Department of Medicaid Services releases health report
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2015) — In 2014 in Kentucky, more than 159,500 Medicaid recipients received preventive dental services, nearly 51,300 were screened for breast cancer and more than 35,600 received colorectal cancer screenings—more than double the number of people who received those services in 2013, according to a report released today by the state Department of Medicaid Services (DMS) during the kyhealthnow quarterly meeting.
“I have said from day one that giving every Kentuckian access to affordable quality health care coverage will help us tackle our ongoing abysmal health outcomes,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “We are now seeing our citizens take even greater advantage of the opportunity to receive these life-changing screenings for cancers like breast and colon. No longer are their medical choices limited to emergency room or charity medical visits. As these preventive health services increase so does the compensation to our medical providers who are helping to improve the wellness of our Kentucky families. I’m excited about the enormous gains we’re seeing and even more excited about the long-term implications for our state’s health.”
In February 2014, Beshear announced kyhealthnow to track the progress of health care reforms and advance the well-being of Kentucky’s citizens. The initiative outlines seven key health goals for the commonwealth to work toward achieving by the year 2019, along with strategies to support the attainment of those goals.
In March, the kyhealthnow Oversight Team released its annual report to assess progress made toward meeting the program’s goals. That report cited measurable improvements in six of the seven major kyhealthnow goals, including reduced smoking and tobacco use, increased cancer screenings and prevention, and a decline in the number of cardiovascular deaths.
From calendar year 2013 to 2014, the data shows the number of individuals receiving the following services increased:
- LDL-C screenings (cholesterol screening test), 80,769 to 170,514 (up 111 percent)
- Preventive dental services, 73,739 to 159,508 (up 116 percent)
- Hemoglobin A1c tests, 52,685 to 101,360 (up 92 percent)
- Annual wellness or physical exams, 22,290 to 63,888 (up 187 percent)
- Cervical cancer screenings, 41,613 to 78,281 (up 88 percent)
- Breast cancer screenings, 24,386 to 51,292 (up 111 percent)
- Annual influenza vaccinations, 14,090 to 34,305 (up 143 percent)
- Colorectal cancer screenings, 17,164 to 35,633 (up 108 percent)
- Osteoporosis screenings, 994 to 2,908 (up 193 percent)
- Diabetes screenings, 784 to 1,214 (up 55 percent)
- Alcohol misuse screening and counseling, 597 to 1,205 (up 102 percent)
- Tobacco use counseling and interventions, 406 to 1,094 (up 169 percent)
“These numbers indicate a very positive trend among the Medicaid population,” said Dr. John Langefeld, DMS medical director. “Not only are people seeking care when they are ill or in need of treatment, but they are taking advantage of services, like screenings and vaccines, that will prevent them getting sick later on. Increased utilization of preventive health services helps build a healthier population and a better, healthier state.”
The kyhealthnow program aims to reduce Kentucky’s smoking rate by 10 percent in the next 5 years.
By executive order, Beshear made all state buildings, grounds and vehicles free of all tobacco products and e-cigarettes in November 2014.
Kentucky ranks 49th in smoking rates.
From state Fiscal Year 2014 to 2015, the number of self-reported smokers enrolled in KEHP decreased by more than 13 percent while the number of smokers employed in the executive branch decreased by more than 16 percent. While the overall KEHP population of non-smoker claims costs decreased during FY 2014/2015 by 10.68 percent, non-smokers claims costs for the executive branch decreased by even a greater percentage at 13 percent.