Community Health Initiatives
Over the last decade, Anthem and Anthem Foundation have committed resources and worked with key entities (such as nonprofit organizations, universities, professional societies and government agencies) to create community health initiatives to address public health concerns and societal problems.
Substance Use Disorder
Opioid abuse is now claiming more than four lives every hour in the U.S. 1 This represents a dramatic increase in deaths related to opioids in just a few years, and much of the increase in deaths is attributable to heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits have skyrocketed too, with treat-and-release ED visits growing 144 percent in less than a decade. Opioid related deaths impact all age groups, but heroin and synthetic opioids are hitting young adults particularly hard.
What’s Up With Opioids?
Anthem is addressing a national epidemic by supporting treatment, recovery, deterrence and prevention with What’s Up With Opioids? – a free online toolkit designed for nonprofits, workplaces, schools, faith-based groups, parents and social clubs – to help keep local communities safe and educated about the dangers of opioid misuse and addiction.
This online toolkit was created by Anthem, Inc. and the National Urban League, with a grant from the Anthem Foundation. The free kit has ready-to-use tools and a step-by-step guide for hosting community discussions to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction.
To help improve the health and well-being of all people affected by cancer, Anthem has worked with others to create a suite of digital resources. These free tools are available to everyone, including patients, survivors, providers, caregivers, employers and coworkers.
The following initiatives can be accessed through the Stronger Together portal, and include:
Developed by Anthem, Inc., the Cancer Support Community and Genentech, this free interactive web tool helps people diagnosed with cancer figure out what information and questions they should share with their doctor to find the treatment that is right for them. Through a creative whiteboard animation-led process, Let’s Talk Treatment Options helps people articulate what they know and what they need to know to make a shared treatment decision with their doctor and move forward with their healthcare team.
This award-winning suite of free digital tools was created to improve the long-term health and well-being of cancer survivors by enhancing communication between them and their healthcare team. Journey Forward offers the Survivorship Care Plan Builder software for oncology providers at no charge so they can create custom care plans for their patients. It also provides the My Care Plan mobile app for patients so they can initiate their own Survivorship Care Plan and complete it with the help of their oncology provider.
Journey Forward was developed by Anthem, Inc., the Cancer Support Community, Genentech, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Oncology Nursing Society, and UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center.
Self-Care During Cancer Treatment
This free mobile app developed by Anthem, Inc., the Cancer Support Community and Genentech, helps individuals undergoing cancer treatment self-manage the physical and psychosocial symptoms that often arise during treatment. The Self-Care app encourages app users to do a quick weekly check-in and review the strategies for dealing with the issues they’re facing. The mobile app also helps individuals keep track of how they’re doing and prompts them to share critical information with their doctor.
Caring for a person with cancer is stressful. Oftentimes, caregivers overlook their own needs. That’s why this interactive web tool was created – to give the information and resources family caregivers need to care for their health. Created by Anthem, Inc., the Caregiver Action Network, CancerCare, Indiana University and Michigan State University, this tool helps caregivers by creating a Personal Care Plan to help with issues like depression and anxiety, coping with emotions, and even managing money concerns.
Workplace Transitions for People Touched by Cancer is a free, easy-to-use electronic toolkit created by Anthem, Inc., the U.S. Business Leadership Network, Cancer and Careers and Pfizer Inc. to help managers deal with cancer in the workplace and support employees’ well-being. This digital resource helps companies of all size, giving managers guidance on managing the return-to-work from a practical, psychosocial, and legal perspective. And it works with policies and procedures already in place. The e-toolkit also provides employees with a diagnosis and those caregiving for a loved one with cancer the information and resources they need to balance work and cancer.
Cancer Care Quality Program
Anthem’s Cancer Care Quality Program helps drive access to quality services and affordable choices for cancer care. It offers enhanced reimbursement for eligible in-network doctors who order certain cancer treatment pathways. The Cancer Care Quality Program helps improve quality, manage costs for cancer care, and helps enhance member outcomes.
Maternal and Child Health
With nearly half a million babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks) each year, the U.S. has one of the highest preterm birth rates with an estimated cost of $26 billion each year. Anthem is identifying solutions to provide proper care from the start and prevent preterm births.
Preconception health is important for women and babies. Anthem is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deploy a preconception mobile application, Show Your Love. Show Your Love is part of a national campaign designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare. The campaign’s main goal is to increase the number of women who plan their pregnancies and engage in healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant. There is evidence that many preconception interventions reduce the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including birth defects, fetal loss, low birth-weight and preterm delivery. This app was developed by Anthem, Inc., in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anthem is working to increase the number of healthy, full-term babies born by helping women quit smoking before they deliver and stay smoke free after they deliver. According to a March of Dimes 2015 report, the estimated cost per premature baby is $54,149, versus $4,389 for a healthy baby.
The Baby and Me Tobacco Free® program includes smoking-cessation education and diaper vouchers for the first year of the baby’s life if the mother quits smoking prior to delivery and remains tobacco free after pregnancy. This program has seen a six-month postpartum quit rate of 60 percent for women who enrolled. Diaper vouchers are given to women who test negative via a breath test (a carbon monoxide test). Anthem is supporting this program in Indiana and Missouri through funding and partnerships with state health departments, the March of Dimes and retailers.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements and economical health interventions of the 20th century. Nearly 20 million cases of infectious diseases and 42,000 deaths are prevented every year in the United States through timely vaccination.
For every $1 spent on each of the 11 vaccines given routinely to children, our country saves $10.1 in medical costs by averting costs to treat diseases. Unfortunately, while vaccinations are recommended throughout life to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases and their aftereffects, coverage rates in adults remain low for most routinely recommended vaccines and below Healthy People 2020 targets. 2, 3, 4 5
The Let’s Vaccinate website electronically delivers turnkey solutions for provider systems and community organizations to increase national vaccination rates. It also helps connect providers to local immunization programs and coalitions. Let’s Vaccinate is currently being tested with a large provider practice and immunization collation in California. If the program demonstrates increased immunization rates, it will be made available at no cost nationally.
Let’s Vaccinate is an initiative created by Anthem, Inc., Vaccinate Your Family: A Program of Every Child by Two, and Pfizer Inc.
1 NIHCM, The Opioid Crisis at a Glance, (January 2018).
2 Aparna Ramakrishnan, CDC Adult Immunization Communication: Update on Research, Activities, and Resources, (May 2015).
4 Susan Farrall, Laura Lee Hall, Debra Hawkes and Litjen Tan, NAIIS Provider Workgroup Report for 2014-2015, (May 2015).
5 Centers for Disease Control, Vaccination Coverage Among Adults, Excluding Influenza Vaccination – United States, 2013, (February 6, 2015 / 64(04); 95-102).