Health News Roundup

Week of February 5, 2018


Why a simple, life-saving rabies shot can cost $10,000 in America
Sarah Kliff, Vox, February 7
The latest story in Sarah Kliff’s series on emergency room billing, looks at why the price of a life-saving treatment is so expensive in the U.S. In England, the drug to treat rabies exposure costs $1,600. Here, hospitals charge $10,000.

health equity

Health care by the numbers: Gathering data on racial disparities
Harriet Jones, WNPR, February 7
Health care advocates say Connecticut needs to do a better job examining just how a person’s race can affect their health and their recovery from disease. “When we can’t track disparities among our racial and ethnic groups, we can’t evaluate the success of efforts to reach specific populations,” said Karen Siegel from Connecticut Voices for Children.

These doctors are trying to get more people of color to join their ranks. What some have overcome is startling
Megha Satyanarayana, STAT, February 7
While African-Americans make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, only about 6 percent of doctors are black. And evidence shows that patients feel better about the quality of their health care when their doctors look like them. To address this workforce issue, a group of young doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals started a traveling program called Tour for Diversity that goes all over the U.S. to meet with young people of color who are interested in health career paths.

Children’s mental health

Threat of deportation: a trigger for toxic stress in children left behind
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, February 3
Selvin – whose family asked that his last name be withheld – is among thousands of immigrant children in Connecticut and nationally feeling the effects of prolonged stress, which can become so toxic it can damage the developing brain. Toxic stress can set a child up for depression, as well as alcoholism, heart disease and diabetes in adulthood, Harvard University research shows.


Malloy moves for a Connecticut-based individual mandate
Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, February 8
“Together, let’s pass a bill that preserves the most vital elements of the Affordable Care Act – including the individual mandate,” Malloy said. “Let’s make it clear that in Connecticut, health care is a fundamental right.” If it passed Connecticut would become the second state to have such a mandate. The first was Massachusetts, which passed an individual mandate for health insurance before the Affordable Care Act.