Melissa Bird, Bureau Chief for the Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics, explains why vital records accreditation is important to public health; Rachel Scheckman, ASTHO Senior Policy Analyst, says new data sharing techniques in Iowa improve care for...
Melissa Bird, Bureau Chief for the Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics, explains why vital records accreditation is important to public health; Rachel Scheckman, ASTHO Senior Policy Analyst, says new data sharing techniques in Iowa improve care for people living with HIV; Dr. Marcus Plescia, ASTHO Chief Medical Officer, points out the end of the public health emergency may impact state vaccine policies; and ASTHO has a new partner spotlight with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health.
Vital Records/Health Statistics
Medicaid and Public Health Partnerships in Iowa
Medicaid and Public Health Partnerships in Iowa: Improving Access to Care for People Living with HIV
COVID vaccine mandate for federal workers and others is set to end May 11
Partner Spotlight: Q & A with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Board President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Tuesday, May 9, 2023. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
We always have to recognize that a vital record is someone's identity and having policies and procedures in place to protect that identity and be able to let us provide that public health data in an accurate, timely and efficient manner is absolutely imperative.
Melissa Bird leads Iowa's Bureau of Health Statistics. She says vital records accreditation is important because overall public health accreditation doesn't always inform best practices regarding health records.
Vital record health statistics accreditation is a process that sets a national standard for vital records registration, issuing security and health statistics monitoring in a way that supports vital record office activities outside of the general public health department setting.
Bird also says accreditation can ensure vital records are better positioned to advance health equity work.
It's also sometimes hard to think about how health equity plays into the vital records and health statistics are direct, everyday work. So having stories about how vital records provides processes for establishing paternity, modifying records in an efficient manner that is timely for individuals who need to have a birth certificate change, etc.—those are health equity stories.
Vital records accreditation, Bird says, is all about continuous improvement and customer service.
So when you have success stories of, "It took 60 days to complete x for all customers, and now we're down to our standard is less than 10 business days, from the time it gets here to the time it gets to our customer," that's an impact to the customer. They probably don't realize it's from accreditation or quality improvement, but that's exactly how that work has been affected positively.
Read more about vital records accreditation by clicking the link in the show notes.
More news out of Iowa to tell you about today related to a new agency there, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. ASTHO's Rachel Scheckman says the agency brings closer together the state Medicaid program and the agency that works on HIV, STI, and hepatitis initiatives.
Iowa's realignment has led to some really great innovation, which is the development of a data sharing agreement between Medicaid and its HIV surveillance program, and also improved communication between divisions. And we want to highlight these achievements and give states examples of how they can also innovate to improve services in their jurisdiction.
Scheckman says the data linkage will help Iowa improve care for people living with HIV.
The data sharing agreement allows the state to have better visibility on overall viral suppression among people in Medicaid, and it allows the state to report these values to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. It also helps to streamline the process of re-engaging clients in care.
You can read the ASTHO blog article and watch a discussion about these innovations using the links in the show notes.
Also today, the public health emergency declared early in the pandemic and Thursday. ASTHO chief medical officer Dr. Marcus Plescia tells NPR that without the federal vaccination requirements made possible by the order, states and territories will need to set their own vaccine policies.
You know, it certainly sets a precedent that states are going to have to pay attention to, but I'm not sure it's a big problem because I think most states are moving in that direction.
You can hear NPR's report on the changes coming later this week using the link in the show notes.
Finally this morning, ASTHO examines work to close disparity gaps in a new spotlight Q&A with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, president of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health. Read her comments using the link in the show notes.
That will do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.
Bureau Chief, Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services