Health News Roundup

Week of November 13, 2017

Health Equity

Scientists start to tease out the subtler ways racism hurts health
Rae Ellen Bichell, NPR, November 11
What does the repeated experience of discrimination actually do to your body? And could such experiences be partially responsible for health disparities that exist among different groups in America? For example, black children are about twice as likely as white children to develop asthma, health statistics suggest. Genetics and income and education level are not adequate explanations for the very persistent dramatic differences we see in health outcomes between racial groups.

Linking care to the community

How ‘Killer King’ became the hospital of the future
Victoria Colliver, Politico, November 8
Caught between Compton and Watts, the Willowbrook neighborhood is better known for a history of gang violence and race riots. Its previous hospital was dubbed “Killer King” and shuttered in 2007 after horrific stories of preventable deaths and other incidents of mismanagement or incompetence. So when a group of community leaders and elected officials started to plan for King’s replacement, they did something bold: Instead of even considering fixing up the old hospital, they decided to start fresh and build a new one.

Doctor-patient relationship

Conversation with your doc may be the best—and most elusive—medicine
Colleen Shaddox, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, November 9
When doctors and patients communicate well, research shows that patients are more likely to follow treatments, recover more quickly and are less likely to be the victims of medical errors. This podcast provides tips on how to effectively communicate with you doctor.

Focus on Connecticut

Enrollment in Connecticut’s health insurance exchange is up 15 percent
Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, November 10
Enrollment at Access Health CT is off to a stronger start this year than anyone could have predicted. As of November 13, 13,300 customers have enrolled in a plan with Anthem Health or ConnectiCare benefits. That’s nearly 4,500 more customers signing up for plans on the exchange than last year around this same time.

Thousands of seniors, disabled and low-income residents losing care coverage
Cara Rosner, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, November 13
Roughly 68,000 seniors and disabled residents will lose access to a Medicare financial assistance program January 1, when income eligibility requirements change under the newly enacted state budget.