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Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – August 1, 2014

Business strategy concept in word tag cloudJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

Healthcare Informatics: Collecting Health Data and Reducing Health Disparities: A Winning Combo? – “The cost of health disparities in America was in excess of $60 billion in 2009, according to a figure cited in a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) brief. Marshall Chin, M.D., an internist at the University of Chicago Medicine, is a renowned researcher in the field of health disparities. He serves as director of the RWJF Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change National Program Office. According to Dr. Chin, in Chicago, an African-American with breast cancer is three times more likely to die than a white person. This is just one example, he cites, that shows the tough situation minorities often face when it comes to their care.” >> Read More

Reuters:  U.S. hospitals get lift from surge in Medicaid sign-ups – “U.S. hospitals are getting a stronger-than-expected benefit from a new influx of low-income patients whose bills are paid by the government’s Medicaid program, raising their profit forecasts as a result. The growing numbers of Medicaid patients helped hospital operator HCA Holdings Inc, the largest for-profit chain, post stronger earnings in the second quarter than initially forecast.” >> Read More

WNPR:  Obamacare, Doctor Pay, and the Access to Care – “Insurance is one thing, but actual access to a doctor or a provider is another. One variable plays an important role in determining the quality of care that patients will get: how much doctors are paid.” >> Read More

Fierce Health Player: Exchanges required to provide quality metrics of plans in 2016 – “Insurers selling plans on the marketplaces must disclose the metrics they use to determine the value and cost-effectiveness of plans beginning in 2016, as a way to improve the overall quality of healthcare. The Affordable Care Act grants exchanges the right to allow consumers to compare plans based on quality and value, set common quality improvement requirements and collect quality and cost data to inform improvements. Of the 36 state-based exchanges, 13 have already taken steps to promote quality in the plans sold through their online marketplaces, according to an issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund.” >> Read More

Journalist’s Resource: Why do Americans have worse health than do people in other high-income countries? – “Prolonged exposure to life in the United States also seems to make people sicker. When immigrants first come to the United States their health is usually better than that of the average American, but — over time — they come to resemble their U.S.-born counterparts, with increased rates of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other ailments.” >> Read More

The Washington Post: New challenge for Obamacare: Enrollees who don’t understand their insurance plans – “Nine months after Americans began signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, a challenging new phase is emerging as confused enrollees clamor for help in understanding their coverage. Nonprofit organizations across the country are being swamped by consumers with questions. Many are low-income, have never had insurance and have little knowledge of the health-care system. The rampant confusion poses a potential hurdle for the success of the health law: If many Americans don’t understand how health insurance works, that could hurt their ability to use their benefits — or to keep their coverage altogether.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: A Cleaner, Safer Future Is Ours – Nearly half of all Latinos live in areas with unhealthy air quality. Climate change further exacerbates this unhealthy air quality with an increase in extreme heat days. The impacts include increased asthma attacks, from which Latinos are three times more likely than whites to end up in a hospital. Shockingly, Hispanic children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.” >> Read More

Image credit: iStock photo

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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