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Empire BlueCross BlueShield Announces Release of State Health Index Data
Date:11/14/2007

New York Ranks 27th Nationwide in Health Status

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire BlueCross BlueShield today published its new State Health Index, a set of measures that incorporates public health data to identify and help address major health issues in New York. Empire has assembled a dedicated team to collaborate with health care providers, local and state officials, as well as community organizations, to better understand the reasons behind prevalent health deficiencies and to, more importantly, develop collaborative solutions aimed at improving overall health in the state.

Developed from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State Health Index ranks New York 27th in the nation based on a comprehensive assessment of 23 measures of health status. While addressing all 23 measures, Empire will initially focus on eight of these measures having the greatest impact on New York:

Prenatal Care in First Trimester Physical Activity Levels

Low Birthweight Infant Rate Cigarette Smoking Rate

Adult Influenza Immunization Rate Diabetes in Adult Population

Adult Pneumococcal Immunization Rate Heart Disease Death Rate

According to state health index data compiled by the CDC, New Yorkers rank 43rd in the heart disease death rate (deaths per 100,000 residents caused by coronary heart disease) and 23rd in the cigarette smoking rate (percentage of adults in the state who smoke cigarettes).

"While this kind of data is fairly well known, the difference here is that the largest insurer in New York City and New York State has committed to invest in provider and community health initiatives in cooperation with local and state officials to measurably improve these results over the next five to ten years," said Mark Wagar, president and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "We believe that we will have the most impact if we combine forces with local partners to identi
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SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield
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