Month: June 2013

Health Plan & Provider Implications of New Adolescent Risk Screening Guidelines

Recent changes in adolescent risk assessment guidelines will especially impact health plans and healthcare providers.

Click here join us on June 28th at 2pm (ET) as nationally acclaimed guest speakers share their perspective and real-life, hands-on experience:

  • Mary McFarlane RN, MBA Director, Michigan Quality Improvement Consortium Blue Care Network of Michigan
  • Michael Samuelson, SVP, Health and Wellness, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (Retired)
  • Jennifer Salerno, DNP, CPNP, FAANP founder of Possibilities for Change

At this complimentary webinar, our expert panel will provide insights into:

  • Current adolescent screening recommendations.  Dr. Jennifer Salerno will provide an overview of recommendations from leading national organizations and the implications for PCMH and ACOs.
  • The new adolescent risk assessment guideline for the State of Michigan. Mary McFarlane will describe the key elements of this guideline and the unique collaboration behind the creation.
  • The role of prevention and best practices from the field.  Michael Samuelson will share from his years of experience in public prevention policy and his role in implementing Wellness for BCBS of Rhode Island.

Health Plan & Provider Implications of New Adolescent Risk Screening Guidelines
June 28, 2013 at 2pm (ET)

RAAPS featured in “SAHM Matters”

RAAPS was developed to overcome some of the most common barriers to adolescent risk screening in primary care: time, provider confidence in addressing multiple risk topics, lack of risk-reduction counseling tools — and teen engagement.  As a nurse practitioner working with teens, I understood the need to screen for risky behaviors, but struggled to connect with teens in a traditional interview style — and had trouble incorporating long risk surveys in the appointment time available.

A great team of experts at the University of Michigan created RAAPS with these issues in mind – and we had strong teen involvement every step of the way.  Our collaboration with teens helped to make the RAAPS more engaging, and helps teens feel more comfortable answering sensitive questions.  It also led to some innovative features that increase both engagement and effectiveness in the teen population:

  • –  RAAPS can be completed on any device with internet access — like an iPad, or droid tablet (some sites are even using Kindle Fires now!)
  • –  Audio and multi-lingual options are incorporated to help improve health literacy, which is especially important among underserved populations

We also added innovative features for professionals who use RAAPS to identify risks and provide behavior change counseling:

  • –  Some professionals reported they were less confident with certain risk topics (mental health, for example) — so evidence-based talking points were developed to help in their discussions with teens
  • –  And with the secure system, professionals can electronically document the counseling they provide and receive reports on their patient population by age, risk factor, demographics, and over time
  • –  In addition, results can be compared to a “benchmark” population of adolescents who have completed the online survey

This access to risk data is the feature I love the most as a researcher! Teen risks change over time — and having accessible data that reveals changing trends is critical. For example a review of RAAPS 2012 data showed a significant increase in mental health risks among teens — even surpassing the usual issues of teen drinking, drugs, and unprotected sex.

This article was featured in the May Newsletter of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.  RAAPS was chosen as the recipient of the 2013 Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care. Click here to read the article in its entirety. 

A Closer Look at Fatherhood

The new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics noted the teen birth rate declined 25 percent between 2007-2011—a record low. Teen birth rates fell at least 15 percent for all but two states during this most recent period of sustained decline.  There are many curriculums and programs aimed to reduce teen pregnancy; however, teen pregnancy is closely connected to the goal of promoting responsible fatherhood.

With Father’s Day approaching, RAAPS is taking a special look at how we can highlight responsible fatherhood.  As noted in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s Why It Matters Publication:

–  Boys and girls without involved fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to abuse alcohol or drugs, twice as likely to end up in jail, and two to three times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.

–  Teen girls who don’t have a father in their life are two times more likely to initiate sexual activity early and are seven times more likely to get pregnant compared to girls with fathers present.

–  Also, teen girls who have a higher quality relationship with their fathers are less likely to initiate sexual activity compared to those who report a lower quality relationship with their fathers.

–  Teen boys who live with both parents initiate sex at an older age compared to teen boys in other family situations.

Sexual activity among teenage boys is declining.  When they are engaging in sex, more teen boys are reporting using dual methods of birth control.  Although we know there is more that can be done to send a message to teen boys to abstain from becoming a father until they are ready, it’s equally as important to remind fathers of the role they play in helping their own sons and daughters avoid becoming teen parents.  The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) provides a great resource to address just that. This OAH course provides an overview of important insights and data on the unique and irreplaceable role that fathers (including teen fathers) play in the well-being of their children.  It equips organizations to effectively support fathers, consistently and for the long-term, and reduce the ill effects of father absence in communities.  View this resource.

Healthy Teen Network also highlights current data trends in The Unique Needs of Young Fathers publication.  View this resource.

From our family to yours, Happy Father’s Day!


Improve Practice, Share Stories!

We all know that the best way to improve practice and inspire each other in our work is through sharing stories of tackling tough topics, identifying hidden risks, and making a difference. We would like to invite you to share your RAAPS success stories! Your stories will be shared in future RAAPS communications (anonymously of course) for others to learn from and be inspired by.

Read our latest RAAPS success story:

A 13 year old female client came for immunizations and a RAAPS in 10/2012.  Through the RAAPS, she disclosed that she had been considering suicide including a plan and also cutting on her hips so no one would notice.  She had not talked to anyone about her feelings.  Because we reviewed confidentiality in relation to disclosure of harm, we were able to notify her parents and begin counseling at the center. The RAAPS gave us the vehicle to ASK important questions and get her help.  She is doing very well now, continues counseling and support here at the center.

Please continue to send in your experiences and share your story!  You can access this feature on our website in the “Tell Us Your Story!” tab on the right hand side.   We believe the best of best practices come directly from our peers!