The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) today released the second edition of a Moody’s Analytics report that finds a direct link between a population’s health and a growing economy, higher incomes and lower unemployment.
Moody’s Analytics utilized the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health IndexSM (BCBS Health Index) – a first-of-its-kind measurement of health for nearly every county in America. The BCBS Health Index identifies the health conditions with the greatest impact on the commercially insured and – paired with an analysis by Moody’s Analytics – how those conditions impact the economic well-being of communities.
The BCBS Health Index, powered by de-identified data from more than 40 million commercially insured members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies, finds that five conditions nationally are responsible for 30 percent of the adverse health of this population. Those conditions are: depression, anxiety and other mood disorders; hypertension; diabetes; high cholesterol; and substance use disorders.
An analysis of the BCBS Health Index by Moody’s Analytics also found a direct link between healthy people and a healthy economy with healthier counties having lower unemployment and higher incomes. When compared to counties with a median BCBS Health Index result, counties within the top 10 percent had:
A per capita income of $3,700 higher
A 10-year economic growth of 3.5 percent higher
An unemployment rate half a point lower
As a comprehensive measurement of actual health care experiences, the BCBS Health Index was designed to support national and local discussions about how to improve American health policy and practice. It quantifies how more than 200 common diseases and condition categories affect overall health and wellness by assigning each county a health impact measure between 0 and 1, designating the proportion of optimal health reached by the county’s population. Each county’s BCBS Health Index impact measure and top five impacting conditions can be found at www.bcbs.com/bcbs-health-index.
The Moody’s Analytics analysis also scores the health of workers from different industries and shows that health outcomes have a positive correlation with whether or not older working-age adults remain in the workforce, and how improved health can boost the economy by allowing older workers to remain in the workforce.
This is the eleventh study of the Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America ReportSM series, a collaboration between the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Health Intelligence, which uses a market-leading claims database to uncover key trends and insights into health care affordability and access to care.
For more information, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica.