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  • 15 Nov 2022 5:22 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Much has changed in healthcare since the 1990s: HIV infection is no longer a presumptive death sentence, minimally invasive and robotic techniques have redefined a variety of surgeries, and telemedicine has greatly expanded access to care. Why then, in the face of such remarkable advancement and change, has the number of doctors the U.S. produces each year not changed enough to meet the evolving needs of our population? The answer is Congress.

    Full article here> 


  • 14 Nov 2022 5:26 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    WHAT’S KNOWN ON THIS SUBJECT: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among children and adolescents.

    Mental health related emergency department visits were increasing nationally before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

    WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: We show that there was a continuous increase in emergency department visits coded for suicidal ideation for youth in Illinois, with a spike in visits in 2019 before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and a subsequent surge in hospitalizations through 2021.

    Visits to an emergency department (ED) for suicidal ideation have spiked in recent years among children and teens in Illinois, a new study found. [American Academy of Pediatrics]

    “Rapidly rising hospital use may reflect worsening mental illness and continued difficulty in accessing low cost, high-quality outpatient mental health services,” authors from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine wrote in “Trends in Suicidal Ideation-Related Emergency Department Visits for Youth in Illinois: 2016 — 2021” (Brewer AG, et al. Pediatrics. Nov. 14, 2022).

    Full article here> 

    Download PDF here> 


  • 11 Nov 2022 4:01 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    A new initiative launched Wednesday by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation will provide grants and look for solutions to eliminate systemic barriers to equitable healthcare for Black communities across Illinois. [Health News Illinois]

    The effort will include a grant program and a "series of policy think tanks" with public health experts, medical professionals and elected officials, per a statement from the caucus.

    It will build off of the caucus’ healthcare omnibus approved last year and look at further steps policymakers can do to address disparities, said Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and one of three legislative and community chairs overseeing the plan.

    Other members include Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, and Dr. Anthony Williams, a staff scientist at the University of Chicago and co-founder and chief scientific officer of Circulogix, a liquid biopsy company.

    The foundation plans to offer $5,000 grants to 11 Black students in Illinois who have completed a medical degree and are working as medical providers or practicing in a medical residency program.

    “The (foundation), through this … programming, aims to position itself as a thoughtful leader to achieve inclusive solutions for the concerns that are plaguing Black Illinoisans culminating in synergistic policy development that will improve the quality of life for all,” said Tiffany Hightower, executive director of the foundation.

    Note: Ms. Hightower is a Fellow of IOMC. 


  • 10 Nov 2022 6:21 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    -Medicare solvency, price transparency, telehealth could all be on the agenda, observers say

    Challenges ahead for healthcare regardless of who is elected

    ... Although health policy wasn't a major issue leading up to Tuesday's midterms, "given the fact that the healthcare sector consumes almost 20% of America's [gross domestic product], regardless of whether [Congress wants] to deal with it or not, [they] have to," Robert Moffit, PhD, senior research fellow at the Center for Health and Welfare Policy of the Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank here, said in a phone call Tuesday night. "There are certain issues that are not a matter of choice, but of public necessity, that they have to address." [MedPage Today]

    Full article here> https://lnkd.in/gpc9Y92T


  • 9 Nov 2022 12:29 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

     How do we compare? Arizona was the first state to establish a managed care model that was mandatory across nearly the entire Medicaid population

    In September 2022, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)—Arizona’s Medicaid program—received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2022 Medicaid Innovation Award in “Initiatives to Address Social Determinants of Health” for its Whole Person Care Initiative.

    Arizona's Medicaid program took on an innovative role in addressing social determinants of health, particularly in housing.

    The Medicaid program’s Whole Person Care Initiative launched in November 2019 in order to address social determinants of health needs among Arizona Medicaid beneficiaries. However, the underlying AHCCCS principles that carried this initiative forward had started years before the initiative’s launch.

    “Over the course of the last decade, we have been engaged in a very deliberative effort to integrate care—and when I talk about integrated care in this context, it's really the integration of acute care and behavioral health services,” Jami Snyder, director of AHCCCS, explained to HealthPayerIntelligence.

    “We now have a number of providers in our delivery system that offer the full range of physical acute care services and behavioral health services. But as we started to think about what's next on this integration journey, it really became clear to us that if we were going to take sort of a comprehensive approach to integrated care, that we needed to broaden our perspective to include connecting individuals that we serve to needed social services and support. So really taking that whole person care perspective on our integration journey.”

    The Whole Person Care Initiative was born out of this effort.


    The Whole Person Care Initiative focuses on addressing four social determinants of health: providing transitional housing support, offering non-medical transportation support, reducing social isolation through the long-term care system, and creating a statewide closed-loop referral system that enables providers to connect members to social services.

    Full article here>


  • 8 Nov 2022 5:49 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    On Jan. 26, 2021, the Biden Administration launched it Advancing Environmental Justice efforts. It included initiatives on protecting communities from toxic pollution. There are many ideas and efforts - more needs to be done. On Oct. 25, 2022, Amy Lavelley of the Chicago Tribune highlighted in her article 'Feds focus on pollution in the under-resourced communities," and the  USS Lead contamination of soil in East Chicago and the forced evacuation of the West Calumet Housing Complex with more than 1000 people at one time. At this time, the successful resolution is being wrapped up. It involved a low-income population of people of color. 

    For more details and to register, visit this page. 


  • 7 Nov 2022 6:14 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Construction began Thursday on a pioneering geriatric health center on the Southwest Side.

    The new facility from Esperanza Health Center is going up in Brighton Park alongside the group’s facility at 4700 S. California Ave. Construction is expected to take a year. [Sun-Times] 

    The center will host one of the state’s first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly initiatives. Known as PACE, the federal program is designed to help seniors stay in their homes longer.

    The program will operate on the first floor. Next to its standard examining rooms, there will be a cafe and areas for activities such as music, arts and crafts and yoga.

    “The idea is not to have patients come in just when they need a doctor’s appointment but spend a few days there every week, building relationships,” said Heidi Ortolaza-Alvear, vice president of strategy and business development for Esperanza.

    Full story here> 


  • 4 Nov 2022 1:22 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Some of the successful innovations and ideas put into place to battle the COVID-19 pandemic are now being put to good use on other public health work. [The Nation's Health-APHA]

    To combat the global outbreak, agencies rapidly trained community health workers, partnered with nontraditional organizations and turned to novel mechanisms for outreach and health delivery. Those strategies are now being adopted for public health work on substance use, disease surveillance and more.

    In southeast Michigan, for example, a health care unit working to reach people struggling with addiction found that combining its services with COVID-19 work helped open doors and break down stigma.

    Founded in southeast Michigan in February 2020, the Recovery Mobile Clinic planned to focus on drug and alcohol addiction treatment. But the pandemic struck a month later, causing it to reconfigure its offerings.

    Full article here>


  • 3 Nov 2022 7:48 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The cookie-cutter approach and lack of convenient care options make it hard for some pregnant people, particularly low-income pregnant people of color, to justify prenatal care access, a trend that researchers said might drive racial health disparities. [PatientEngagementHIT]

    Understanding patient needs, like more personalized prenatal care access and SDoH screening, will be essential to creating care models targeting racial maternal health disparities. 

    Prenatal care should be more tailored to the individual and include care that addresses social determinants of health, according to a qualitative study assessing viewpoints from pregnant people of color.

    Racial maternal health disparities are well documented in the United States, with CDC figures showing that Black pregnant people are around three times more likely to die from childbirth than their White counterparts. And although implicit bias and institutional racism are strong drivers of these disparities, limited access to prenatal care is also influential, according to researchers from the University of Michigan Health.

    But all too often, understanding access to prenatal care leaves out a core component: the perspective of the patient.

    “Although certain populations face significant maternal health care inequities, their views have mostly been absent from prenatal care delivery research and we’ve lacked important information to redesign care to better meet their needs,” lead author Alex Peahl, MD, MSc, an obstetrician-gynecologist at University of Michigan Health Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, said in a statement.

    Full article here> 


  • 2 Nov 2022 6:14 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics urges physicians to "advocate for social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate suffering and contribute to human well-being." [Medscape] 

    But how achievable is that level of physician activism in today's highly divisive US society? The differing attitudes among doctors, and how those attitudes shape actions taken or avoided, are shown in the Medscape Physicians' Views on Racial Disparities Issues Report 2022.

    Survey respondents and commenters on the report expressed opinions that often sharply differed about the impact of racial disparities, how they influence delivery of patient care, and how they affect healthcare providers and staff.

    How Dialed Into Racism Are Doctors?

    Medscape surveyed doctors about 10 leading social issues. They ranked racial disparities third in terms of importance, behind healthcare access and substance/opioid abuse. Non-White survey respondents ranked racial disparities as an important issue somewhat more frequently than their White peers did.

    "Even in extremely reputable professions like medicine, people are facing racism," one pediatrician respondent wrote. A family medicine physician respondent asserted: "We in medicine need to do better. I encourage insight about ourselves to learn about how to rectify injustice."

    But other doctors felt certain social issues like racial disparities are disconnected from their professional duties. One commenter opined, "This topic is simply not our job as a physician. Keep your eye on the ball."

    Full article here> 


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