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Health Disparities Round-Up – December 5, 2014

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

The New York Times: Big Changes in Fine Print of Some 2015 Health Plans – “At first glance, the 2015 health plans offered by the Ohio nonprofit insurer CareSource look a lot like the ones it sold this year, in the Affordable Care Act’s first enrollment season. The monthly premiums are nearly identical, and the deductibles are the same. But tucked within the plans’ jargon are changes that could markedly affect how much consumers pay for health care. Generic drugs will soon be free, but the cost of expensive specialty medications will increase. Co-payments for visits to primary-care doctors will go down, but those for emergency room trips will be higher.” >> Read More Hispanics targeted in 2nd year of health overhaul – “Hispanics accounted for just 11 percent of those who enrolled in the private policies sold during the initial sign-up period, which ended in March. Substantially boosting the overall number of enrollees beyond the 6.7 million who signed up the first year will depend on reaching people who have been uninsured for years or never been insured, and that will mean heavily targeting Hispanic communities.” >> Read More

NBC News: World Aids Day: Working To Keep Latinos Informed, Healthy – “The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. While Hispanics are about 17 percent of the population, they account for 20 percent of people living with HIV. The rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that of white men. The rate of new infections among Latinas is more than four times that of white women.” “Approximately one in 50 Hispanics will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime,” said Dr. Donna McCree, Associate Director for Health Equity, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the CDC. She cited socio-economic factors, language barriers and the stigma associated with the disease as reasons why Latinos over-index for HIV/AIDS.” >> Read More

Medical Xpress: Widening wage gap linked to more deaths among black Americans – “Greater income inequality is linked to more deaths among African Americans, but the effect is reversed among white Americans, who experienced fewer deaths, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The study, published in the fall 2014 issue of the International Journal of Health Services, highlights stark racial differences in the effects of the widening gap between the rich and poor. The United States has one of the largest gaps between rich and poor among developed nations. According to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, income grew by 275 percent for the top 1 percent of households between 1979 and 2007. In comparison, income for households in lower brackets grew only 40-65 percent in that same time period. The bottom 20 percent of households saw their incomes grow by only 18 percent.” >> Read More

Center for Advancing Health: Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care – “Patient reported differences in the way medical doctors assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minorities for mental health services may contribute to disparities in their use, according to a new study in Health Services Research”. “We know certain groups of people often have worse mental health, possibly due to lack of access to specialty care,” said study author Oanh Meyer. “This may be because providers under-recognize their problems or have implicit, unconscious biases that affect the way they treat racial/ethnic minorities or other underserved groups.” >> Read More

The New York Times: Good News Inside the Health Spending Numbers – “Inside the continuing slowdown in the growth in health spending is evidence that the American health care system may be changing in ways that could make it more affordable in the years to come. As my colleague Robert Pear reported, health spending in 2013 grew at the lowest rate since government officials started tracking it — back in 1960. Taken alone, that fact might not be meaningful, but 2013 is the fourth consecutive year that health spending growth has kept pace with the growth in the overall domestic economy, suggesting something more durable than random. The slowdown in health spending growth began in 2002 and has become more pronounced in recent years.” >> 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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