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Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – April 10, 2015

iStock_000021869274Small(1)Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

Connecticut Health I-Team: More Dentists Now Treating Low-Income Patients, But Coverage Gaps Persist – “Thousands of low-income adults and children have gained access to dental services in recent years as the number of dentists accepting Medicaid and HUSKY patients has soared, according to state data. At the end of last year, there were 2,002 dentists who accepted Medicaid or HUSKY plans. That’s nearly three times the 703 dentists who accepted Medicaid or HUSKY on Dec. 31, 2008, according to the state Department of Social Services (DSS).” >> Read more

SaludToday: Survey: Health Care Access Improves for Latinos, but Not Among Certain Segments – “The number of Latinos with health care coverage has risen dramatically thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but certain groups have lower coverage rates or know little about the health insurance marketplace, according to a new poll. The poll, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico and implemented by Latino Decisions, examined Latinos’ attitudes on immigration policy, the Affordable Care Act, discrimination, and personal connections to immigrants. Only 17% percent of Latinos now lack health insurance, down from 28% in 2013. But a significant gap in health coverage exists when it comes to nativity, with 87 percent of U.S.-born Latinos saying they are covered but only 78 percent of foreign-born Latinos have coverage.” >> Read more

Kaiser Health News: Shifts In Earnings For Consumers Near Medicaid Line Can Threaten Coverage – “Low-income consumers whose earnings fluctuate or family circumstances change over the course of the year risk losing their health coverage if they shift between eligibility for Medicaid and coverage on the health insurance exchanges. That “churning” isn’t new to Medicaid, but the health law’s addition of millions of customers whose incomes hover near the Medicaid line raises concerns about how well the insurance marketplaces can handle the flux.” >> Read more

WNPR: More Dentists Now Treating Connecticut’s Low-Income Patients, But Coverage Gaps Persist – “Thousands of low-income adults and children have gained access to dental services in recent years as the number of dentists accepting Medicaid and HUSKY patients has soared, according to state data. At the end of last year, there were 2,002 dentists who accepted Medicaid or HUSKY plans. That’s nearly three times the 703 dentists who accepted Medicaid or HUSKY on Dec. 31, 2008, according to the state Department of Social Services.” >> Read more

WNPR: After Five Years of Obamacare, What Comes Next? – “It’s been five years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, and the law is still as contentious as ever. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the distribution of Obamacare subsidies. This hour, we find out how the outcome of that case could impact millions of Americans insured through the federal exchange. A little later, we also get an update on some of the latest healthcare news in Connecticut.” >> Listen here

CT News: Connecticut Receives a “B” Grade on Women’s Poverty and Opportunity Index; More Work Still Needs To Be Done – “In every state, there are more women living in poverty than men. In Connecticut, 10.6% of women over 18 are living in poverty, compared with 7.8% of men. However, 27.3% of Hispanic women and 20% percent of black women in Connecticut live in poverty, compared with only 6.9% of white women and 7.1% of Asian women who live in poverty, highlighting the ethnic disparities in poverty within the state.” >> Read more

Phys.org: Using cultural competency to improve care – “Visitors to the Tufts School of Dental Medicine at One Kneeland Street now will find signs by the lobby elevators that provide a building directory in both English and Chinese, and the school’s website includes information for patients in English, Chinese and Spanish. These multilingual communications are some of the school’s first steps in adopting guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to help eliminate health-care disparities by making it easier for patients from all backgrounds to access care and for providers to deliver that care. The guidelines are known as the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care, or CLAS. “The whole purpose of CLAS is to advance equity and improve quality,” says Nicole Holland, director of health communication, education and promotion at the dental school.” >> Read more

WABE: Health Disparities Still A Focus For Former Surgeon General – “In an interview on “A Closer Look,” with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer, Satcher said health disparities still exist, and it’s still a problem. As an example, he estimated thousands of African-Americans would not have died, if the disparities had been eliminated in the 20th century. Satcher also talked about major developments on the health front in recent years, including legislation on access to mental health services, President Barack Obama’s health care law and global health equity.” >> Listen Here

Huffington Post: #BlackLivesMatter — A Challenge to the Medical and Public Health Communities – “Should health professionals be accountable not only for caring for individual black patients but also for fighting the racism — both institutional and interpersonal — that contributes to poor health in the first place? Should we work harder to ensure that black lives matter?” >> Read more

ThinkProgress: Obamacare Opponents Are Making Racial Inequality Worse – “The ongoing political resistance to fully implementing the major provisions of Obamacare is serving to deepen racial inequality in the health care sector, according to a new analysis from researchers at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. There are already significant disparities in health outcomes that fall along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. Historically, people of color in the United States have been less likely to be insured and more likely to receive substandard health care. Racial gaps have contributed to the fact that black Americans are still dying younger than their white counterparts.” >> Read more

Los Angeles Times: Four largest states have sharp disparities in access to healthcare – “The national divide over the Affordable Care Act is beginning to affect Americans’ access to medical care and perhaps even their ability to pay medical bills, a new study of the country’s four largest states suggests. Residents of Florida and Texas, which have resisted expanding insurance coverage through the health law, reported more problems getting needed care than residents of California and New York, which both guarantee coverage to their residents.” >> Read more

Image Credit: iStockPhoto

About Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez is a Program Director at the Society for New Communications Research and has worked 7+ years in the digital communications field. Prior to joining the Society for New Communications Research, Gina worked at re: Imagine group, where she where she led media and blogger outreach and agency research.

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