What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Living wage laws

Establish locally or state mandated wages that are higher than federal minimum wage levels

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

Long-acting reversible contraception access

Increase access to LARCs through cost reduction, comprehensive birth control counseling, provider training, efforts to ensure availability at local clinics, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care, Sexual Activity

Long-term care employee compensation

Increase wages and benefits for personal or home care workers, nurse aides, and others who provide direct care to patients in long-term care (LTC) settings

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Provide funds to help low income households meet home energy needs, especially households with members who are young or elderly, or have disabilities

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs)

Provide funding via tax credits at the state and local level to support development and rehabilitation costs of low income rental housing

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Magnolia Project

Provide prenatal and interconception care, family planning and case management services, and group-based education to eligible women via Healthy Start

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Mass media campaigns against alcohol-impaired driving

Use mass media campaigns to persuade individuals to avoid drinking and driving or to prevent others from doing so; campaigns often focus on fear of arrest or injury to self, others, or property

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

Mass media campaigns against tobacco use

Use broad media-based efforts to educate large groups of current and potential tobacco users about the dangers of tobacco use

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Mass media campaigns against underage & binge drinking

Use television, radio, print, and social media efforts to increase adult awareness of underage drinking and its consequences

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

Mass media campaigns for physical activity

Provide messages that support physical activity to large and broad audiences using newspapers, radio, television, and billboards

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

Mass media campaigns to prevent pregnancy & STIs

Use TV, radio, internet, and print media to disseminate information about safe sex behaviors

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Matched dollar incentives for saving tax refunds

Support programs that provide matched dollar incentives for low or moderate income individuals to place some or all of their tax refund in a savings account

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

Media restrictions on sexual content

Reduce child and adolescent access to sexual content in television, movies, music, and videogames via rating systems, parental advisories, parental guidelines, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Medical homes

Provide continuous, comprehensive, whole person primary care that uses a coordinated team of medical providers across the health care system

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

Medical marijuana legalization

Allow eligible patients to use marijuana for medical purposes; often called medical marijuana laws (MMLs)

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

Medical-legal partnerships

Integrate legal services into health care settings to address legal issues that affect health (e.g., housing, food, utilities); services provided by private practice lawyers, law students, etc.

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

Medication-assisted treatment access enhancement initiatives

Provide medications such as methadone to individuals diagnosed with opioid use disorder in outpatient, residential, and hospital settings, usually with counseling and behavioral therapies; often called MAT

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

Mental health benefits legislation

Regulate mental health insurance to increase access to mental health services, including treatment for substance use disorders

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Mental Health First Aid

Provide an 8 or 12 hour training to educate laypeople about how to assist individuals with mental health problems or at risk for problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Family and Social Support

Mentoring for new nurses

Pair new nurses with more experienced nurses who act as a resource and provide support as the new nurse establishes her or himself professionally

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care