Health News Roundup

Week of October 30, 2017

Health Equity

The quiet crisis among African Americans: Pregnancy and childbirth are killing women at inexplicable rates
Ann M. Simmons, LA Times, October 26
Every year, around 700 women in the United States die as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. As many as 60,000 expectant mothers suffer problems that come close to costing them their lives. Black women in Texas are dying at the highest rates of all. A 2016 joint report by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force found that black mothers accounted for 11.4% of Texas births in 2011 and 2012, but 28.8% of pregnancy-related deaths.

Open Enrollment

Big gains in Latino coverage poised to slip during chaotic enrollment season
Paula Andalo, Kaiser Health News, October 30
Enrollment outreach efforts during the Obama administration targeted Latinos, both because they have a high uninsured rate and because a large proportion of the community is young and fairly healthy, criteria prized by insurers to help balance older, sicker customers, who are more likely to sign up. Nearly a million people who identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic enrolled in marketplace plans this year, making up a tenth of customers. The uninsured rate among Latinos dropped from 43 percent in 2010 to under 25 percent in 2016. Still, millions are eligible and remain uninsured.

5 things to know about the ACA at year 5
Julie Rovner and Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, October 31
Open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance started November 1 and ends December 22 this year. Here are five important factors to keep in mind if you plan to sign up for 2018 coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Related articles on CT-specific open enrollment:
Jim Wadleigh: What you need to know about this year’s open enrollment, CT Health Blog
Access Health CT will have 10 physical sites where consumers can get help to enroll, New Haven Register

Health Care System

How value-based care is changing population health
Gaby Galvin, US News & World Report, November 1
The shift from ‘fee for service’ to population health management will be a long but necessary road, health experts say. “Health is much more than what’s right in front of you,” says Megan Tschudy, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Health does not happen only in my clinic or the hospital. Health is also what happens in homes, health is also what happens in neighborhoods and schools – and that’s what we need to think about.”

What’s the deal with America’s health care system anyways?
Lucy Nalpathanchil and Carmen Baskauf, Where We Live, October 26
In this episode of Where We Live, we learn why the American health care system developed the way it did. What happens now to the Affordable Care Act after the Trump administration announced new rules meant to weaken the law? And open enrollment for people who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act starts November 1, but the enrollment period this year is shorter than ever. How does this impact our health care system — nationally, and here in Connecticut? Guests included Jim Wadleigh, Access Health CT, and Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News.