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Health Disparities Round-Up – June 19, 2015

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

Kaiser Health News: Is The Uninsured Rate The Lowest Ever? – “Almost no one disputes that the implementation of the federal health law has helped Americans who were previously uninsured gain coverage. But exactly how much has the uninsured rate dropped?” >> Read more

Huffington Post: Smart Justice — Begins With Health Equity – “Smart Justice is a banner many state law enforcement and criminal justice stakeholders utilize to drive prison reform. Whatever strategies and programs a state’s smart justice initiative may include, it must consider the primary and behavioral health needs of inmates. As reported by The Treatment Advocacy Center, “Approximately 20 percent of inmates in jails and 15 percent of inmate’s state in prisons have a serious mental illness.” As to substance use, data reveals an estimated 75 percent of inmates have a substance use disorder and over 70 percent of those with serious mental illness have co-occurring disorders.” >> Read more

Latin Post: Hispanic Youth & the Struggle to Aquire Mental Health Assessment and Treatment – “Frequently, many in the Latino community are not aware of indicators associated with depression, disorders or organic mental illnesses; and when Latinos, in fact, come into contact with this information it’s often delivered in a culturally inadequate fashion. Also, unfortunately, when culturally-focused mental health education and services are available, clients are often uninformed about where to find these services. Likely, the three greatest structural barriers that multicultural communities face (perhaps more burdensome and damning than unfamiliarity with facilities) are health insurance costs, misdiagnosed/underdiagnosed and difficulties with assessment.” >> Read more Why Are Millions of Insured Americans Still Struggling To Pay For Health Care? – “Early indications are that the Affordable Care Act is also beginning to make a dent when it comes to helping people afford doctor’s visits and medication. A June 2015 Commonwealth Fund survey found that more than 6 of 10 people with marketplace or Medicaid coverage who used their new insurance for medical care or prescriptions would not have been able to get or afford this care before. Even people who had health insurance before they enrolled ACA coverage said they were getting care they wouldn’t have been able to get previously.” >> Read more

Health Leaders Media: Equitable Healthcare is Quality qua– How do you make sure hospitals deliver high-quality care? Fine them if they deliver bad care. Just look at the effort to reduce readmissions. Medicare’s penalty program seems to be motivating hospitals in ways regulations, reports, and lawsuits can’t. Now, the pay-for-value era promises to put some power behind the effort to end disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. Research shows that minorities are more likely to experience the kind of bad outcomes that result in penalties from Medicare. For example, non-white patients are more likely to experience avoidable hospitalizations and suffer from medical errors, says Joseph Betancourt, MD, director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.” >> Read more

The CT Mirror: For insurers, Supreme Court could demolish a growing line of business – “The nation’s health insurers, including leading companies like Aetna, are hoping the Supreme Court does not strike down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that has brought them millions of new policyholders and provided new growth opportunities for the industry. What’s at stake are billions of dollars in premiums if the Supreme Court eliminates the ACA’s subsidies to millions of customers in 34 states — most of them young and healthy whose inclusion in insurance pools helps lower premiums for other customers.” >> Read more


Featured image credit: iStock Photo, contributed by devonu

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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