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Health Disparities Round-Up – February 14, 2014

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

NPR : Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions Of Race – “Governments, schools and companies keep track of your race. The statistics are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us measure health disparities. But there’s a problem with all those statistics — and the deeper way we think about race.” >> Read More

BusinessWeek: Obamacare Gives Boost to Startups Focused on Health Care for Poor – “Bay Area dermatologist David Wong can’t forget a patient he met during a trip to California’s Central Valley in 2009: a farmworker with a bleeding lesion on his right forearm who died within six months of Wong’s diagnosis of metastatic melanoma. The man lived less than two hours from San Francisco, and Wong says he was appalled by the “marked difference in the access to care as well as the quality of care patients were receiving.” That experience led Wong and a fellow dermatologist to launch an online clinic in 2010. Direct Dermatology uses photos patients upload to diagnose growths, rashes, and other skin problems, usually in less than a day and at what Wong says is about half the cost of a regular doctor visit. The Palo Alto business, which has nine employees and a network of 20 dermatologists, has performed more than 10,000 consultations. Its services are covered by Medicaid and some private insurers.” >> Read More

Boston Globe: New data show disparities in health law sign-ups – “Wide disparities are emerging among states in health insurance sign-ups, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal enrollment statistics released Wednesday. The Obama administration says about 1 million people signed up for private insurance under the health law in January, extending a turnaround from early days when a dysfunctional website frustrated consumers. The new national numbers show that nearly 3.3 million people signed up from last Oct. 1 through Feb. 1.” >> Read More

The CT Mirror: Primary care providers accepting Medicaid doubled since 2011 – “Payment rates to primary care providers who see Medicaid patients rose dramatically in 2013, and so did the number of providers participating in the program. In December, there were 3,256 primary care providers in the program, a figure that includes doctors, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants. That was up from 2,370 in January 2013, a 37 percent increase. And it’s more than double the number of primary care providers participating in Medicaid in January 2012: 1,622.” >> Read More

The Atlantic Cities: We Finally Have Metro-Level Numbers From States That Refused the Medicaid Expansion, and They’re Really Bad – “The Affordable Care Act promised a massive expansion of health care coverage for poor, uninsured adults. They would not have to sort through private plan options on the various exchange websites. They would not have to figure out federal subsidies, or find the money to pay for premiums that the subsidies would not cover. Instead, people making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line were supposed to qualify for a new and sweeping expansion of Medicaid, the public insurance program for the poor. Nearly half of the states, though, have so far opted not to adopt this part of the law (or take the federal money that comes with it). As I wrote in November, this decision has fallen particularly hard on large urban centers in states like Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: Leveraging Mobile Technology for Improved Public Health: Empowering Communities With Increased Access and Connectivity – “According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of Americans own cell phones, 56 percent of which are smartphones. As a physician and president of the Aetna Foundation, I have witnessed this rapid increase in technology usage firsthand. I’ve been encouraged by both patients and their family members using mobile technology to track their health behaviors. In my experience, it was as simple as a young girl from Baltimore looking up her grandmother’s heart condition on her iPhone and downloading an evidence-based fitness application to track their daily walks. When they returned to my office, the young girl had a new wealth of knowledge and her grandmother was incorporating exercise into her daily life. For my patients and their caregivers, like all of us, ease of use and access can make all the difference.” >> Read More

BlackVoiceNews.com: Despite Affordable Care Act Millions Could Go Without Health Insurance – Special to the NNPA from The Final Call – Though 2014 marks the 50th anniversaries of both the War on Poverty and Civil Rights Act, glaring racial disparities continue permeating the fabric of American society. Stark differences between Blacks and Whites in education, employment, poverty, housing and net worth, are tied to health disparities and access to health insurance coverage, according to this year’s State of the Dream Report. The report is released annually by United for a Fair Economy to coincide with the King Holiday and examines areas of racial inequality.” >> 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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