YOU can have a voice in health policy! Healthy People is a tool the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses to set national health goals. The comment period for Healthy People 2030 expires Thursday January 17 at 5 pm eastern time.
HomesRenewed Coalition is making it easy for YOU to comment. Joining the HomesRenewed campaign strengthens our policy leadership position while enhancing the power of our collective voice. Please join us by taking the steps outlined below. ASAP!
A. We identified 2 core objectives and prepared comments for you to paste into the online form. You can write your own comments if your prefer.
B. We created one additional objective for you to propose. You can write your own comments if your prefer.
This will take about 4-6 minutes. (It is just clicking, copying and pasting. There are 14 steps. You can do it. It will feel good to take action to influence health policy.)
1. Go to this link. (Before you can submit your comments you will need to register your name, email, address and organization)
2. Go to the Older Adults category, click the Comment button at Objective OA-2030-03
Reduce the rate of emergency department visits due to falls among older adults
3. Paste this comment into the box, answer the questions and hit ‘submit’:
The CDC says the average cost of a fall is $30,000. That means 100 grab bars installed at $300 per installation will be a break even investment if ONE fall is avoided. Incentives, not unlike those for hybrid cars or solar collectors, will increase grab bar installations, helping to achieve this worthy Healthy People 2030 core objective. HR1780 in the last Congress supported a related incentive. Incentives should be included in the strategy to reach the Healthy People 2030 goals.
4. Go back to the Public Comment button on the upper left, THEN the Comment on proposed objectives for 2030 at the bottom.
5. Go to the Disability and Health category, click the Comment button at Objective DH-2030-05
Increase the proportion of all occupied homes and residential buildings that have visitable features
6. Paste this comment into the box, answer the questions and hit ‘submit’:
Repeated studies show that as many as 90% of Americans want to age in place. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies 2017 Report, Housing Americans Older Adults, states: “By 2035, 17 million households will include a person for whom stairs, traditional bathrooms, and narrow doors pose challenges…Yet only 3.5% of US housing offer…[access features]. Incentives, similar to those for hybrid cars or solar collectors, will increase visitable/accessible installations, helping to achieve this worthy Healthy People 2030 core objective. HR1780 in the last Congress supported a related incentive. Incentives should be included in the strategy to reach the Healthy People 2030 goals.
7. Go back to the Public Comment button on the upper left, THEN the Propose a new objective for 2030 at the bottom.
8. Pick the “Social Determinants of Health” from the Topic Area drop down menu.
9. Paste this into the ‘New Objective’ box:
Housing is a key social determinant of health particularly for older adults who may have mobility or balance difficulties. Incentives, similar to those for hybrid cars or solar collectors, should be adopted to increase updates to our housing infrastructure so that our homes are better prepared to house our increasingly older population. Incentives should be included in the strategy to reach the Healthy People 2030 goals
10. Paste this into the ‘Objective Rationale’ box:
In a July 12, 2018 interview on NPR’s Marketplace, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said; “… [T]he United States is on an unsustainable fiscal path, largely due to the interaction between an aging population and a health care system . . . that is much higher [cost] than any other advanced economy.” As shown in the Johns Hopkins CAPABLE study and others, small investments to improve the SDOH may have as valuable an impact on reducing health costs as improving medical care. Updating our housing infrastructure has enormous potential to reduce health and long term care costs. Houses should be updated with visitable/accessible/Universal Design/age-friendly installations such as no-step entries, curbless showers, grab bars, lever handles, better lighting, technology and more. A $10,000 investment that saves one month in a nursing home breaks even.
Updating homes isn’t new. We’ve added plumbing, electricity, furnaces, fiber optic cable, and solar collectors. All of these had the backing of public policy to encourage widespread adoption. Witness how incentives sparked rapid increase of renewable energy production and hybrid vehicles. HR1780 in the last Congress supported a related incentive. Private incentives, such as reduced insurance premiums for non-smokers or safe drivers, also led to legislation like smoke detectors, airbags and backup cameras.
It is fundamentally unjust to continue medical miracles that add years to lives without also updating homes to live those lives joyfully with dignity. Updates enable older citizens to age in place with advantages for the well-being of the individual, the family and the community as well as the nation’s overall healthcare strategy and budget.
A large volumes of updated homes will stimulate innovation in businesses providing services to older adults aging in the community. These innovations will increase productivity and lower cost to consumers and the healthcare system.
Financial incentives and other programs which encourage the updating of homes will work to achieve the Healthy People 2030 goals of improving health and lowering health costs.
11. Paste this into the ‘Proposed Baseline and Unit of Measure’ box:
Percentage of homes that are updated correlated to reduced hospital and long term care costs.
12. Paste this into the ‘Proposed Data Source’ box:
National Health Interview Survey, Medicaid expenditures, American Community Survey, American Housing Survey. In addition attention should be paid to factors including: home remodeling products and contracting, reduced hospitalizations and long term care costs, homecare, transportation and other in home services utilization.
13. Paste this into the ‘Anticipated number of data points throughout the decade’ box
Answer the questions and hit ‘submit’
14. Pat YOURSELF on the back for taking steps to improve healthcare policy and the business of serving older Americans to Age in Place.
We are all in this together!