Health News Roundup

Language barriers keep parents from asking questions about their children’s care, and more in this week’s roundup

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Language barriers keep parents from asking questions about their children’s care, study finds
Edward Chen, STAT, June 13
Many health care professionals and researchers are pushing to improve transitions during care, also known as “handoffs,” by bringing patients and families more into the process. But providers have to be thoughtful about how they do that – especially when caring for kids whose families are not proficient in English.

Race is often used as medical shorthand for how bodies work. Some doctors want to change that. 
Rae Ellen Bichell and Cara Anthony, Kaiser Health News, June 13
Scientists widely agree that race is a social construct, yet it is often conflated with biology, leaving the impression that a person’s race governs how the body functions. Because using race as a medical shorthand is at best imprecise and at worst harmful, a conversation is unfolding nationally among lawmakers, scientists, and doctors who say one of the best things patients can do is ask if – and how – their race is factored into care.

Universal health care could have saved more than 330,000 U.S. lives during COVID
Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, June 13
A new study quantifies the severity of the impact of the pandemic on Americans who did not have access to health insurance. If coverage had been extended to everyone, more than 338,000 lives could have been saved from COVID-19 alone. The U.S. could have also saved $105.6 billion in health care costs associated with hospitalizations from the disease.

More than 90,000 households sign up for CT child tax rebate in first week
Keith M. Phaneuf, The Connecticut Mirror, June 9
Roughly 350,000 Connecticut households are eligible to receive a one-time $250-per-child rebate, up to a maximum of $750 per household. In the first week of the application opening, 90,320 households signed up for the benefit. Many families have indicated the funds are helping them cover rising grocery bills, catch up on rent, or pay for child care.

Trevor survey: LGBTQ youth report difficulty securing mental health care, as rates of suicide increased
Colleen Lucey, Connecticut Health I-Team, June 14
Sixty percent of LGBTQ youth wanted mental health care in the past year but were unable to get it, according to recent findings from a national survey. The survey found that the top three reasons for not receiving mental health care were fear of discussing mental health concerns, being afraid to obtain parental permission, or fear of not being taken seriously.