Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.
Psychiatric News: Eliminating Behavioral Health Disparities and Improving Outcomes for Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations – “Integrated care holds promise for reducing mental health disparities for racial and ethnic minority groups, but studies are lacking. The authors consider critical components of effective integrated models for minority populations, including cultural and linguistic competence and a diverse workforce, and describe emerging best practices. To successfully implement integrated models into practice with minority populations will require guidance from communities, consumers and family members, and national experts.” >> Read more
NPR Shots: Spreading The Word: Obamacare Is For Native Americans, Too – “Advocates also see the health law as a chance to reduce the health disparities that have long afflicted Native Americans, including rates of diabetes that are three times higher than the U.S. population and a life span that is four years shorter.” >> Read more
Huffington Post: More Black Patients Are Getting Kidney Transplants Thanks To Partial Matches – “CHICAGO (AP) — A racial gap in kidney transplants appears to have closed, a 13-year study found. Rates of such transplants among white patients used to far surpass those in blacks, but U.S. data on nearly 200,000 end-stage kidney disease patients shows that disparity had disappeared by 2010. Rates remained stable in 2011 and that trend likely has continued, said Dr. Jesse Sammon, the senior author and a urologist-researcher at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. The rate among black patients climbed from 93 per 1,000 patients in 1998 to about 128 per 1,000 patients in 2010 and 2011. That was also the 2010-11 rate for whites, a slight decline from 1998.” >> Read more
The CT Mirror: Obamacare and hospital finances, in nine charts – “The financial condition of Connecticut’s hospitals, and how they’ve fared under the federal health law, has been a source of dispute among state lawmakers. Hospitals have faced repeated funding cuts and increased taxes in recent state budgets. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has said hospitals are benefitting from Obamacare, since it has led to more patients with coverage – that is, more paying customers. But hospital officials say that, while they support the coverage expansion, it hasn’t led to a financial windfall, and that state funding cuts and tax hikes, along with cuts in Medicare payments in the health law, have added to the burden they face. So what really happened to hospitals since Obamacare’s 2010 passage? To find out, we looked at recently released financial data from the 2014 fiscal year, the first after the major coverage expansion provisions of the health law took effect.” >> Read more
The Connecticut Health Foundation: Community Health Workers Hold Promise for Oral Health Equity – “The Connecticut Health Foundation recently released a policy brief highlighting the potential benefits of utilizing Community Health Workers (CHWs) to fill the gaps in our health care system and outlining strategies that Connecticut can use to pave the way for these providers. Given the recent increases in health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the release of this brief is nothing if not timely. In fact, the ACA itself established new opportunities for integrating non-traditional providers like CHWs into public programs like Medicaid. In addition, CHWs have recently been at the center of national discussions on health care transformation, including a National Health Policy Forum meeting just last month.” >> Read more
HHS.Gov: HHS takes next step in advancing health equity through the Affordable Care Act – “Washington, DC– Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule to advance health equity and reduce disparities in health care. The proposed rule, Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities, will assist some of the populations that have been most vulnerable to discrimination and will help provide those populations equal access to health care and health coverage.” >> Read more