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Editor's Note: This column appeared in Bridge Magazine.
Debates about the Affordable Care Act continue—especially in this election year—but health reform is already happening all around us. All we need to do is look.
Today we are releasing our Cover Michigan Survey, 2011. Like last year’s survey, this report looks at what Michigan residents say about their access to health care. Different from last year, this survey was designed to look more in-depth at access, along with health status.
In November 2010 we released an issue brief on the cost of prematurity in Michigan. In that issue brief we noted that in 2008/2009, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan spent a total of more than $46 million on preterm infants in the first year of life. The average cost of medical care for a preterm baby in its first year of life was almost $42,000, compared to just over $4,000 for a full-term infant. In 2007, the March of Dimes published similar national numbers that set the medical cost of a preterm birth at $49,000.
In my role at CHRT, I work daily with the best research minds in the country and I work with communities and “grass roots” groups. I often describe what I do as bridging two worlds and helping to translate and balance between them. The work engages solid research design but in ways that are practical and able to be translated into community settings.