Health News Roundup

Highlights from 2017

Lost Mothers
ProPublica and NPR

The U.S. has the highest rate of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the developed world. Half of the deaths are preventable, victimizing women from a variety of races, backgrounds, educations and income levels. And there is a stark racial disparity in these numbers. Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die than white mothers. This yearlong series by ProPublica and NPR highlights the stories of real women behind the maternal mortality statistics.

Medicaid Nation
Kaiser Health News
This special series examines the reach and the role of Medicaid, the federal-state program that began as a medical program for the poor but now provides a wide variety of services for a large swath of America.

Care coordinators cut costs, improve health outcomes, but are underused
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Health Investigative Team
Community health workers offer immense potential to improve health outcomes for vulnerable patients. This story from C-HIT spotlights one program that has put community health workers to good use, Project Access-New Haven. The program’s patient navigators work to change the course of treatment for patients who went to the emergency room frequently — and their results are encouraging.

Focus on an overlooked killer
Kaiser Health News and STAT
“The U.S. health care system is killing adults with sickle cell disease,” Sharon Begley wrote in one of several powerful articles published this year on the significant gaps in research, treatment, and outcomes for patients with sickle cell. To sickle cell patients and their families — most of whom are African-American — efforts to fight the disease appear slow, underfunded, ineffective or too limited in scope, perpetuating disparities that have existed for more than a century.
Sickle Cell patients suffer discrimination, poor care — and shorter lives
‘Every time it’s a battle’: In excruciating pain, sickle cell patients are shunted aside
Sickle cell patients fight uphill battle for research, treatment — and compassion

A legacy of debt
Keith M. Phaneuf, Connecticut Mirror
If you have wondered why Connecticut is facing such dire fiscal challenges, this five-part series provides an answer, examining the roots of the state’s budget woes and the choices policymakers will face in the coming years.