Health News Roundup

Week of August 21, 2017

Upcoming event

WNPR’s Health Equity and Access Forum
When: Thursday, September 7th at 5:30PM
Where: Hartford Public Library
What: At a town hall-style conversation with a panel of experts, moderated by WNPR’s John Dankosky, we’ll discuss whether structural bias and racial stereotyping are factors in our healthcare system. Admission is free and registration is required.
>>> Register today!

Health equity

Coverage gains among lower-income blacks and Latinos highlight ACA’s successes and areas for improvement
Michelle M. Doty, Munira Z. Gunja, Sara R. Collins, The Commonwealth Fund, August 15
The uninsured rate for lower-income working-age blacks and Latinos dropped by at least 10 percentage points between 2010, when the first Affordable Care Act coverage expansions went into effect, and 2016, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey. These adults — who had family incomes below 400 percent of poverty ($47,520 for an individual and $97,200 for a family of four) — were also more likely to get needed care in 2016.

State leads nation in providing preventive dental care to low-income children
Cara Rosner, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, August 22
The number of low-income Connecticut children receiving dental sealants, a treatment to prevent tooth decay, has grown in recent years and the state’s participation rate outpaces the nation. School-age children without sealants have nearly three times more molar cavities than those with sealants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Low-income children are 20 percent less likely to have sealants, and are twice as likely to have untreated cavities than higher-income peers, according to the CDC.

Chicago making progress in closing racial gap in breast cancer deaths
Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun Times, August 16
Over the four year period ending in 2013, the mortality rate from breast cancer among black women in Chicago dropped by 13.9 percent. The gap between black and white women narrowed by more than 20 percent during the same period. Even with the improvement, African-American women in Chicago have a breast cancer mortality rate that’s 50 percent higher than non-Hispanic white women with similar rates of diagnosis. The persistent gap has been blamed on “structural inequities” that lead poor women, many of them minorities, to receive lower-quality mammograms or none at all. The later the diagnosis, the lower the chance of survival.

Health reform

Solving the problem of bipartisan health care reform
Robert Pozen, Health Affairs Blog, August 22, Copyright ©2017 Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Bipartisan legislation is needed to ensure the viability of the current health care system. The Problem Solvers have made a great start towards legislation that can be supported by both parties.

Delivery system

Home visits help new parents overcome tough histories, raise healthy children
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News, August 21
Studies have shown that home visiting programs help reduce child abuse and neglect, improve child and maternal health and promote school readiness. Home visiting also saves money that would be spent later on the child welfare system, special education, medical care and other services, research shows. “These kids are going to be very costly if we can’t get to them early,” said Darcy Lowell, chief executive officer of Child First, a Connecticut-based home visiting program that targets the most vulnerable families. “Home visiting is a preventive strategy. The place we are really going to see the effects is longer-term.”