Health News Roundup

An overlooked outcome of climate change, and more in this week’s roundup

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How heat affects health: An overlooked outcome of climate change
Jan Ellen Spiegel, The Connecticut Mirror, Sept. 25
Connecticut experienced some of the 7,000 record-breaking instances of extreme heat in the U.S. this summer. Such conditions are some of the irrefutable signatures of climate change, now happening more often, more intensely, and with more profound consequences. Among those consequences is their adverse, and sometimes deadly, effect on human health.

‘It is sinking us even further’: STI clinics, already stretched thin, strain under weight of monkeypox response
Andrew Joseph, STAT, Sept. 27
CDC funding for sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention fell 40% from 2003 to 2019, despite a steady increase of cases in recent years. Now, as the STI field is tapped for assisting with community education, outbreak investigation, contact tracing, vaccine distribution, and clinical care during the monkeypox outbreak, many STI clinics are feeling the additional burden.

Embedded bias: How medical records sow discrimination
Darius Tahir, Kaiser Health News, Sept. 26
Researchers are increasingly finding that doctors can transmit prejudice under the guise of objective descriptions. Clinicians who later read those purportedly objective descriptions can be misled and deliver substandard care. With digitized notes and shifts in public policy, it is now easier for patients to access their medical records and combat errors or bias.

How a hospital chain used a poor neighborhood to turn huge profits
Katie Thomas and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, The New York Times, Sept. 24
When Bon Secours bought Richmond Community, the hospital served predominantly poor patients who were either uninsured or covered through Medicaid, which reimburses hospitals at lower rates than private insurance does. But Bon Secours turned the hospital’s poverty into an asset.

CT’s big hospital systems are buying up private practices and small hospitals. What does that mean?
Katy Golvala, Erica E. Phillips, and Dave Altimari, The Connecticut Mirror, Sept. 21
As of January, hospitals owned 26% of physician practices nationwide, up 14% from a decade ago. An additional 27% of practices were owned by a corporation, leaving fewer than half of physician practices under independent ownership. Connecticut is no exception.