December 8, 2017 Edition

Over 100 Attend CHEAC Health Realignment Training in Sacramento

On Wednesday, CHEAC hosted a one-day Health Realignment Training for county health executives and senior staff. Over 100 individuals from over 50 jurisdictions were in attendance for the training which featured several presentations from technical experts on 1991 Realignment and its impact on local health departments. The following topics were covered in the training:

  • Realignment Historical Overview
  • Realignment Basics
  • Significant Policy Changes Impacting 1991 Realignment
  • CHEAC Realignment Tracking

Materials from the training have now been posted online and are available here.

Trump Approves Emergency Declaration for Southern California Wildfires

Today, President Donald Trump declared a federal emergency declaration for the recent wildfires in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. The emergency declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts and direct necessary resources to alleviate impacts of the emergency. More information on the president’s emergency declaration is available here.

Congress Narrowly Avoids Government Shutdown with Short-Term Funding Measure

On Thursday—one day before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown—the House and Senate passed a two-week stopgap funding measure. President Donald Trump signed the measure today, extending current federal government funding levels through December 22.

Extensive negotiations are expected to occur between now and the December 22 deadline, particularly as the short-term spending measure passed this week does not address the ongoing disputes between Republicans and Democrats on federal spending levels, immigration, and other major policy issues.

Included in the short-term funding measure passed this week was a provision to maintain the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now permitted to shift funds internally to assist states whose CHIP programs are running out of money. However, reports indicate the HHS has very limited funds available to assist states without a longer-term CHIP reauthorization by Congress.

In the ongoing continuing resolution negotiations, Republicans are pushing for a more significant increase in defense spending and a less significant increase in nondefense spending. Democrats have made it clear they want an equal increase in defense and nondefense spending, extension of CHIP, and a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Despite Republicans having the majority in both the House and the Senate, they will be required to secure votes from Democrats to pass a long-term government funding measure. With several outstanding legislative priorities and few days left in the Congressional session, it remains to be seen what action Congress will take before they break for the December holidays.

CDPH Manufactured Cannabis Licensing Informational Sessions Being Held This Month

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to host manufactured cannabis licensing informational sessions throughout the state.  These events are designed to assist licensees in better understanding the regulatory requirements, license application process, and commonly asked questions.  Two sessions will be convened for each location with one held from 9-11am and one held from 1-3pm.  Space is limited, but no registration is required.  The remaining informational sessions are listed below.

Monday, December 11: Oakland – Radisson Hotel, 8400 Edes Ave, Oakland CA 94621

Tuesday, December 12: San Francisco – Doubletree Hotel, 835 Airport Blvd, Burlingame CA 94010

Wednesday, December 13: Monterey – Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Aguajito Road, Monterey CA 93940

Monday, December 18: Los Angeles – TBD

Tuesday, December 19: Lynwood – TBD

Wednesday, December 20: Desert Hot Springs – Miracle Springs Resort & Spa, 10625 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Wednesday, December 27: Central Valley – TBD

HUD Releases Annual Homeless Report, Indicates Rise in Homelessness

This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its annual Homeless Assessment Report, indicating slight increase in homelessness for the first time since 2010. The overall homelessness rate increased 0.7 percent since last year, and veteran homelessness increased 1.5 percent since last year.

Most individuals experiencing homelessness were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The report also indicates that the increase in homelessness since last year is largely attributed to the increase in unsheltered homelessness in larger, high-cost cities in the West Coast. More information is available here. The full report is available here.

CDC Publishes Guide on Best Practices for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a report titled The Best Practices Guide for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Programs. The report summarizes scientific evidence behind eight effective strategies for lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels that can be implemented into communities and health care systems. The guide is intended for local health departments, public health practitioners, and other stakeholders involved in promoting cardiovascular health. More information and the full report are available here.

CDC will also be hosting a webinar on the best practices guide next Tuesday, December 12 at 11:30 am PST. The webinar may be accessed here.

Recent Study Suggests Investing in Public Health May Reduce Medicare Spending

According to researchers from the University of Kentucky, investments in public health programs appear to reduce spending in the Medicare program, suggesting new directions for containing costs by aligning medical and public health programs.

The study is published in the December issue of the journal Health Services Research and tracks hundreds of U.S. communities between 1993 and 2013. The researchers measured the amount of money spent annually by local public health agencies in each community and linked the data with measures of Medicare spending per beneficiary in the same local areas.

The results show that Medicare spending per beneficiary fell by about one percent for each 10 percent increase in public health spending per resident, with even greater offsets observed in low-income and medically-underserved communities. These findings suggest that the federal Medicare program could realize an average of $1.10 in savings for each $1.00 invested in local public health activities over time.

An overview of the study is available here. The journal article is available here.