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Health Disparities Roundup – May 3, 2013

iStock_000010413148XSmallJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

Washington Posts: USDA expands SNAP access at farmers markets – “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday announced a $4 million plan to increase the use of federal food credits at farmers markets. The initiative will expand wireless access to qualified retailers that do not already accept payments through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, which provides financial assistance to help people with little to no income purchase food. “ >> Read More

Forbes: Oregon Health Experiment Shows That Having Health Insurance Is Different Than Being Healthy – “A new study out of Oregon tries to answer an old question, and comes up with the same answer. Is having health insurance the same as having good health?” >> Read More

The Seattle Medium: New Guidelines Issued To Improve Cultural Competency – “The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its standards for cultural competency in health care, hoping to narrow the racial and ethnic health disparities common throughout the United States… National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care – also known as CLAS Standards— serve as guidelines for facilitating “culturally and linguistically appropriate health services.” >> Read More Latino doctors concerned about access for Hispanic patients with ACA – “According to NHMA, about one in three of the 50 million Hispanics in the U.S. have been consistently uninsured due to prohibitive costs and working for small businesses that also found costs too high to stay in business. NHMA reported that a recent Health Affairs study found that 7 million Americans could face primary care physician shortages as ACA increases health insurance coverage, with online health insurance exchanges and tax credits for citizens.”>> Read More

CT Post: Medicaid improved mental health for uninsured – “The study found that having Medicaid reduced rates of depression by 30 percent and virtually eliminated catastrophic medical expenses due to a serious accident or the sudden onset of a life-threatening illness. People with Medicaid had better access to doctors, preventive care, prescriptions and hospitals. They also used their benefits, consuming about $1,200 a year more per person in health care services than do the uninsured.” >> Read More

Real World Health Care: It Takes a Community for Effective Disease Prevention and Management – “Many Americans – especially those with low incomes, have no insurance or face other socio-economic barriers to primary care – often distrust the health care system, or lack the resources and awareness needed to take charge of their health. As a result, they wait until health issues and chronic disease escalate enough to drive them into the emergency department, where they receive short-term solutions that drive up the total cost of health care.” >> Read More

The Hartford Guardian: Connecticut and Other States Seek “Best Practices” to Implement Health Care Reform – “Connecticut is one of several states that have already opted in and have begun to expand Medicaid. Malloy said that the legislature has just started deliberating over this ”monumental task” of expanding access by setting up health care marketplace to sell insurance to about 242,000 uninsured people in Connecticut. Part of delivering services to traditionally underserved population also includes diversify the workforce that serves them. Groups such as Access Health CT have also begun that process, according to Access CEO Kevin J. Counihan. It’s uncertain, however, how much progress has been made toward implementing networks to engage health consumers in Connecticut. But officials said they are working to ensure health equity, a term bandied about by stakeholders. >> Read More

CDC: The Affordable Care Act Helps People Living with HIV/AIDS – “The Affordable Care Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our history. As of September 23, 2010, insurers are no longer able to deny coverage to children living with HIV or AIDS. The parents of as many as 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Insurers also are prohibited from cancelling or rescinding coverage to adults or children because of a mistake on an application. And insurers can no longer impose lifetime caps on insurance benefits. Because of the law, 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime dollar limit on essential health benefits. These changes will begin to improve access to insurance for people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabling conditions and help people with these conditions retain the coverage they have.” >> Read More

New York Times: Medicaid Access Increases Use of Care, Study Finds – “Come January, millions of low-income adults will gain health insurance coverage through Medicaid in one of the farthest-reaching provisions of the Obama health care law. How will that change their finances, spending habits, use of available medical services and — most important — their health? New results from a landmark study, released on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, go a long way toward answering those questions. The study, called the Oregon Health Study, compares thousands of low-income people in Oregon who received access to Medicaid with an identical population that did not.” >> Read More

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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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