UnitedHealth’s Unit Ties Up With Boulder Community Health

Judith J. Mercado

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated‘s UNH health service business, Optum, recently forged a relationship with Boulder Community Health (BCH) to provide an enriched, seamless and affordable healthcare to patients residing in Boulder County and the surrounding communities.

Optum, a leading information and technology-enabled health services business, brings in a wide array of capabilities to this unique tie-up, which in turn, will help BCH strengthen its clinical and operational performance. Like every other hospital and healthcare system, BCH is facing economic issues. This relationship will enable Optum to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and BCH will be able to continue as an independent, community-based health system.

The newly-forged tie-up will offer enhanced services, scale and resources to BCH, comprising a host of essential functions covering data and analytics, revenue cycle management and care coordination. BCH clinicians and leaders take all vital decisions to make sure that the organization is run to fulfil

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Being fit, losing weight is a powerful force against COVID-19 but cities have to do more

Judith J. Mercado

The annual ranking of the fittest U.S. cities, out today, tracks with some of the cities that weathered COVID-19 better — but the reverse is also often true. 

The ranking underscores how cities can help or hinder residents’ opportunities to be physically active, lose weight and avoid chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which increase the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.  

The COVID-19 death rate for Arlington, Virginia, the nation’s fittest city for the third year in a row, is 56 per 100,000 population. Like most of the other Washington, D.C. suburbs, Arlington had more cases per-capita than more rural parts of the state. Indiana’s Marion County, which includes 94th-ranked Indianapolis, has the highest number of cases and deaths in the state. 

“We know from research that physical activity can build a healthier immune system and overall wellness which help minimize harmful effects of illness

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Shooting of man by Baltimore police highlights ‘total failure’ of city’s behavioral health response, agency says

Judith J. Mercado

BALTIMORE — After Baltimore police officers shot a man who pulled a firearm while undergoing a behavioral health crisis last week, the organization that oversees the city’s behavioral health services called the current system “a total failure” that needs better integration of mental health professionals with the police.

There is no indication that police dispatchers attempted to connect available behavioral health resources with officers on the scene before they shot Ricky Walker Jr. on July 1, said Adrienne Breidenstine, vice president of policy and communications for Behavioral Health System Baltimore.

“This incident with Mr. Walker highlights a total failure of our two systems,” Breidenstine said. “We need to get police the heck out of there and not even be handling these types of calls.”

The city has two so-called crisis response teams that handle mental health issues, one inside the police department and another at the nonprofit Baltimore Crisis Response

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Trump’s health officials find ways to contradict his message downplaying virus risks

Judith J. Mercado

President Donald Trump’s top health officials can no longer use the White House briefing room as a daily bullhorn for public safety messaging during the pandemic, so they’ve settled on a different strategy: contradict Trump on other platforms.

Anthony Fauci on Thursday used a panel discussion on the future of health care to warn that “we’re still in a significant problem,” an assessment at odds with the president’s assertion that things are getting better.

At a coronavirus task force briefing on reopening schools, held off the White House grounds, coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx appeared to cast doubt on Trump’s claim that children are not affected by the virus, cautioning that there’s little hard data on the health effects on kids.

And FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn — the only administration health official to make the rounds of last Sunday’s morning news shows — refused to defend Trump’s assertion that 99

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