delawareans who are not eligible for Medicaid or the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace.
The screening — known as a low-dose CT scan — aims to catch lung cancer early, when it is most treatable. Lung cancer, which is the No. 1 cancer killer of Delaware men and women, accounts for more than 30 percent of all cancer deaths. The screening is available to current and former smokers deemed at high-risk for lung cancer. This includes men and women who:
· Currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years
· Smoke or have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 or more years
· Are 55 to 80 years of age
These high-risk individuals should visit www.HealthyDelaware.org/lung or call 302-401-4212 to speak with a screening nurse navigator, who serves as a guide through the entire process. Across the state, Christiana Care Health System, Bayhealth Medical Center, and Beebe Healthcare will offer the screening. When compared to standard chest X-rays, the National Lung Screening Trial found low-dose CT scans lower the risk of dying from lung cancer by up to 20 percent. Delaware acted quickly on the findings.

“Our task now is to not only educate current and former smokers, but also healthcare providers,” says Dr. Stephen S. Grubbs, an oncologist at Christiana Care Health System who also serves as the chair of the Delaware Cancer Consortium’s Early Detection and Prevention Committee.
In a combined effort, the Screening for Life Program and the Delaware Cancer Consortium aim to add Delaware to the list of states with the lowest rates for cancer incidence and mortality. The program started with breast and cervical screenings in 1997, later adding colorectal in 2007 and prostate in 2009, all of which directly impacted Delaware’s cancer incidence and mortality rates. Comparing the years 1995 to 1999 and 2005 to 2009, the state’s cancer mortality rate decreased by 18.7 percent, 50 percent greater than the national rate. With the new lung cancer screening added to the program, Delaware now offers screenings to the uninsured or underinsured for all five of the most common cancer killers.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

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Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Delaware Health and Social ServicesDivision of Public Health


“Healthiest Nation In One Generation” by 2030 National Public Health Week Starts April 6, 2015

DHSS“HEALTHIEST NATION IN ONE GENERATION” BY 2030;
NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK STARTS APRIL 6, 2015

During National Public Health Week 2015 (April 6-12, 2015), the public health community is rallying to make the U.S. the “healthiest nation in one generation” by 2030. According to the United Nations, although the U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any other nation in the world, U.S. residents have a life expectancy of 77.9 years, lower than 28 other countries. As we focus on becoming a healthier nation, the Division of Public Health (DPH) urges Delawareans to remember that health choices and challenges are woven into every day, and are profoundly impacted by where people live, work, pray, and play.

“Much of a person’s overall health is determined outside of a doctor’s office, “ said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “And, while one’s choices fundamentally impact a person’s health, the things they cannot choose also make a difference. DPH celebrates this public health week as a reminder that health is more than health care.”

Each year public health professionals honor National Public Health week with a different theme Monday to Friday, and this year’s celebration focuses on ambitious and global ideas:

• Making the grade (Monday, April 6): What does the data reveal about America’s health?

o Obesity, smoking, and sedentary lifestyles among youth and adults are linked to escalating chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular     disease, and certain cancers. The 5-2-1 Almost None campaign is a simple way to remember to make smart choices: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

• Starting from Zip (Tuesday, April 7): Your ZIP code says far too much about your health.

o Within the United States, there are unacceptable disparities in health, state-by-state and even county-by-county. The effort to make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation starts with ensuring equity across all communities. DPH is working with community partners to achieve health equity by working with communities that have the poorest health outcomes to address their most important determinants of health. And, in 2014 DPH was pleased to honor nine communities who have made investments that promote healthy behaviors through infrastructure, events, and policies, and which won “healthy community” recognition from Governor Jack Markell’s Council on Health Promotion and Disease

• Building momentum (Wednesday, April 8): The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings health care and preventive services to the front and center.

o Access to health care is vital to good health and now Delawareans have more access than ever before to health insurance. To learn more, visit http://www.choosehealthde.com.

• Building Broader Connections (Thursday, April 8): It really does take a village.

o In the work to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation, no one agency or provider can do it all on their own. Through strategic planning and the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP), DPH has sought input and guidance from multiple partners to help identify what they see as the most pressing health problems in the state. And, as an agency, DPH has begun to take the “health in all policies approach,” and is striving to grow partnerships with education officials, local governments, state agencies, public, private and for-profit organizations – everyone who impacts health.

• Building upon success (Friday, April 10): Improve DPH performance in all areas and seek national accreditation.

o Public health agencies across the country are evolving. Rather than being mostly a direct service provider, DPH is strategically leveraging resources and partnerships to build the agency’s vision of healthy people in healthy communities. DPH and the newly established Delaware Public Health Institute are leading a collaborative process with health stakeholders to improve population health. The SHIP is addressing two core health issues: improving access to mental health services; and assuring an infrastructure to promote healthy behaviors.

To learn more about national public health week visit, visit http://www.nphw.org   To learn more about the DPH SHIP plan, visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/shaship.pdf.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

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Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Delaware Health and Social ServicesDivision of Public Health


Delaware Receives $35 Million for Plan to Improve Health Care Quality and Lower Costs

Four-year federal grant will fund health care innovation efforts statewide

Wilmington, DE – Delaware has been awarded $35 million in federal funds that will fuel efforts to improve patient care, support the health of all Delawareans, and reduce the costs of care. The grant, announced today by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), is designed to help states implement innovative approaches to delivering and paying for health care. The state’s grant proposal presentation, which was led by Governor Jack Markell, highlighted the intended focus to amplify investments already being made by Delaware’s health care system to transform health care delivery from a fee-for-service system toward one that rewards quality care and efficiency.

Fact Sheet: Delaware’s State Health Care Innovation Plan and the State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative

If successfully implemented, Delaware’s Health Care Innovation Plan is projected to create more than $1 billion in cost-of-care savings through 2020.  Approximately half of these savings would be reinvested in the delivery system to improve quality and access, and the other half would support improved affordability. The work funded by the grant will support primary care practices, population health initiatives, health information technology, workforce training and development, and clinical and payment innovation.

The state’s Health Care Innovation Plan was developed starting in spring 2013 by representatives from a broad group of Delaware’s health care stakeholders, including physicians, hospitals, other providers, insurers, businesses, consumer advocates, educators, researchers and government officials. The plan takes aim at a critical need: the state’s health outcomes rank below the national average in several categories, including diabetes, obesity, and cancer mortality; however, Delawareans pay 25 percent more for health care than the national average; health care spending in Delaware exceeds $8 billion per year for employers, consumers, and taxpayers combined; Medicaid and the State Employees Health Plan in particular consume nearly a quarter of Delaware’s budget.

The goals of the strategy are to strengthen the primary care system so that patients experience well-coordinated team-based care that delivers better health outcomes, align incentives for providers and health insurers to focus on quality and affordability, support patients to engage in their own health, and support communities to work together to promote health and connect community resources to the health care system.Grant

“The case for change is clear and it is exciting to have all of the parts of our state’s health care community working together with a common mission to provide Delawareans with the best care while reducing the unsustainable growth in costs,” said Governor Markell. “This grant will make it possible to put their plan into practice and we will begin to transform our system to one in which providers are rewarded for quality rather than quantity of care and for their innovative efforts to better serve our people. Together we will ensure Delawareans are healthier than ever before.”

“At the heart of this work is a focus on improving the health of Delawareans and their experience with the health care system,” said Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “Whether an individual needs treatment for a chronic condition like diabetes, experiences a health emergency, or has the opportunity to prevent future health challenges, the innovation plan provides a way to ensure that patients receive well-coordinated, high quality care to help them achieve a healthy life.”

“There is great innovation happening across our health care community, improving the lives of patients every day,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, Chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission, the designated state grant recipient. “This grant can support that work, align payment models to make those programs financially sustainable, and create a framework for large health systems, small independent providers, community health organizations and others to participate.”

Delaware’s congressional delegation of Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with U.S. Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) wrote a letter of support for the grant.

“Improving our health care system from one that is an inefficient fee-for-service model to one of preventive and coordinated care that keeps patients healthy leads to better outcomes for less money,” Sen. Carper said. “This grant will help Delaware health providers utilize proven best practices that result in reduced costs and better care – all the while creating solutions that other states can replicate. Innovative grant programs like these are exactly what I had in mind when I was helping to reform our health care system through the Affordable Care Act.”

“Delaware is fortunate to have top-notch hospitals, doctors, and other providers,” Sen. Coons said. “More can and should be done to provide more thorough, timely, and efficient care to patients. This grant will help drive transformation in the state, make us smarter purchasers of health care, and ensure every Delawarean has access to better coordinated and higher quality care.”

“We need to change the way we use and pay for healthcare. It’s one of the most important things we can do to improve Americans’ quality of life and support economic growth,” Congressman Carney said. “This federal grant gives Delaware the opportunity to be a national leader in developing a more patient-centered, efficient, and transparent system. It’s an ambitious plan, but one that can be achieved with the help of the many partners that have been involved from the beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing this plan put into action. I think it will go a long way toward helping more Delawareans live healthier lives.”Grant

Under the Health Care Innovation Plan, Delaware will:

  • Focus on strong coordination of care across multiple health care providers, especially for those patients with complex chronic conditions, including primary care and behavioral health providers, other specialists and hospitals.
  • Support primary care providers in delivering proactive, preventive care and in coordinating care for patients.
  • Enable ease of access to medical history and prescription information and hospitalizations across a patient’s health care team.
  • Adapt training and education programs to ensure that doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical social workers and other health care providers have the skills and abilities to deliver team-based care.
  • Support insurance carriers, and other healthcare payers such as self-insured employers, to move to payment models that reward high-quality, cost-efficient care.
  • Create a “common scorecard” using accepted industry standards to provide information to providers on their performance and outcomes and to provide incentives for improvement and for innovative and efficient approaches to delivering high-quality care.
  • Promote “healthy neighborhood” coalitions that will work together to address community health needs, enable healthier living, and integrate local resources with health care delivery to provide better access to primary care.
  • Maintain a focus on the patient and gather input from health care consumers to guide programs.

“This is a great day for Delaware. This grant enables us to accelerate innovation and health care redesign in Delaware, making the First State a national model for a new kind of care that our neighbors value,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, President and CEO of Christiana Care Health System and a member of the Delaware Health Care Commission. “The Delaware model of public private partnership and broad stakeholder collaboration will serve us well as we work toward achieving our goals of making Delaware one of the healthiest states in the country.”

Thomas Brown, senior vice president of Nanticoke Health Services in Sussex County, says the state’s Health Care Innovation Plan reflects the needs of the health care community. “Today more than ever, it’s critical for health care providers to deliver value for care and for patients to experience a consistent, high level of coordinated care at every stage.”

The path forward

To guide implementation of the innovation plan and track its progress, the Delaware Center for Healthcare Innovation was established earlier this year. The 15-member DCHI board represents major health systems and payers in the state, independent providers, Delaware’s largest federally qualified health center, educational institutions, the business community, and state government.

“The innovation plan charts a clear course of action,” said DCHI board chairman Matt Swanson, a Delaware business leader and community advocate. “With this grant, the DCHI is excited to begin the actual work of implementation together with stakeholders, on behalf of all Delawareans.”

“As a physician, I believe transforming the way we practice is essential to improving the delivery of quality care to Delawareans. Important concepts include increasing access for patients, building team-based care and integrating health information and care coordination. The SIM grant award will be vital in creating the opportunity for independent physicians to achieve that,” said Nancy Fan, MD, President of the Medical Society of Delaware.

“This is an important milestone,” said Terry Murphy, Chair of Delaware Healthcare Association and President and CEO of Bayhealth. “The grant will directly support transition costs required to implement our state plan including operational support for the enhancement of care management and other direct patient care initiatives.  Delaware hospitals continue to work hard every day to improve patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes while managing our costs.”

Lolita Lopez, president and CEO of Westside Family Healthcare and co-chair of the DCHI board’s Healthy Neighborhoods committee, says federal support for the innovation plan will help Delaware integrate local health initiatives with those in the medical community. “As a result we will see improvements in the health and wellness of the entire population. And as a medical provider to the underserved, we at Westside look forward to a smoother, more seamless way to connect patients to other health providers and organizations that help them manage the social determinants of health.”

For more information on the Delaware Health Care Innovation Plan, go to the Delaware Health Care Commission’s website, http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhcc.

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