Health News Roundup

Curbing hospital stays by providing custom meals, the growing disparities in Atlanta’s health care system and more in this week’s roundup.

health equity

Atlanta struggles to fulfill MLK’s legacy in health care
Virginia Anderson, NPR, April 4
Fifty years after the civil rights leader was killed, some public health leaders in Atlanta wonder whether the city is failing to live up to King’s call for justice in health care. They point to substantial disparities, particularly in preventive care. “We have world-class health care facilities in Atlanta, but the challenge is that we’re still seeing worse outcomes” for African-Americans, says Kathryn Lawler, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement.

health care

Custom meals could help curb hospital stays for people with chronic disease
Megan Thielking, STAT, April 2
Good food isn’t just good for the body — it might also curb hospital stays and health care costs for some patients with chronic conditions, according to new research. Researchers found that people who received medically tailored meals were less likely to use pricey health care services, such as ambulances and emergency rooms. And participants in the program were also less likely to be admitted to the hospital.

Medicare Advantage plans cleared to go beyond medical coverage — even groceries
Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News, April 3
Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits added to Medicare Advantage coverage when new federal rules take effect next year.


New interactive tool for creating custom reports with state health data
Kaiser Family Foundation, April 5
The Kaiser Family Foundation launched a new interactive tool that allows you to create customized state reports within the Foundation’s state health facts resource. Choosing from hundreds of indicators, users can compile data on health coverage, access, and costs, as well as demographic and economic data, into interactive custom reports for a single state or multiple states. For example, this custom report compares rates of asthma prevalence by race and ethnicity in Connecticut against rates nationwide.