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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana Releases State Health Index
Date:11/14/2007

ddressed in Indiana: the rate of low birth weight babies, the prevalence of cigarette smoking, (only one state has a higher smoking rate) and the number of adults who do not receive influenza immunizations.

To help reverse these trends, last year Anthem provided a multi-year grant to the March of Dimes for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program at five hospitals around Indiana. The program is designed to improve communication between NICU staff and parents, reduce the rate of repeat preterm births and decrease the financial impact on families and on the health care system. Studies show that reducing the rate of low birthweight babies by 1 percent in Indiana would save more than $35 million in medical costs associated with treating these infants during their first year of life.

For the last decade, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has provided funding so that the Visiting Nurse Service can offer flu shots at a reduced cost to the community. In past years, more than 60 thousand Hoosiers have taken advantage of this program, which will continue once again during this year's flu season to combat health complications arising from influenza. Public health data shows that it costs more than $100 million to treat the symptoms of influenza in the over-65 population in Indiana.

Finally, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield this year worked with the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation and others to support anti-smoking efforts and to speak out against marketing efforts designed to promote tobacco usage among young women. According to published studies, by reducing the number of smokers by 1 percent, there would be approximately 12,000 fewer smokers in the state which would result in a $30 million savings in medical costs associated with smoking-related illnesses.

"Anthem shares our commitment to improving public health," said Judy Monroe, M.D., Commissioner of the Indiana State Department
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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