What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Unemployment insurance (UI)

Extend or raise the compensation provided to eligible, unemployed workers looking for jobs

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Income

Unhealthy snack taxes

Increase the price of snack products high in sugar and fat by adding an excise or sales tax to the current price

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Universal distracted driving laws

Prohibit all drivers from texting or talking on a cell phone while driving

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Universal firearm background checks

Require both licensed and unlicensed firearm dealers to conduct background checks of potential handgun purchasers

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Universal motorcycle helmet laws

Require all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a helmet; laws are established statewide and may also include mopeds and scooters

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Universal school-based alcohol prevention programs

Provide all students with the information and skills to prevent alcohol use; programs can be delivered via a specific curriculum or as a component of classroom behavior management

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Universal school-based suicide awareness & education programs

Deliver a curriculum-based program that helps all students learn to recognize warning signs of suicide in themselves and others in a school setting

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

Urban agriculture

Support food-producing and income-earning activities in urban environments (e.g., edible landscapes, front yard or rooftop gardens, window farming, hydroponics, livestock, etc.)

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Value-based insurance design

Create financial incentives or remove financial disincentives to affect consumer choices and incentivize provision of cost efficient health care services

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Value-based purchasing (VBP)

Use the purchasing power of employers and groups of insured individuals to create incentives and disincentives for health care providers to deliver high quality, high value care

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care