In honor of Men’s Health Month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program is sharing activities and resources to promote the importance of preventive health care in maintaining optimal health and ensuring early detection.
1. Annual Wellness Visit
Annual Wellness Visits are not just physicals but an open conversation between beneficiaries and their physicians to explore a patient’s health history, discuss any concerns and develop a personalized plan to prevent future health problems. To help facilitate visits like these, Quality Innovation Network-QIOs (QIN-QIOs) are working with primary care providers to optimize the use of their electronic health records, so they can keep patients up to date on their next wellness appointments and needed preventive services.
2. Cancer Screenings
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer each year. Staying active, not smoking, avoiding second-hand smoke and getting regular screenings are a few ways beneficiaries can be proactive about prevention and early detection. QIN-QIOs like the Great Plains QIN are collaborating with partners in their states to increase screening rates for serious conditions like colon cancer.
3. Diabetes Self-Management
Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is critical for those with diabetes, especially older men. QIN-QIOs are hosting Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) workshops to raise awareness of diabetes self-management strategies like proper nutrition and regular exercise. They also are seeking to reduce disparities in diabetes care using innovative approaches like native language workshops to reach vulnerable populations.
4. Cardiovascular Health
According to the American Heart Association, one in three men suffers from one or more cardiovascular diseases. QIN-QIOs are helping raise awareness of Million Hearts®’ ABCS of heart health (Aspirin therapy when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation) to prevent heart attacks and stroke. They also are helping providers develop evidence-based strategies for improving patients’ cardiovascular health.
Immunizations aren’t just for children: The CDC reports that protection from childhood vaccines can wear off over time, and influenza vaccinations are recommended yearly. In fact, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 and older. QIN-QIOs like Telligen are partnering with communities to take immunizations to the doorsteps of beneficiaries residing in public housing.
For a complete list of preventive Medicare services for men, refer to the Medicare Prevention Services Chart.