Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.
The CT Mirror: DCF: Redesign children’s mental health system – “According to the plan, approximately 156,000 Connecticut children — one in five — have diagnosable mental health symptoms. But most don’t get treatment… Black and Hispanic youth are underrepresented in the mental health system and overrepresented in the juvenile justice system.” >> Read More
Kaiser Health News: ‘The Health Care System Falls Apart When You’re A Complex Patient’ – “Jeffrey Brenner doesn’t believe in blaming a person for showing up at an emergency room for a cold or an ear infection, even if the illness could have been treated in a doctor’s office at much lower cost. Instead, he faults the health care system, and he wants to prove that if providers, employers and insurers work together more effectively, that person will stop going to the ER. Brenner, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, is testing this theory with a randomized controlled trial. Findings are due out in 2016.” >> Read More
The New York Times: Costs Can Go Up Fast When E.R. Is in Network but the Doctors Are Not – “Patients have no choice about which physician they see when they go to an emergency room, even if they have the presence of mind to visit a hospital that is in their insurance network. In the piles of forms that patients sign in those chaotic first moments is often an acknowledgment that they understand some providers may be out of network. They were billed nearly $5,000 for stitches that were done by an out-of-network surgeon. But even the most basic visits with emergency room physicians and other doctors called in to consult are increasingly leaving patients with hefty bills: More and more, doctors who work in emergency rooms are private contractors who are out of network or do not accept any insurance plans.” >> Read More
The Kaiser Health News: Scrambling To Prove He’s Eligible For Obamacare – “Months went by without word from the state. Then last week he came home from vacation to find a notice telling him he was at risk of losing the Anthem Blue Cross plan he’d purchased. On Sept. 4 — five months after the end of open enrollment — Covered California sent out notices in English and Spanish to 98,000 families who bought plans on the exchange alerting them that their legal status could not be verified. As many as 50,000 households still remain unverified and must meet a Tuesday deadline to prove that they are citizens or legal U.S. residents, or risk losing coverage. If deemed ineligible, the letters said, applicants could be liable to repay the tax credits they received, plus interest.” >> Read More
Latin Post: Obamacare Facts & News 2014: Latino Healthcare Insurance Rates Up Ahead of Signup Deadline – “Healthcare coverage has soared among Latinos, according to a new report, “The Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance for Latinos,” issued by the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes high-performing health care and supports independent research on health care issues. The Affordable Care Act has had a profound effect on the historically underinsured Latino community, as the percentage of uninsured American Latinos lacking health coverage, ages 19 to 64, dropped from 36 percent to 23 percent between summer 2013 and spring 2014.” >> Read More
CT News Junkie: Connecticut’s Poverty Rate Remains Stubbornly High – “U.S. Census data found that poverty in Connecticut, which was around 9.6 percent in 1959, climbed to about 10.7 percent in 2013. That’s the same place is was in 2012. The biggest increase in poverty was between 2003 and 2009 when it jumped from 8.1 percent to 9.4 percent. Connecticut Voices for Children pointed out that one in seven Connecticut children or 14.3 percent lived in poverty in 2013, a rate unchanged from 2012, but a substantial increase from a decade earlier when it was 10.8 percent.” >> Read More
Health Affairs Blog: Implementing Health Reform: Excepted Benefits Final Rule – “Congress adopted Title I of the Affordable Care Act to increase access to health coverage for individuals by reforming employer group health coverage and health insurance offered to individuals and groups, requiring large employers to offer their employees affordable minimum health coverage or pay a penalty, imposing a penalty on individuals who can afford health coverage but fail to obtain it, and offering advance premium tax credits through the exchanges to individuals who cannot otherwise afford to purchase health coverage.” >> Read More