Health News Roundup

Fewer uninsured in CT’s rural areas, how health systems are confronting racism, and more in this week’s roundup

health equity

In focus: Reducing racial disparities in health care by confronting racism
Martha Hostetter, Sarah Klein, The Commonwealth Fund, September 27
Compared with whites, members of racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive health services and often receive lower-quality care. They also have worse health outcomes for certain conditions. To combat these disparities, advocates say health care professionals must explicitly acknowledge that race and racism factor into health care.

How a rural region in the south cut its infant mortality rate in half
Mattie Quinn, Governing, September 2018
Central Louisiana had some particularly troubling infant mortality statistics. In 2013, the region’s infant mortality rate was hovering around nine per 1,000 live births. In a time when rural clinics and hospitals are scaling back women’s health services or closing altogether, central Louisiana was able to take advantage of a federal grant to staff up. Now every parish in the region has a public health nurse who can counsel women on contraceptive options, STD testing and other reproductive health needs. The region also ramped up the Nurse Family Partnership program, which assigns Medicaid-eligible pregnant women with a nurse who will assist them through pregnancy and the baby’s first year of life.


What is the future of hospitals?
Lydia Brown, Lucy Nalpathanchil, WNPR, September 27
Amid reports of consolidations and staffing crises, we ask: What is the future of the U.S. hospital industry? A team of experts discusses this question and considers its implications for Connecticut.

CT sees sharp decline in uninsured low-income adults in rural areas
Mackenzie Rigg, The Connecticut Mirror, September 28
Connecticut saw one of the biggest drops in the uninsured rate among low-income adults living in rural areas and small towns compared to other states, according to a national study released this week. The uninsured rate in Connecticut’s sole non-metro county, Litchfield, fell from 32 percent in 2008-09 to 9 percent in 2015-16.

Report: 21,000 more without health insurance in CT
Joe Cooper, Hartford Business Journal, October 3
An additional 21,000 Connecticut residents were without health insurance coverage in 2017 vs. 2016 as a result of state cuts to Medicaid for children and families. A drop in adult access to health insurance coverage, research says, makes it less likely the children of those adults will remain insured despite their eligibility. The report suggests that a drop in insurance coverage statewide has curbed Connecticut’s economic outlook for families.