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Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care

HBNS STORY | December 3, 2014

The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known disparities in their use of mental health services, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 19, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

The first blog post I wrote about a Canadian doctor who was "diagnosing poverty" received more than 3,000 hits. I wanted to circle back to see whether or not the program had taken root. Indeed it has. "It's been a wildfire effect," Dr. Gary Bloch told me. Why can't the U.S. follow suit?...

Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs

HBNS STORY | November 13, 2014

New research in General Hospital Psychiatry finds that homelessness, cocaine use, being on Medicare, having a personality disorder or having liver disease appears to be a predictor of frequent ED use by people with a psychiatric illness.

Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women

HBNS STORY | October 28, 2014

Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women. They also have lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Nationality at Birth Plays a Role in U.S. Adult Vaccination Rates

HBNS STORY | October 14, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that foreign-born adult U.S. residents, who make up about 13 percent of the population, receive vaccinations at significantly lower rates than U.S.-born adults. This gap in care puts them at greater risk of exposure to several vaccine-preventable diseases.

Expanding Medicaid Increases Rural Health Care Access and Use

HBNS STORY | October 2, 2014

A new study in Health Services Research reveals that expanding Medicaid to cover more adults boosts health care access and use in rural populations.

Only Half of U.S. Adults Over 45 Are Screened for Diabetes

HBNS STORY | September 25, 2014

A new cross-sectional study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that only half of adults in the U.S. were screened for diabetes within the last three years, less than what is recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Online Social Networking Linked to Use of Web for Health Info

HBNS STORY | September 16, 2014

The use of social networking sites like Facebook may have implications for accessing online health information, finds a new longitudinal study from the Journal of Health Communication.

Poor Health Habits Linked to Financial Insecurity

HBNS STORY | September 4, 2014

Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Consumer Choice Clashes With the Affordable Care Act

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 27, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services proposed that most of the federal health exchange policyholders be automatically re-enrolled next year in the same policy offered by the same company. That's right, no shopping around...

Inadequate Mental Health Care for Blacks with Depression and Diabetes, High Blood Pressure

HBNS STORY | July 24, 2014

A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry confirms that Blacks with depression plus another chronic medical condition, such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, do not receive adequate mental health treatment.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Saves Lives

HBNS STORY | July 15, 2014

A federal screening program markedly reduced death and illness from cervical cancer in underserved, low-income women but reached just 10 percent of the likely eligible population, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

When It Comes to Health Disparities, Place Matters More Than Race

HBNS STORY | July 17, 2014

Blacks and Whites living in an integrated, low-income urban area had similar rates of treatment and management of hypertension, or high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease.

Seamless Health Insurance Coverage Still Illusory

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 30, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

For ages we've all known that the U.S. health insurance system works splendidly for those who have good employer-provided coverage, slide smoothly into Medicare when the time comes and seldom get sick. But evidence is beginning to trickle in that this seamless pathway for some people who've signed up for Obamacare insurance may be more illusory than real...

Little Progress Made in Reducing Health Disparities for People with Disabilities

HBNS STORY | June 26, 2014

Mental distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of chronic illness and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Growing Up Poor Impacts Physical and Mental Health in Young Adults

HBNS STORY | June 24, 2014

Socioeconomic adversity during childhood increases the likelihood of both depression and higher body mass index (BMI) in early adolescence, which can worsen and lead to illness for young adults, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Class and Insurance Stigma Are Barriers to Good Health Care

HBNS STORY | June 19, 2014

Some low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients report feeling stigma when interacting with health care providers, finds a new report in The Milbank Quarterly.

Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions

HBNS STORY | June 12, 2014

A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don’t always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People with Low Incomes Less Likely to Use Healthy Weight Loss Strategies

HBNS STORY | May 22, 2014

Poorer people of all ages are less likely than wealthier ones to follow recommended strategies for weight loss, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Low Self-Rating of Social Status Predicts Heart Disease Risk

HBNS STORY | May 6, 2014

How a person defines their own socioeconomic standing (SES) within their community can help predict their risk of cardiovascular disease, but only among Whites, not Blacks, finds a recent study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Minorities Face Disparities in Treatment and Outcomes of Atrial Fibrillation

HBNS STORY | April 29, 2014

Minority patients with atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that increases the risk of stroke, were less likely to receive common treatments and more likely to die from the condition than their white counterparts, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease.

The Medicaid Gap Hits Home

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 8, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

A few days before the recent deadline for Obamacare sign-ups, I visited with one of the exchange navigators in Colorado, a state that expanded its Medicaid program and is working hard to enroll uninsured residents. This visit got me thinking of the millions of other people who live in states where they can't get access to Obamacare because they are too poor and yet are also not eligible for Medicaid...

Double Discrimination Impacts Physical and Mental Health

HBNS STORY | March 25, 2014

Racial and sexual minorities, women, and obese people may face more health risks because of their disproportionate exposure to discrimination, according to a new report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Better Benefits Help Medicaid Recipients Quit Smoking

HBNS STORY | March 6, 2014

Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Is Your Doctor Paying Attention?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 13, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas

The $800 bottle of meds in my bathroom cabinet is a powerfully expensive reminder of my (former) family physician's lapse in attention – and my own lapse in catching her error. She'd somehow accidentally doubled both the dosage and the number of times per day to take these meds. How is this even possible? Somebody is not paying attention...

Health Inequalities Seen in Gays and Lesbians

HBNS STORY | February 11, 2014

People who identify as homosexual have several health disparities relative to their heterosexual peers, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Men, Elderly, Minorities Not Getting Treated for Depression

HBNS STORY | February 6, 2014

Depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

Gap in Life Expectancy Between Rural and Urban Residents Is Growing

HBNS STORY | January 23, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that rural residents have experienced smaller gains in life expectancy than their urban counterparts and the gap continues to grow.

Sedentary Lifestyles Up Mortality Risks for Older Women

HBNS STORY | January 21, 2014

Older women who spend a majority of their day sitting or lying down are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, cancer and death, finds a new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Hospitals Serving Elderly Poor More Likely to Be Penalized for Readmissions

HBNS STORY | January 7, 2014

Hospitals that treat more poor seniors who are on both Medicaid and Medicare tend to have higher rates of readmissions, triggering costly penalties, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Minorities and Poor More Likely to Suffer from Restless Sleep and Chronic Diseases

HBNS STORY | December 17, 2013

The poor and minorities tend to suffer from poor sleep and chronic disease more often, but sleep does not appear to be a root cause of disease disparity, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease.

Immigration Status Impacts Health, Especially for the Young

HBNS STORY | December 10, 2013

Age at immigration and citizenship status may have health implications for immigrants, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Unique Barriers for African Americans With High Blood Pressure

HBNS STORY | November 26, 2013

African Americans with high blood pressure who reported experiencing racial discrimination had lower rates of adherence to their blood pressure medication, finds a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Cuts to Local Health Departments Hurt Communities

HBNS STORY | November 14, 2013

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that many local health departments aren’t able to meet goals to increase health care access.

Race a Bigger Health Care Barrier Than Insurance Status

HBNS STORY | November 7, 2013

Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to visit a health care professional, even with health insurance, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

This Doctor Treats Poverty Like a Disease

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 6, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman

What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food stamps instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes...

Lifestyle Behaviors Key to Post-Deployment Health of Veterans

HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that the lifestyle of veterans both pre- and post-deployment influences their post-deployment wellness.

Healthy Food Rarely Convenient for Urban Minorities

HBNS STORY | October 15, 2013

A survey of stores in a predominantly black, low income area of Philadelphia found that nearly 80 percent received low ratings for the availability of healthy food, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Getting Health Insurance

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Pay for Your Health Care

Don’t have health insurance? Here’s advice on how to find the right insurance for your needs.

More Education, Not Income, Fights Obesity

HBNS STORY | September 12, 2013

Higher education, rather than income, protects women in disadvantaged neighborhoods from obesity, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.

Women in Appalachia Have Higher Rates of Late Stage Breast Cancer

HBNS STORY | September 26, 2013

Older women living in the most deprived areas of the U.S. Appalachia had higher rates of late stage breast cancer than women in more affluent areas, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Rural Seniors Prefer Self-Care Over Doctors

HBNS STORY | August 15, 2013

A survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism, the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Cancer Survivors Not Receiving Preventive Care

HBNS STORY | August 6, 2013

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that some cancer survivors do not always have the best access to primary care and that the type of health insurance they have—or don’t have—may be a factor.

Obesity Is a Major Obstacle for Disabled Americans

HBNS STORY | July 16, 2013

Obesity and its related health problems impacts far more people with a disability than previously reported, according to new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Hispanic and Black Kids Less Likely to Use Medication to Control Asthma

HBNS STORY | June 27, 2013

Black and Hispanic children with asthma are less likely than White children to use long-term asthma control medications, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Nursing Homes with More Black Residents Do Poorly

HBNS STORY | June 25, 2013

Nursing homes with higher proportions of Black residents do worse financially and deliver lower-quality care than nursing homes with few or no Black residents, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Breast Cancer Treatments Delayed for Black and Rural Women

HBNS STORY | May 21, 2013

Black women with breast cancer are more likely than Hispanic or white women to experience delays in the initiation of chemotherapy or radiation after surgery, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Predominately Black Hospitals Provide Poor Trauma Care

HBNS STORY | May 16, 2013

Victims of trauma are at higher risk of either dying or suffering a major complication if they are treated at a hospital that serves a large population of black patients, finds a large new study in Health Services Research.

Credit Card Debt Leads Some to Skip Medical Care

HBNS STORY | April 25, 2013

People with outstanding credit card or medical debt were more likely to delay or avoid medical or dental care, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Birthing Centers Provide Equal or Better Deliveries

HBNS STORY | April 18, 2013

Low-income women who chose to deliver their baby at a birthing center under the care of a certified nurse-midwife had the same or better birthing experience as women under traditional care with a hospital-based obstetrician, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

Churches Minister Better Health in African American Communities

HBNS STORY | April 9, 2013

African Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Elderly Women in Rural Areas Less Likely to Recover from Depression

HBNS STORY | March 19, 2013

Being female and living in a rural area are among several factors that predicted whether an elderly person with depression recovered over the course of a year, finds a recent study in Depression Research and Treatment.

Email and Texts to Doctors: Not Just for High-Income Patients

HBNS STORY | March 12, 2013

Low-income patients served by “safety-net” community health centers want to communicate with their doctors via email or text or are already doing so, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Housing Improvements Should Be Targeted at Those in Poorest Health

HBNS STORY | March 5, 2013

Improving housing can improve health, particularly when interventions are targeted at those in the poorest health, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Participate in Your Treatment

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Participate in Your Treatment

Better health is more likely when we agree on a plan of action with our doctor and follow it.

States that Support Access to Health Information Can Decrease Colon Cancer Deaths

HBNS STORY | September 25, 2012

Despite medical advances in colon cancer screening and treatment, people with a lower socioeconomic status remain at a higher risk of dying from colon cancer. A new study in The Milbank Quarterly finds that states and communities that focus on increasing the adoption of innovative health care practices along with providing greater access to public health information can reduce these deaths.

Diagnostic Confidence Key for Prompt Treatment for Women with Heart Symptoms

HBNS STORY | August 29, 2012

Doctors who believe that women have “atypical” coronary heart disease symptoms are less certain when diagnosing heart disease in women. As a result, women are less likely than men to receive treatments for an urgent cardiac event, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Even With Insurance, Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment Persist

HBNS STORY | July 26, 2012

A new study in Ethnicity & Disease finds that racial disparities in breast cancer treatment persist even when Black and White patients have the same Medicaid health insurance and similar economic status.

Predominately Black-Serving Hospitals Provide Poorer Care

HBNS STORY | July 19, 2012

Hospitals that mostly serve Black patients have worse mortality outcomes for both Black and White patients with three common conditions: heart attack, congestive heart failure or pneumonia. The new study in Health Services Research suggests that there is an urgent need to improve care at predominately black-serving institutions.

Mental Health Care Disparities Persist for Black and Latino Children

HBNS STORY | June 21, 2012

Disparities in the use of mental health services, including outpatient care and psychotropic drug prescriptions, persist for black and Latino children, reports a new study in Health Services Research.

Women and Minorities Face Barriers to Clinical Trials

HBNS STORY | June 1, 2012

Physicians have great influence over whether minorities and women participate in cancer clinical trials, according to a new literature review.

'Health Care Deserts' More Common In Black Neighborhoods

HBNS STORY | April 25, 2012

New research into "health care deserts" finds that primary-care physicians are especially hard to find in predominantly Black and/or low-income Hispanic metropolitan neighborhoods.

Guest Blog: Instant Access & Old Faulty Assumptions

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 25, 2011 | Rima Rudd

The current literature indicates that we in the various health disciplines provide texts that are poorly written and organized, web sites that are hard to navigate, as well as charts and graphs that are difficult for many to interpret and use. I say that we can make information truly accessible and usable by adding needed rigor to our work.

Even Outside “Stroke Belt,” African-Americans Face Higher Mortality

HBNS STORY | September 1, 2011

African-Americans and country folk outside the so-called “stroke belt” are at higher risk for stroke death than other populations, a large new study finds.

Matters of the Heart

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 22, 2011 | Katherine Ellington

When her mom is being treated for a newly diagnosed heart condition, medical student Katherine Ellington learns first-hand how her medical training applies to real life. This is the second in a series of three posts.

Unaffordable Housing Might Lead to Poor Health

HBNS STORY | November 9, 2010

People who cannot afford their housing are more likely to suffer from poor health, according to a new study, which also found that renters consider themselves less healthy than homeowners.

Canada, US Immigrants Have Less Health Care Access Than Natives

HBNS STORY | September 2, 2010

Hmong-American Women Far Less Likely to Get Pap Test

HBNS STORY | August 5, 2010

WIC Program Has Moderate Effect on Birth Outcomes

HBNS STORY | April 28, 2010

A new study that looked at the effect of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to determine the effect on various birth outcomes found that the overall effects were only moderate.

Report: Too Few Minority Doctors After Decades of Discrimination

HBNS STORY | January 27, 2010