As many struggling rural hospitals are forced to close, Pew looks at ways states are thinking about filling the gaps, including expanding Medicaid, sending mobile medical units into remote areas, expanding telemedicine and encouraging young people in rural communities to go into health professions. Public health news is on family separations at the border, recalls on surgical gowns, the faulty BMI formula, high climate change costs, and worms, as well.
Stateline: Rural America’s Health Crisis Seizes States’ Attention
Rural residents are in poorer health than those living elsewhere and have less access to treatment, partly because so many rural hospitals and health clinics have shuttered in recent years. As state legislatures begin their 2020 sessions, many lawmakers are struggling to find answers. Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the nonprofit National Rural Health Association, said big ideas are needed to truly change the trajectory of rural health. The good news is that because of scale, rural areas are promising places to test out innovations in the delivery and financing of health care. (Ollove, 1/31)
ProPublica: ‘Women To One Side, Men To The Other’: How The Border Patrol’s New Powers And Old Carelessness Separated A Family
Mirza had a sense of foreboding soon after she crossed into the U.S. with her two children and their father, David. A Border Patrol agent ordered the family from Honduras and the rest of their group to divide into two lines: “Women to one side, men to the other.”Mirza held 19-month-old Lia and joined the women’s line. David took their 6-year-old son Sebastian and lined up with the men. An agent told them not to worry, everyone was going to the same place. A bus took them in two trips to a collection of tents and trailers where they would be processed. (Lind, 1/31)
Modern Healthcare: Cardinal Voluntarily Recalls More Products Amid Contamination Scare
Cardinal Health voluntarily recalled more than 2.5 million packs that contained potentially contaminated surgical gowns, the wholesale distribution giant announced Thursday. The recall comes about a week after Cardinal recalled 9.1 million surgical gowns that may have been exposed to bacteria and other contaminants at unauthorized manufacturing sites in China, which may have infected patients. While Cardinal sterilizes the products after they are manufactured, it could not verify that they were sterile because it could not quantify their exposure to bacteria. (Kacik, 1/30)
The Wall Street Journal: Weight Loss Is Harder Than Rocket Science
We all have different ways to judge whether or not we need to lose weight. Some of us are always happy the way we are; some worry that our clothes are getting too tight or notice changes in the mirror; and others, especially doctors, pay attention to body-mass index or BMI. BMI is given by a straightforward mathematical formula: weight (technically mass) divided by height squared, where weight is in kilograms and height in meters. The idea is that taller people should naturally weigh more, so we need some sort of ratio between weight and height. But why is height squared? (Cheng, 1/30)
Los Angeles Times: Across The U.S., States Are Bracing For More Climate-Related Disasters
State lawmakers across the country are calling for huge investments to mitigate the effects of wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, droughts and other natural disasters made more devastating and frequent by climate change. Following the hottest decade on record, which saw record-breaking wildfires in the West, extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, a years-long drought in California, and severe flooding in the Midwest, legislators in many states say it’s long past time to treat such events as the new normal — and invest accordingly. (Brown, 1/30)
CNN: Tapeworms Infected A Man’s Brain, Causing Years Of Headaches. His Doctor Said It Could’ve Killed Him
After years of splitting headaches, a Texas man’s long-awaited diagnosis was something out of a Google symptoms search nightmare: The aches were caused by tapeworm larvae that had taken up space in his brain. The cyst of tapeworms could’ve killed him if he had waited any later to seek help, said Dr. Jordan Amadio, a neurosurgeon at Austin’s Ascension Seton Medical Center. Luckily, Amadio’s patient, Gerardo Moctezuma, finally sought that help when his headaches sent him into dizzy fainting spells. (Andrew, 1/30)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/states-look-for-big-ideas-to-turn-around-health-care-deficiencies-in-rural-areas/