Health News Roundup

Fertility care disparities, struggling CT hospitals, and more in this week’s roundup

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What it will take to eliminate disparities in fertility care for Black women
Carly Mallenbaum, Axios, Sept. 27
From better medical training to more inclusive health benefits, a host of new efforts are aimed at reversing long-standing disparities and stigma that have prevented Black women from seeking out fertility treatments. Black women may be twice as likely to have fertility challenges as white women, but new research underscores that cultural factors contribute to Black adults seeking treatment less and silently suffering more.

Mistrust of medical professionals harms Black residents’ health. CT professionals are working to improve it
Deidre Montague, Hartford Courant, Sept. 20
One in five Black adults in the U.S. say they were treated unfairly due to their race in the past year when getting health care for themselves or a family member. Many avoid doctors and hospitals out of fear of racism and poor treatment; just six in 10 Black adults say they trust doctors to do what is right most of the time. Black Connecticut residents have had their own experiences that fostered medical mistrust. There are efforts underway to repair the gap between patients of colors and doctors, including supporting the work of community health workers.

Hospital execs to Lamont, lawmakers: Seal the Yale-Prospect deal 
Dave Altimari, Jenna Carlesso, and Mark Pazniokas, The Connecticut Mirror, Sept. 26
The presidents of two Connecticut hospitals owned by Prospect Medical Holdings told a gathering of state legislators Tuesday that their financial situation is dire, that they are struggling to pay bills and, if a deal to sell Prospect’s Connecticut hospitals to Yale New Haven Health is not approved, the facilities may not remain financially viable, according to people in attendance.

Only 2 percent of U.S. doctors are Latina, despite diversity leading to better care for patients
Shefali Luthra, The 19th, Sept. 20
Latinas make up just 2 percent of all U.S. physicians. The health implications of that shortage are well-documented. Latinx doctors are more likely to speak Spanish and in some cases to have a shared cultural understanding with their patients — which can lead to a better sense of how to treat them. Studies found that women doctors spend more time talking to their patients and are more likely to provide primary care than are men. When treated by a doctor who is a woman, patients with Medicare are less likely to be readmitted to a hospital, and less likely to die.

Disability groups win fight to be included in health equity research 
Amanda Morris, The Washington Post, Sept. 26
For years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded research on health inequities faced by racial, gender and other underserved communities. But one group was left out: people with disabilities. Now, the NIH has designated people with disabilities as a “health disparity population.” The term, which is used to describe a disadvantaged group that experiences preventable differences in health, dramatically expands access to funding and resources for studying and helping disabled populations. Disability advocates say there has been too little research on the challenges disabled people face in getting health care.