Health Disparities Round-Up – August 28, 2015

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

Placing test stip in blood sugar meter with smart phone help


NPR Shots: Texting Helps Diabetes Patients Fine-Tune Insulin Dosing – “For people with chronic conditions, mobile technology can provide crucial support and lower costs. Doctors have used mobile messaging to prompt hypertensive patients to measure their blood pressure and to remind HIV-positive people to return for regular lab testing. For people tracking their overall health, Apple’s new HealthKit makes it easier for different health and fitness apps to exchange data.” 

Health Affairs Blog: Insights Into Hispanics’ Enrollment On The Health Insurance Exchanges – “In the U.S., Hispanics are more likely to lack health insurance than any other racial or ethnic group, and enrollment on the individual health insurance exchanges is disproportionately low among Hispanics — issues that have been well documented. As payers are preparing for the 2016 open enrollment period (OEP), we wanted to share new McKinsey research that sheds light on why Hispanic enrollment rates continue to be low, and to offer suggestions on how to address some of the challenges involved in increasing Hispanic enrollment. Between February and April 2015, we surveyed 554 adults of Hispanic descent who were eligible for qualified health plans to better understand the factors influencing enrollment rates. All of these respondents reported that they were U.S. citizens or legally entitled to live in this country, and that they were not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.”

Health IT Analytics: Is There Conflict between Precision Medicine, Population Health?– “If there’s one thing that all healthcare stakeholders can agree upon, it’s that there’s never enough time, money, or manpower to do everything that needs to be done.  Whether electronic health records, novel care delivery frameworks, or emerging payment reforms help or hurt this fundamental truth may be up for debate, but even the most efficient and tech-savvy organizations are unlikely to argue that the healthcare system is as good as it needs to be right now.”

The CT Mirror: Insurer coaches the newly covered through the health system – “The insurers selling plans through Connecticut’s exchange, Access Health CT, are using a variety of techniques to help customers new to insurance and to encourage new members to see a primary care provider. A survey of exchange customers earlier this year indicated that 28 percent did not have a primary care doctor, and 36 percent hadn’t yet used their coverage.”

Reuters: Women, minorities still underrepresented in medical specialties – “Too few women and minorities are entering certain medical specialties in the U.S., researchers say. Diversifying the physician workforce may be key to addressing health disparities and inequities, Dr. Curtiland Deville of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who worked on the study, said in an email.”

Image credit: iStock Photo, contributed by microgen


About Gina Hernandez Follow @sncr

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.