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The Washington State Essentials for Childhood Initiative supports safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments.
The Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practice initiative (P-TCPi) focuses on improved health outcomes and increased access to behavioral health services for children.
Washington State Office of Public Instruction supports Compassionate Schools, focused on students whose academic performance is impacted by exposure to stress and trauma.
Many local and regional groups are implementing trauma-informed approaches to family and community health and well-being. The nature of the specific efforts vary but they share a common mission to prevent adverse childhood experiences and promote resilience. Information can be found through:
Leadership and local engagement
Washington State Diabetes Network, is a group of public, private, community, tribal and academic partner working together to address and prevent diabetes. To engage with regional coalitions, access webinars, and obtain updates check out the Washington State Diabetes Connection.
Report to the Legislature
The Washington State Legislature directed the Department of Health, Department of Social and Health Services, and Health Care Authority to submit an annual report to the Legislature in 2015. The second Diabetes Epidemic and Action Report was released in September 2017. The report includes updated data as well as agency action plans, recommended strategies and considerations for legislation. The next report will be available in December 2019.
Ongoing programs and initiatives: Multiple efforts support diabetes prevention and management. Several worth highlighting:
- Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) focuses on prediabetes, helping with lifestyle changes that reverse prediabetes, and help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. In Washington, DPP is offered to members of the Public Employee Benefits Program at no cost, and is covered by Medicare.Find DPP classes available in your region or reach out to the Diabetes Program to learn about how to offer one.
- Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) focuses on patients with diabetes, and provides one-on-one coaching as well as group classes to support diabetes self-care. In Washington, DSME providers can seek Medicaid reimbursement. For more information contact the Washington State Department of Health diabetes program.
- Healthy Eating/Active Living (HEAL) works on programs that help people eat healthy and be active where they live, work, and play.
- Healthiest Next Generation Initiative, focuses on collaborative solutions to improving the health of children.
- Community Health Worker Training provides free courses to community health workers, including a section on prediabetes and diabetes.
- Apple Health managed care contracts include incentives for diabetes performance measures for HbA1c control, blood pressure controlled for diabetes patients, and diabetes eye exam.
- Medicaid Health Homes provide care coordination and management to individuals with diabetes and one or more additional chronic conditions, including mental health conditions.
- Community Living Connections services include diabetes support groups, Meals on Wheels, nutrition counseling, and Enhanced Fitness.
- Population health initiatives to reduce obesity focus on nutrition, physical activity, screen time, and breastfeeding.
- Community and state initiatives include:
- Individual level education
- Ensuring insurance coverage
- Improving organizational supports
- Built environment such as roads and grocery stores
- Public policy
- Many communities have coalitions to address obesity, nutrition, breastfeeding, and/or obesity prevention.
- State agency partners work to include nutrition and physical activity in their policies, systems and environments; and to collaborate on projects that positively affect multiple outcomes such as active transportation, built environment and healthy food system.
- The Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) at Department of Health provides education and vouchers for healthy food for pregnant women and children up to age 5.
- The Healthy Eating Active Living Program (HEAL) at the Department of Health focuses on policy, systems and environmental changes to prevent obesity.
- Breastfeeding Friendly Washington (BFWA) is an initiative encouraging hospitals to promote and support breastfeeding.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) program includes direct education along with policy, systems and environmental changes to serves low income populations in Washington.
- The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program has a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program where patients who are on the SNAP program receive Fruit and Vegetables Prescriptions, which work like coupons.
- Healthiest Next Generation is a state-wide initiative to support the health of children through collaboration of public and private partners.
Efforts supporting the plan include:
- Medicaid Transformation projects through Accountable Communities of Health to address opioid misuse disorder in their regions.
- Recommendations from the Bree Collaborative established by the Washington State Legislature, including opioid use disorder treatment recommendations, opioid prescribing guidelines for dental practitioners, pain guidelines and prescribing metrics. Also see the Bree Collaborative’s Working Together to Impact the Opioid Epidemic.
- Provider access to patient prescription history through Washington State Prescription Monitoring Program.
- Grant-funded efforts to expand treatment, social support, and chronic pain management for opioid use disorder, including the state targeted response to opioid crisis grant and the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States.
- Public awareness campaign through Department of Social and Health Services, including downloadable media tools, available
- at GetTheFactsRx.com.
The current version includes recommended actions and 2017 progress report.
Additional information and resources may be found on the Department of Health opioids web page.
The Washington State Tobacco Prevention and Control Strategic Plan focuses on four main goal areas, each with strategies and tactics:
- Reduce tobacco-related disparities.
- Prevent tobacco use among youth and young adults with emphasis on nicotine consumed through electronic cigarettes/vapor products.
- Leverage resources for promoting and supporting tobacco cessation.
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke and electronic cigarette/vapor emissions.
Helping tobacco users quit can lead to short and long term reduction in tobacco-related disease, deaths and health care costs, Public health supports health care systems in consistently diagnosing and treating tobacco use and dependence.
Insurance companies are in compliance with the Affordable Care Act when they cover:
- Individual, group and telephone-based cessation counseling
- All seven FDA-approved cessation medications with no cost sharing or prior authorization requirement
Tobacco cessation services are to be covered with no out-of-pocket costs. However, the extent to which health plans follow these federal guidelines varies. There are large and rural populations in the state with no reliable access to cessation services.
Access to free or nominal cost cessation counseling and medications is critical to the success of tobacco prevention policies including legislation that raises the minimum legal sales age and smoke-free policies. Cessation efforts also reduce youth initiation; children not exposed to tobacco are less likely to use tobacco products.
Performance Improvement Projects
Health Care Authority and Department of Health convened a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) workgroup with the managed care organizations (MCOs) contracted to provide medical insurance coverage to Apple Health (Medicaid) clients. The goal is to increase rates of well-child visits five percent by July 2019.
The PIP workgroup conducted focus groups and key informant interviews with parents throughout Washington to identify barriers that impede parent/caregiver ability to complete well-child visits. Preliminary data indicate that clinic hours, wait times, and perceived value are barriers. Many parents reported not understanding what providers were doing during the visit, especially if they had not had well-child exams when young. This preliminary information helped inform the Well-Child Visit Recommended Strategies.
Clinic Pilot Project
A clinic pilot project was implemented in each of the five MCOs September 2017 through January 2018. The five participating clinics conducted verified the list of clinic patients, modified procedures to better manage their patient population and promote well-child visits, and engaged in peer learning. Based on the success of this pilot project the expectation is to bring it to more than 30 clinics in 2019. This page will be updated as plans for expansion move forward.
Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative
Washington is one of two states that received funding from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to work with providers to increase their ability to provide effective and efficient care for patients through the Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (P-TCPI).
Washington State is committed to increasing the rates of well-child visits, especially for the most vulnerable children. To achieve this, P-TCPI efforts focus on three main areas:
- Patient engagement – includes providing incentives for well-child visits.
- Provider education – includes tip sheets on Academy of Pediatrics recommendations and parent preferences about appointment reminders.
- Clinic management – includes webinars on correct billing for well-child visits, and valuable new reports available from managed care organizations contracted to provide Apple Health.
Child Profile Health Promotion
The Child Profile Health Promotion System is Washington State’s centralized immunization and well-child visit reminder system. The Department of Health uses the system to send health and safety information to all families in the state with children aged birth to six years.
Information is in English and Spanish and timed to correspond with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended schedule of well-child visits. Parents receive the information from the department about two weeks before each visit.
The information in the mailings is based on Bright Futures Guidelines and designed to help parents prepare for the well-child visit, including which immunizations may be due.
Parents receive 17 health promotion mailings over six years.
Maternal Child Health
The Maternal Child Health Block Grant supports activities at the state and local levels on maternal and child health. These efforts include Universal Developmental Screening, adverse childhood experiences, and children and youth with special health care needs. You can find out about local activities through your local health jurisdiction.