Daily on Healthcare: Black and Latino preemies less likely to get good care

By | August 12, 2019

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BLACK AND LATINO BABIES BORN PREMATURELY LESS LIKELY TO GET GOOD CARE: Black and Latino babies who are born at least 10 weeks premature are less likely to get the medical care they need and therefore more likely than white babies to die or have serious health problems, according to research published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Pediatrics, concluded that hospitals that are located in areas of the country with high minority populations should set up programs that focus on improving quality. Such programs tend to involve more training for staff and setting up very specific medical procedures to follow, including advice that providers pass on to patients.

Monday’s report adds to other troubling findings about racial disparities in pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. Black women, for instance, face particularly dire outcomes in maternal mortality and disability, and are 50% more likely than white women to have a preterm birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the latest study, the researchers looked at data from 2006-2017, finding that disparities did narrow slightly over that time for both black and Latino babies, but that outcomes are still worse than for white babies. After about a dozen years of study, mothers of black babies were slightly more likely than at the start to get certain steroids that help their babies’ lungs function, and mortality fell slightly, as did hypothermia and sepsis.

But the findings also show that black babies still have the worst outcomes. The infants were less likely to get the care they needed and were more likely to die or to develop hypothermia; bleeding in the heart or brain; to have an infection in the intestine; or to have sepsis, which is a life-threatening response to infection.

The study used information from 224,297 infants taken from the Vermont Oxford Network, a voluntary global network that includes 789 Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the U.S.

Good morning and welcome to the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Healthcare! This newsletter is written by senior healthcare reporter Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and healthcare reporter Cassidy Morrison (@CassMorrison94). You can reach us with tips, calendar items, or suggestions at dailyonhealthcare@washingtonexaminer.com. If someone forwarded you this email and you’d like to receive it regularly, you can subscribe here.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WILL BLOCK IMMIGRANTS WHO RELY ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE LIKE FOOD STAMPS AND MEDICAID: The Trump administration in October will begin blocking the admittance of immigrants, as well as visa renewals, for people who have relied on or would be likely to rely on food stamps and/or Medicaid, along with other government benefits.

ADVOCATES FOR OBAMACARE PROTECTION CONTINUE BUS TOUR WITH ‘CARE FORCE ONE’: Protect our Care, a group dedicated to protecting the Affordable Care Act, is in its second week on the road to hold events supporting the validity of the healthcare law. “Care Force One” will stop in cities throughout the Midwest to hold press conferences featuring state representatives, U.S. House representatives, and late-stage cancer survivors to speak against the Texas lawsuit to overturn Obamacare.

PHYSICIAN ADVOCACY GROUPS CALLS FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO CONGRESSIONAL RECESS TO ADDRESS GUN VIOLENCE: Health professionals in Doctors for America, formerly called Doctors for Obama, say they are “horrified” and “exhausted” after recent mass shootings and the frequency of gun violence. The group is calling on Congress to come back to D.C. immediately to debate gun reform bills and bring them to a vote in the Senate, to greenlight funding into gun violence research, and to consider a “red flag” law that would temporarily take firearms from potentially violent people.

ELDERLY WASHINGTON COUPLE CITES MEDICAL COSTS IN MURDER-SUICIDE: Brian Jones, 77, killed himself and wife Patricia Whitney-Jones, 76, last Wednesday in their home. Notes were left in the couple’s home for Whatcom County law enforcement claiming the high costs of medical care for Patricia led Brian to kill them both.

SCALISE DOUBTS ‘RED FLAG LAWS’ WOULD BE EFFECTIVE: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Friday “red flag laws,” laws that would prevent potentially violent or disturbed Americans from buying guns, would not have prevented mass shooters from carrying out attacks. He said the laws would not have caught the person who shot him in 2017 at a congressional baseball game. Scalise said: “He just kind of went off the grid. And what are you gonna do about that? What law are you gonna pass that’s gonna address that? In the end, all you end up doing is seeing more and more attempts to take away rights from law-abiding citizens.”

OREGON GOVERNOR SIGNS FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PAID LEAVE LAW FOR LOWEST-EARNING WORKERS: Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed a law Friday to provide 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, caregivers, and victims of domestic violence making the minimum wage. The law also applies to people working part-time or those who are in the country illegally, as long as they work 1,000 hours per year. The law offers 100% wage replacement for minimum wage workers and will begin paying benefits in 2023.

The Rundown

The Philadelphia Inquirer Tough restrictions have not stopped Accutane pregnancies. Doctors see ways to do better.

California Healthline Charity care spending by hospitals plunges

The New York Times In echo of Flint lead crisis, Newark offers bottled water

Los Angeles Times Sexual misconduct allegations against California doctors rise sharply since #MeToo era began

The Associated Press Alleged online opioid drug kingpin to stand trial in Utah


MONDAY | Aug. 12

Congress in August recess.

TUESDAY | Aug. 13

8:30 a.m. 2101 Constitution Ave NW. National Academy of Sciences meeting on genome editing. Details.

3:30 p.m. Central. Des Moines. Bipartisan Policy Center event with Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Details.

FRIDAY | Aug. 16

2 p.m. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-sponsored webinar on “Best Practices for Employment for People with Serious Mental Illness.” Details.