In This Issue
Guidance on Health Risk Assessments
New Leading by Example Publication Available
Aspirin Task Force Urges CMS to Cover Cardiovascular Disease Counseling
New Resource Available for State Legislators
Upcoming Partner Events 

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Partnership Pulse

 April 2011

Our monthly e-newsletter, Partnership Pulse, is designed to keep you up-to-date about the latest policy happenings in the prevention community. You - our many members, partners, and allies - will find timely and useful news about Partnership for Prevention's many programs, including the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, ActionToQuit, the National Chlamydia Coalition, Health Professionals Roundtable, Aspirin Task Force, Leading by Example and the Congressional Prevention Caucus.


Partnership Report Contributes to Guidance on Health Risk Assessments
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published guidance for health risk assessments to be delivered in conjunction with the newly authorized Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. The guidance was produced by Partnership and Thomson Reuters and was informed by expert interviews, input received in response to a Federal Register Notice, and insights provided by attendees at a Public Forum convened by Partnership. The guidance was developed at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will form the basis for regulations issued by CMS later this year.


New Leading by Example Publication Available
Partnership recently released Leading by Example: Creating Healthy Communities through Corporate Engagement. The publication details the business case for corporate involvement in advancing community health. It features 19 businesses that are working to improve the health and wellness of their communities.


Partnership Commends HHS for Offering Federal Employees Healthy Choices

Partnership commended Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for new guidelines that promote better health for federal workers through healthier food and beverage choices at federal facilities. The guidelines are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Partnership encourages all federal departments and facilities to utilize these new guidelines.


Partnership's Aspirin Task Force Urges CMS to Cover Cardiovascular Disease Counseling
In October Partnership's Aspirin Task Force requested that Medicare cover shared decision making counseling for aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease. As a result, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun an analysis of "Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease." Through this analysis, CMS will assess counseling for aspirin, along with other cardiovascular disease services that are rated A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, specifically blood pressure measurement and diet counseling for those with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

A coverage decision is expected in August 2011. Currently, CMS is accepting public comments on the analysis. For more information, please visit the CMS website.


Partnership Recommends Improved Delivery of Preventive Services for Women
Partnership called on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Preventive Services for Women to help ensure that high value clinical preventive services provide the maximum benefit to women. In its letter to the IOM, Partnership offered recommendations related to counseling about aspirin use and tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy. The lives of tens of thousands of women could be saved each year if delivery rates for these services were increased.


Affordable Care Act One Year Later
Partnership and many of its health allies remain optimistic about the positive health impacts resulting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the year since President Obama signed the ACA into law, significant progress has been made to begin implementation - Medicare's annual wellness visit, new coverage of clinical preventive services, and expanded insurance coverage for young adults.

The ACA also established a new prevention trust fund to provide "expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs." Partnership strongly supports this new program and is now concerned about congressional attacks on the Fund. Partnership recently urged leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to protect this critically important source of support for prevention services.


New Sexual Health Resource Available for State Legislators
The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently posted a new fact sheet for state legislators entitled, Health Reform Coverage for Prevention: Sexual Health Services. CSG and Partnership, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are collaborating to provide information to state legislators on preventing HIV/AIDS, other STDs and teen pregnancy. The fact sheet is one of the products from the collaboration.


FDA Considers Ban on Menthol Cigarettes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee recently released its final report and recommendations to the FDA regarding menthol cigarettes. The report is the first of many upcoming tests for FDA regulation on nicotine and menthol. The report states that "removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States." Several groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, have joined Partnership in issuing a plea to the FDA to take swift action and ban menthol. The FDA intends to provide its first progress report on the review in about 90 days.


Partnership for Prevention was founded in 1991 by leaders dedicated to making disease prevention and health promotion a national priority and America a healthier nation. Partnership seeks to increase understanding and use of clinical preventive services and population-based prevention to improve health.