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Health Disparities Roundup – May 17, 2013

iStock_000005599800XSmallJust 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: Poverty as a Childhood Disease – “Poverty damages children’s dispositions and blunts their brains. We’ve seen articles about the language deficit in poorer homes and the gaps in school achievement. These remind us that — more so than in my mother’s generation — poverty in this country is now likely to define many children’s life trajectories in the harshest terms: poor academic achievement, high dropout rates, and health problems from obesity and diabetes to heart disease, substance abuse and mental illness.”>> Read More

CT Post: Asian-American shun mental health care – “Connecticut has just one clinic funded by the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services that treats primarily Asian-Americans. The clinic, in Hartford, serves Connecticut’s Asian-Pacific community, which includes people from 21 countries who speak 35 different languages. The Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that, of the Southeast Asians who seek mental health care, 70 percent have been diagnosed with PTSD.”>> Read More

Chicago NOW: Social justice the Rx for racial health-care gap, Cook County medical chief says – “African Americans in Chicago suffer from high rates of HIV/AIDS, diabetes and hypertension, as well as childhood obesity and infant mortality. Because they’re disproportionately low-income, they are less likely to have health insurance, and even fewer have dental coverage, according to a fact sheet produced by chief medical officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health.” >> Read More

Hartford Courant: Yale Researchers Urge More Street Work When Studying People With Both HIV, Hepatitis C – “Researchers need to work harder to screen high-risk populations for people who are infected with both HIV and hepatitis C, say the authors of a new Yale University study on the incidence of co-infection in the New Haven area.” >> Read More

Black Voice News: Health Centers to Help Uninsured Gain Access – “Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to provide $150 million to community health centers to assist in getting uninsured Americans prepared for the Oct. 1 opening of the Health Care Marketplace…About 60 percent of the existing community health centers are in communities where racial and ethnic minorities are the majority. Currently, about 21 percent of African Americans are uninsured, along with about 30 percent of Hispanics.” >> Read More

Health Canal: Racial minorities live on the front lines of heat risk, study finds – “The findings, published today (Tuesday, May 14) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, highlight racial disparities at a time when the frequency and intensity of extreme heat waves is expected to increase with climate change. Racial groups are more likely to live in neighborhoods dominated by heat-absorbing hard surfaces, finds a UC Berkeley study. Such tree-deprived landscapes magnify the effects of heat waves.” >> Read More

CT Mirror: First clue to Obamacare insurance cost arrives – “And the proposals are still subject to review by the Connecticut Insurance Department, which could adjust what customers can be charged. Still, the filing, submitted Thursday and available today on the insurance department’s website, offers the first impression of what insurance is likely to cost under the Affordable Care Act, the law known commonly as Obamacare. As proposed, the average monthly premium for an individual would be $427, and for a small group it would be $445. But those would vary based on the specific plan the customer receives, and his or her age and county.  A HealthyCT spokeswoman said that it’s hard to tell whether this is a big change from existing rates because there really isn’t a plan with similar benefits on the Connecticut marketplace now. No other insurers have submitted their proposals yet. The insurance department had asked carriers to submit them by April 30, although it wasn’t a hard deadline.” >> Read More

Institute of Medicine: Getting Serious About the Social Determinants of Health – “We have long known that factors outside of medical care — race, education, housing, income, and other social determinants — are the most important drivers of how healthy or sick we are. It is not new information that people of color get unequal health care and have poorer health outcomes than their white counterparts; what is new is how solid the evidence is becoming that race and discrimination alone, regardless of income or education, have a direct negative effect on health.” >> Read More

HealthITBuzz: Can Health IT Reduce Health Disparities? New ONC Report Explores Opportunities – “Inequality related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status is one of our nation’s most vexing problems, and it affects health status, access to health care, and health care quality. Unfortunately, health disparities in access to quality care are common. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report indicates that: Blacks received worse care than Whites for 41% of quality measures and Hispanics received worse care than non-Hispanic Whites for 39% of measures; Uninsured individuals aged 64 and under were far less likely to have a usual source of primary care than individuals with insurance; Low-income individuals received worse care than high-income people for almost half of the quality measures >>Read More

Huffington Post: Let’s Move On and Implement Health Care Reform – “Latinos are also more likely to die from complications of diabetes, from certain cancers, from AIDS and from work-related injuries. Although many causes affect my community’s health — such as access to nutritional foods, health education, language barriers and safe housing — affordability and access to quality care remain critically important. The ACA directly tackles these issues. Most importantly, the ACA expands access to more than ten million Latinos through the expansion of Medicaid, tax credits available through the health insurance marketplaces, and the ACA provision preventing insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with preexisting conditions. It also ensures Latinos have access to free preventative services, which saves lives and billions of dollars by protecting against illness before it requires more costly treatment.”  >> 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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