The NGA Center’s Health Division provides the nation’s governors and their staff with policy advisement on population health issues such as children’s health, disease management and wellness and the role of public health in the health care system. As the chief executive officers of their states, governors have authority over various agencies that impact population health. Going forward, the NGA Center’s population health efforts will focus on issues that have cross agency implications, challenges and solutions.
The NGA Center’s Health Division analysts and experts are available to assist gubernatorial offices and states with technical assistance and consultation.
Children’s Health & Obesity Prevention
A variety of factors impact children’s health, including family income, household education, and neighborhood conditions. The NGA Center’s work focuses on using the right levers to lead to well coordinated policies among agencies that impact children’s health. Such agencies can include education, health, human services, transportation, housing and public safety.
The NGA Center’s disease management work examines how such programs can impact public health insurance programs like state employee benefits and Medicaid. Disease management programs can be a part of the solution to bending the health care cost curve. Such programs seek to prevent those already with chronic conditions from getting worse through care coordination, use of health information technology and behavior modification through intensive coaching sessions and medication adherence incentives.
Prevention and Wellness
Chronic diseases can impact workforce productivity and cost of health care benefits. Governors can play a part in preventing such diseases and promoting wellness through state employee benefit design and partnering with different sectors to provide individuals with more opportunities to be healthy by being active and consuming healthier diets.
The current conversation about how to reform the nation’s health care system centers on the important task of financing care and expanding insurance coverage. However, as much as 60 percent of what impacts our health occurs outside of the physician’s office and hospital. Factors that impact health include behavior and social and physical environments. Without addressing the various factors that impact health, costs and chronic disease rates will continue to rise.