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Health Disparities Round-Up – August 29, 2014

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

Health IT Analytics: What can Google searches reveal about health disparities? – “Google may track patterns in search engine use primarily to target advertising to users, but healthcare providers may be able to glean some important insights from the company’s big data, as well. The New York Times reports that correlating search data with information about the socioeconomic status of communities nationwide reveals a stark difference in what information is important to consumers. For residents of economically challenged areas, the most popular keywords are centered around diabetes, blood pressure control, dieting information, and requests for free medications and other healthcare help. The impact of socioeconomic status on health and wellness is well-documented, with several new studies highlighting the role of non-medical factors on the health of populations. Patients who typically rely on safety net services are twice as likely to have poor control of their diabetes and require amputations, one study found, while another project revealed that patients living in low-income communities were 7% more likely to experience a hospital readmission for a cardiac issue than patients from wealthier areas.” >> Read More

New Business Consumer: The Benefit Of EHRs To The Prison System – “It’s easy to see EHR (electronic health records) as a hero of tech efficiency in the industry, but the concept of patient-centered healthcare is a reminder that patients, including those who are incarcerated, are the drivers behind the design, and implementation of any patient record system. The U.S. correctional system sees about 10 million people per year filter through its jails and prisons, with 90 percent of those incarcerations in jails, according to the Health And Human Rights Journal. The majority of that population tends to be poor and racial and ethnic minorities, and have higher rates of medical, mental health, and substance abuse challenges. In addition to their pre-existing conditions, incarceration brings with it new health risks of injury from violence and mental health stressors.” >> Read More

Vox: White privilege is the best medicine – “But every single day, there are many more race-related deaths that result from a quieter but arguably even more violent act: systemic discrimination in the US health system. The truth is this: even today, in America, white privilege works better than most medicine when it comes to staying healthy. Racial health disparities may be a more subtle killer than gun violence or murder, but they’re arguably a more violent one. They infect every part of the body and they strike at literally every stage of life, from cradle to grave.” >> Read More Health exchange head named to federal post – “On Tuesday, Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan announced he had accepted a position as the federal marketplace CEO. Counihan will be responsible for leading the federal marketplace, managing relationships with state marketplaces and running the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which regulates health insurance at the federal level.” >> Read More

The CT Mirror: Future of Obamacare enrollment assistance still being determined – “During the previous open enrollment period, which ran from Oct. 1 to March 31, 239 people worked as in-person assisters. About a third spoke Spanish. By the end of March, they reported having worked with 289,072 people and signed up more than 19,000 state residents for health care coverage, according to a report on the program presented to the exchange board earlier this year. Access Health officials say one of their goals for the future is to help people understand how to use their coverage, not just get them signed up. Two Yale School of Public Health researchers who studied the enrollment experience suggested that could be part of the job of a year-round, in-person assistance program, focused on meeting the needs of underserved communities.” >> Read More

Medical Xpress: Racial and ethnic stereotypes may contribute to obesity among minorities – “Many Americans need extraordinary willpower to avoid becoming obese – or to slim down if they already weigh too much. For members of minority groups, maintaining a healthy weight can be that much harder according to new research led by Luis Rivera, an experimental social psychologist at Rutgers University-Newark. Rivera says it is common for minorities in the United States to endure negative stereotypes, pervasive messages that suggest those groups are inferior, and that these attitudes can prevent people from doing what is needed to care for their health.” >> Read More

Colorlines: New Report Says U.S. Health Care Violates U.N. Convention on Racism – “A report released in August by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective paints a distressing picture of the health conditions facing black and Latina women in the United States. The report, “Reproductive Injustice: Racial and Gender Discrimination in U.S. Health Care,” was written for U.S. government officials and the United Nations committee tasked with reviewing compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). It makes a compelling case that the U.S. is in direct violation of ICERD based on the health care access and health outcomes associated with certain populations in the U.S.” >> Read More

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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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