Report Finds Racial Disparities In Prescription Drug Access, Use, Regimen Adherence

May 16, 2009

“Origins and Strategies for Addressing Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Pharmaceutical Therapy: The Health-Care System, the Provider, and the Patient,” National Minority Quality Forum: The report — by Richard Levy, a health care consultant and former vice president of the National Pharmaceutical Council; Robert Like, professor and director of the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and Harry Shabsin, a private-practice psychologist — looks at how appropriate medications for a variety of diseases often are under-prescribed, over-prescribed, or mis-prescribed among minorities. The report looks at disparities in treatment of minority patients with cardiovascular disease, asthma, psychiatric illness, pain and other conditions and finds disparities in access to medications through insurance programs, in the prescribing of medications and in adherence to medication regimens. The report offers ways to improve prescribing and use of medications among diverse communities (National Minority Quality Forum release, 5/12).
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Healthcare Commission Report A Damning Indictment Of Emergency Care In Mid Staffordshire – The King’s Fund, UK

March 19, 2009

Commenting in response to the Healthcare Commission’s investigation into emergency care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, The King’s Fund’s Chief Executive Niall Dickson said: ‘This is a damning indictment of the quality of emergency care provided to patients in Mid Staffordshire and raises fundamental questions about how the hospital has been managed and why the right numbers of skilled doctors and nurses were not in place. This is not to say that care in other parts of the hospital was poor, but it does reveal there has been a fundamental breakdown in the systems and standards patients have a right to expect.
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Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Highlights Health Issues In State Of The State Addresses

February 11, 2009

The following highlights health issues mentioned in governors’ recent state of the state addresses.
Kentucky: In his Feb. 4 speech, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said his proposal to fill the state’s $456 million budget shortfall “clearly articulates priorities for investment” in “basic health care for our most vulnerable populations,” among other things. He said that providing health care “is not only a moral obligation but one that carries economic return.” He added, “But to protect our priorities we need the targeted application of new revenue, which I propose we obtain by significantly increasing our tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.” According to Beshear, Kentucky has “a cigarette tax which is the fourth-lowest in the entire nation,” but “the health toll of smoking is devastating.” He said, “We spend $1.5 billion a year on health problems related to smoking, including $487 million in Medicaid costs alone — a cost, ironically, that more than matches our current shortfall.” Beshear said, “The people of this state overwhelmingly support a significant increase in tobacco taxes” (Beshear speech text, 2/4).
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Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Highlights Health Issues In State Of The State Addresses

February 11, 2009

The following highlights health issues mentioned in governors’ recent state of the state addresses.
Kentucky: In his Feb. 4 speech, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said his proposal to fill the state’s $456 million budget shortfall “clearly articulates priorities for investment” in “basic health care for our most vulnerable populations,” among other things. He said that providing health care “is not only a moral obligation but one that carries economic return.” He added, “But to protect our priorities we need the targeted application of new revenue, which I propose we obtain by significantly increasing our tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.” According to Beshear, Kentucky has “a cigarette tax which is the fourth-lowest in the entire nation,” but “the health toll of smoking is devastating.” He said, “We spend $1.5 billion a year on health problems related to smoking, including $487 million in Medicaid costs alone — a cost, ironically, that more than matches our current shortfall.” Beshear said, “The people of this state overwhelmingly support a significant increase in tobacco taxes” (Beshear speech text, 2/4).
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KDE 4.2 RC1 Released

January 20, 2009

KDE 4.2 RC1 Released

The KDE project has released the first release candidate for KDE 4.2. “The KDE Community today announced the immediate availability of “Cilense”, (a.k.a. KDE 4.2 Release Candidate), the only planned release candidate for the KDE 4.2 desktop. Cilense is aimed at testers and reviewers. It should provide a solid ground to report last-minute bugs that need to be tackled before KDE 4.2.0 is released. Reviewers can use this release candidate to get a first look at the upcoming KDE 4.2 desktop which provides significant improvements all over the desktop and applications. It is not recommended for everyday use, however.” Read the rest of this entry »


Report Looks At Racial, Ethnic Differences In Certain Birth Defects

January 19, 2009

“Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Birth Prevalence of Spina Bifida — United States, 1995-2005,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: The report updates previously reported data on the prevalence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and assesses racial/ethnic differences. The findings are based on U.S. birth certificate data for four periods from 1995 to 2005 and birth defect data from the National Vital Statistics System. Researchers compared the number of cases of spina bifida per 10,000 live births during the four periods — relative to a January 1998 mandate that folic acid be added to all enriched cereal grain products to prevent neural tube defects. The analysis indicates that from the early post-mandate period, 1999 to 2000, to the most recent surveillance period, 2003 to 2005, the prevalence of spina bifida decreased by 6.9%. The analysis also showed significant decreases in prevalence among infants with non-Hispanic black mothers, but not among infants with non-Hispanic white mothers or Hispanic mothers. “Additional public health efforts targeting women with known risk factors,” such as obesity and certain genetic factors, “likely are needed to further reduce the prevalence of spina bifida in the United States,” according to the report (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 1/9).
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KDE 4.2 RC1 Released

January 17, 2009

KDE 4.2 RC1 Released

The KDE project has released the first release candidate for KDE 4.2. “The KDE Community today announced the immediate availability of “Cilense”, (a.k.a. KDE 4.2 Release Candidate), the only planned release candidate for the KDE 4.2 desktop. Cilense is aimed at testers and reviewers. It should provide a solid ground to report last-minute bugs that need to be tackled before KDE 4.2.0 is released. Reviewers can use this release candidate to get a first look at the upcoming KDE 4.2 desktop which provides significant improvements all over the desktop and applications. It is not recommended for everyday use, however.” Read the rest of this entry »