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Supplemental Measures: Clinical Care

Cholesterol Check, 2018 Annual Report
Measure: Cholesterol Check, 2018 Annual Report

Why does this matter?

High cholesterol is a major and modifiable risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the leading and fifth-leading causes of death in the United States, respectively. High cholesterol has no symptoms, but a simple blood test can measure total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “bad” kind), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "good" kind) and triglyceride levels.

The American Heart Association recommends adults ages 20 and older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years.

  • CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2017

Colorectal Cancer Screening*, 2018 Annual Report
Measure: Colorectal Cancer Screening, 2018 Annual Report

Why does this matter?

There is strong evidence that screening for colorectal cancer reduces mortality by detecting cancer early when treatments are more effective and removing abnormal growths. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths and the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 report, there will be an estimated 147,950 new cases of colorectal cancer and over 53,200 colorectal cancer deaths in 2020.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, screening for colorectal cancer, which may include fecal sample testing, colonoscopy and/or sigmoidoscopy, is recommended for all adults ages 50-75. Screening at earlier ages is recommended for those with particular risk factors or a family history of colorectal cancer. 

Multiple studies have shown that screening for colorectal cancer is cost-effective compared to not screening. An estimated 20 to 24 colorectal cancer deaths can be averted for every 1,000 adults screened.

  • CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016

Dedicated Health Care Provider, 2018 Annual Report
Measure: Dedicated Health Care Provider, 2018 Annual Report

Why does this matter?

Individuals with a dedicated health care provider are better positioned to receive care that can prevent, detect and manage disease and other health conditions. Having a regular health care provider helps the patient and provider build a stable, long-term relationship that is associated with a number of benefits, including:

  • Appropriate preventive care.
  • Lower health care costs.
  • Better overall health status.
  • Fewer emergency room visits for non-urgent or avoidable problems.
  • Improvements in chronic care management for asthma, hypertension and diabetes.
  • CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2017

Dental Visit*, 2018 Annual Report
Measure: Dental Visit, 2018 Annual Report

Why does this matter?

Oral health is a vital component of overall health. Oral diseases such as tooth decay, dental caries (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease are common and can cause pain, tooth loss and oral infection if left undiagnosed and untreated. Oral health is also associated with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

In the United States:

  • 1in 4 adults has untreated cavities.
  • Nearly half of adults ages 30 and older have signs of gum disease.

Cost of care is the most common reason reported for not having visited the dentist within the past year. Inadequate access to oral health services results in the overuse of emergency departments as a primary and only source of care. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of individuals who sought care for dental conditions from an emergency department almost doubled.

  • CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016
*The data appearing in this edition are the same that appeared in the 2017 edition.

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