Health News Roundup

How a race-based medical formula is keeping some Black men in prison, and more in this week’s roundup

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How a race-based medical formula is keeping some Black men in prison
Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times, April 22
A decades-old formula that estimates kidney health and draws a distinction between races has been discarded by a growing number of health care institutions and experts who say it can lead to misdiagnoses and inequitable care for Black patients. However, some judges are still using the formula to decide whether to release those potentially endangered by COVID-19.

New study highlights how complex trust in science and medicine is for Black Americans
Margo Snipe, Capital B, April 14
A majority of Black adults have had at least one negative experience with a health care provider, according to a new report. Young Black women are particularly likely to report a harmful interaction during routine health care. However, the report also reveals that a majority of Black respondents expressed that their provider was either excellent or very good during their most recent visit, indicating that trust is complex.

Physicians are uneasy as Colorado collects providers’ diversity data
Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News, April 25
States are increasingly seeking demographic data from health care providers, in hopes that the data could help inform patients. However, physician groups and other stakeholders fear that making data public could subject some providers, particularly LGBTQ+ people, to harm.

A quarter of Black, Latino seniors report health care discrimination
Tina Reed, Axios, April 21
Roughly one in four Black and Latino adults ages 60 and older say health care professionals treated them unfairly or ignored their health concerns because of race or ethnicity.  The findings add to a growing body of research documenting systemic racial bias that cuts across age groups in U.S. health care delivery.

Opinion: The dental care access crisis and racial disparities in CT
Richard Rodriguez and Anthony Gentile, CT Viewpoints, April 25
There is only one endodontist in the entire state of Connecticut providing care to patients on Medicaid. An increase in the reimbursement rates may potentially expand the number of in-network dentists. Another possible solution is to expand the number of dental therapists to provide preventative and restorative dental services to marginalized communities.