Health News Roundup

The health disparity that is killing people 15-30 years earlier and more in this week’s roundup

health care access

Costs and access still barriers to health care, survey finds
Kaitlyn Regan, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, June 5
Isaiah Brown, 25, of New Haven, said he does not see a need for a primary care doctor for himself and his daughter, opting to visit clinics in the area instead of waiting up to two weeks for an appointment at a doctor’s office. Brown is part of a 500 person survey done by a team from Conn. Health I-Team and Southern Connecticut State University about health care usage. The survey results highlight health care disparities between wealthier residents and those in lower income brackets, and between white respondents and minorities.

She paid nothing for opioid painkillers. Her addiction treatment costs more than $200 a month.
German Lopez, Vox, June 4
Some health insurers’ policies are keeping addiction treatment out of the hands of patients — in the middle of an opioid epidemic. The insurance barriers are one reason addiction treatment remains difficult to access in America. According to a 2016 report by the surgeon general, only 10 percent of people in the US with a drug use disorder get specialty treatment, which the report attributed to a lack of access to care.

mental health

The largest health disparity we don’t talk about
Dhruv Khullar, The New York Times, May 30
Americans with depression, bipolar disorder or other serious mental illnesses die 15 to 30 years younger than those without mental illness — a disparity larger than for race, ethnicity, geography or socioeconomic status. It’s a gap, unlike many others, that has been growing, but it receives considerably less academic study or public attention.

By a thread
Julie Bartucca, UConn Magazine, May 2018
Cambodian refugees, severely tortured 40 years ago, are suffering from trauma-related diseases today. A team of UConn professors is helping them here and in their homeland.

First person

Curiosity and what equality really means
Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, June 2
Working in health care, you know, more than most, that we incarcerate more people than any other economically developed country; that thirty per cent of adults carry a criminal arrest record; that seven million people are currently incarcerated, on parole, or on probation; and that a massive and troubling proportion of all of them are mentally ill or black. Read Gawande’s complete commencement address at U.C.L.A. Medical School.