Health News Roundup

Fighting teen suicide in CT schools, the reality of work requirements in Arkansas, and more

children’s health

School-based health centers take leading role in fighting teen suicide
Julia Werth, The Connecticut Mirror, November 23
There are more than 100 school-based health centers now operating in Connecticut schools offering critical health resources to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. Between 2012 and 2017, they saw an 11 percent increase in the number of mental health visits. Mental health visits now make up 41 percent of total visits to the school-based centers.

The number of uninsured kids rose for first time this decade
Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, November 29
After years of steady decline, the number of U.S. children without health insurance rose by 276,000 in 2017, according to a Georgetown University report released Thursday. “The nation is going backwards on insuring kids and it is likely to get worse,” said Joan Alker, co-author of the study and executive director of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families.


Doctors are fed up with being turned into debt collectors
Blake Dodge, Bloomberg, November 15
Doctors, hospitals and medical labs used to be concerned about patients who didn’t have insurance not paying their bills. Now they’re scrambling to get paid by the ones who do have insurance. Now, instead of getting paid by insurance companies on a predictable schedule, health-care providers have to engage in an awkward dance. One moment they’re removing a pre-cancerous skin mole. The next, they’re haranguing patients to pay what’s become a growing portion of the total medical bill.

Video: ‘I shouldn’t have to go beg’: A protest over insulin prices is seen as a fight for life
Hyacinth Empinado, STAT, November 27
A mother protests against the high cost of insulin by bringing her child’s ashes to insulin maker Sanofi’s office in Cambridge, Mass. Her daughter died of complications arising from type 1 diabetes after rationing her insulin.


Locked out of Medicaid
Benjamin Hardy, Arkansas Times, November 19
Nannette Ruelle lost her coverage at the end of August due to Arkansas’s new requirement that certain Medicaid beneficiaries report their work hours to the state. For the past two-and-a-half months, she’s been carefully rationing both her medications, allowing herself a Gabapentin only when the nerve pain becomes so bad she fears she won’t be able to do her job. Ruelle works 25-35 hours a week at a chain restaurant in Little Rock, where she makes $9 an hour. Over the last three months, DHS has removed 12,277 people from Arkansas Works — the state’s Medicaid-funded insurance program for low-income adults — for not reporting their work hours. Thousands more will likely join them in December.