INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 14 WellPoint, Inc.,(NYSE: WLP) the nation's largest health benefits company, today launched theState Health Index, a program that incorporates public health data from the 14states in which the company's Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield licensees operateto identify major state health issues. WellPoint's state plans will then workwith community and state leaders to design programs that will help addressthose health issues and, in turn, improve the health of millions.
The states where WellPoint operates Blue plans include California,Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada,New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
"Given that one in nine Americans is covered by a WellPoint healthbenefits plan, our company has a mission and a unique responsibility tounderstand and help improve not only the health of our members, but also theoverall health of the communities we serve," said Angela F. Braly, presidentand CEO of WellPoint. "The State Health Index will provide WellPoint and ourpublic and private partners with a roadmap to help improve the overall healthof millions of people."
Developed from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC), the State Health Index will track 23 measures of publichealth established by the CDC. WellPoint has selected these measures ofimprovement for its focus during the first several years of the program asthey have the most potential to be positively influenced by the actions of thecompany:
WellPoint and its state plan representatives are collaborating with localand state officials, as well as community organizations, health careprofessionals, and consumers to research the reasons behind prevalent healthdeficiencies in each state, and to design policy solutions and implement orenhance programs aimed at improving the overall health of all residents ineach state.
"The guiding measures selected for the State Health Index provide a broadsnapshot of the overall health of a state's population," said Sam Nussbaum,MD, executive vice president, clinical health policy and chief medical officerof WellPoint. "WellPoint is making significant monetary and resourcecontributions through the implementation or scaling of public health programsthat have proven successful in other states, including smoking cessation,physical activity and adult immunization programs."
The State Health Index is a companion program to WellPoint's Member HealthIndex, launched earlier this year. WellPoint's Member Health Index uses datafrom the company's own nearly 35 million members to track the improvement ofthe quality of health care members receive. In comparison, the State HealthIndex uses data pertaining to all the residents of a state to identify themost serious heath issues facing each unique population and enables WellPointand its state plan representatives to partner with organizations to helpimprove and benchmark all consumers' health through unique partnerships andprograms.
"Together, WellPoint's Member and State Health Indices clearly demonstrateour company's commitment to measurably improving the quality of life for bothour members and all of the people who live in the communities in which we liveand serve," said Braly. "We believe these innovative initiatives set a newindustry standard and will help improve the health of Americans."
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves andthe health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefitscompany in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through itsnationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefitsolutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans andrelated services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as lifeand disability insur