As of January 2022 62.8% of eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This milestone is significant and essential to help protect the nation’s health. Unfortunately, studies show that vaccination rates for the low-income Medicaid population are lower than that of the general population.
It is important for program administrators, healthcare providers, and personal caregivers to take vested interest in proactive care towards Medicare and Medicaid members with chronic diseases. Keeping members healthy is beneficial for the entire care team, preventing health complications for members can reduce costly hospital visits for both the member and the program’s payors and providers.
Finding a strategy to keep Medicaid members engaged in healthy activities is not always easy. Medicaid members may have trouble with appointment attendance due to a lack of access to, or inability to pay for transportation; or, they are unable to take time off from work, which is often in arduous, blue-collar industries.
Heart disease remains the #1 cause of death in the United States and creates an enormous burden for people, communities, and healthcare providers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, which is 1 in every 4 deaths (Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, 2020).
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