The Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund in Your State: Colorado

The Prevention and Public Health Fund offers an unprecedented investment in promoting wellness, preventing disease, and protecting against public health emergencies.  Much of this work is done in partnership with States and communities.  The Affordable Care Act, the health care law of 2010, makes this funding possible.  

States and communities are using Prevention Fund dollars to:

  • help control the obesity epidemic
  • fight health disparities
  • detect and quickly respond to health threats
  • reduce tobacco use
  • train the nation's public health workforce
  • modernize vaccine systems
  • prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • increase public health programs’ effectiveness and efficiency
  • improve access to behavioral health services

Preventing Chronic Disease: A Smart Investment

Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes – are responsible for seven of 10 deaths among Americans each year. They account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. Focusing on prevention can both improve the health of Americans and help control health care spending. In fact, a report from Trust for America's Health entitled Prevention for a Healthier America concluded that investing $1 in proven community-based programs could yield a return of $5.60.

The Prevention Fund helps Colorado tackle the leading causes of death and root causes of costly, preventable chronic disease; detect and respond rapidly to health security threats; and prevent accidents and injuries. With this investment, the Affordable Care Act helps States and the nation as a whole focus on fighting disease and illness before they happen.

How the Fund Improves Wellness and Prevention for Coloradans

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $17.2 million in Prevention Fund grants to Colorado and organizations in Colorado in efforts related to:

Community Prevention ($2,470,000): Funding supports prevention activities proven to reduce health care costs and improve healthy behaviors.

  • Community and State Prevention ($2,148,000). These funds support Community Transformation Grants, which empower communities to use evidence-based interventions to prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and other conditions by reducing tobacco use, preventing obesity, and reducing health disparities. These dollars also help support a chronic disease prevention grant program and strengthen evidence-based employer wellness programs.
  • Tobacco Use Prevention ($73,000). This funding supports anti-tobacco education campaigns, telephone-based tobacco cessation services, and outreach programs that are proven to reduce tobacco use and those focused on vulnerable populations, consistent with the HHS Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan.
  • Obesity Prevention and Fitness ($249,000). These dollars support activities to improve nutrition and increase physical activity to reduce obesity-related conditions and health care costs. These activities also help carry out recommendations of the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force.

Clinical Prevention ($2,059,000): Funding supports programs to improve Americans' access to important preventive services and the full range of care necessary to meet diverse healthcare needs.

  • Access to Critical Wellness and Preventive Health Services ($1,991,000). This funding increases awareness of new preventive benefits made available by the Affordable Care Act through community partnerships. It also expands immunization services by providing additional resources and flexibility to States.
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention ($68,000). These efforts focuses on HIV prevention in high risk populations and communities by increasing HIV testing opportunities, linking HIV-infected people with needed services, and filling critical gaps in data and understanding of the HIV epidemic to better target prevention, care, and treatment.

Public Health Infrastructure and Training ($10,621,000): These efforts help State and local health departments meet 21st century challenges.

  • Public Health Workforce ($8,042,000). These programs support training of public health providers to improve preventive medicine, health promotion, disease prevention, and epidemiology. The funding also improves access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities and provides front line care while training the next generation of public health leaders.
  • Detection and Response Capacity ($1,879,000). State and local governments will receive new resources to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks, including those caused by influenza and foodborne pathogens. It also funds programs that prevent healthcare-associated infections.
  • Public Health Infrastructure ($700,000). These efforts help State, local, and tribal organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health by strengthening the systems for gathering, analyzing, and communicating health data and ensuring they produce accurate and timely information for action.

Research and Data Collection ($2,139,000): Funds support the scientific study of prevention to better understand how to translate research into practice.

  • Prevention Research ($1,483,000). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Task Force on Community Preventive Services conducts systematic reviews of public health interventions to prevent disability, disease, and death, and disseminates the results to the public, clinicians, health officials, and community leaders.
  • Health Care Data Analysis and Planning ($656,000). Funds support health data collection and analysis to produce accurate and timely information to help respond to health challenges facing Americans, including the risk factors that lead to poor health, and to identify the best practices that improve health for all Americans.

Building on Other Administration Initiatives that Promote Prevention

The Obama Administration takes a broad approach to addressing the health and well-being of our communities. Other initiatives that promote prevention in States and communities include the following:

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Posted: February 14, 2012