National Health Reform Is Good For Massachusetts: New Public Health Grants (but more is needed!)
The administration announced that Massachusetts will be receiving $3 million in federal Community Transformation Grants, to expand community-based programs aimed at improving wellness and reducing health care costs. The funds were authorized under the ACA. Another example of how the ACA is benefiting the Commonwealth (the state keeps a full list of all the grants we've received - around $77 million).
The funds will go to 43 cities and towns, and much of the money will support the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program, which works at the local level to support policy and environmental change to reduce obesity, improve nutrition, and promote active living. These programs have been demonstrated to improve health and reduce costs.
But dividing $3 million in one-time grants among 43 municipalities does not provide the sustained funding needed to make deep progress in controlling cost growth. Prevention is the key to stemming the growth of chronic disease, the most costly part of our health care system. With dedicated funding, applied throughout the state, we can make long-term improvements in health status, and save really big bucks.
That's why HCFA and the Campaign For Better Care is supporting the Mass Public Health Association's push to include the Prevention and Cost Control Trust proposal as part of payment reform. We know that sustained, dedicated, adequate funding for community-based prevention will pay off right away, and even more for the long run.