HJ News and Resource Roundup 9/6/13

In this week’s installment of the HJ News and Resource Roundup we’ll be discussing immigrant access to health care, the suspension of Labor and Delivery services at a Bronx hospital, children’s access to mental health services, and more.

Immigrant Access to Health Care

With implementation of the Affordable Care Act in full swing and Congress’ return to discussions around immigration reform, it seems that there is growing interest in the issue of immigrant access to health care. Kaiser Health News and the Seattle Times jointly reported on the many challenges that immigrant families will face in navigating the new requirements and eligibility restrictions under the Affordable Care Act.

Encinitas Patch is running a Q&A series to help immigrant families understand what they qualify for, and this week they explained how undocumented parents can enroll their citizen children in health coverage.

A physician in California argues for Congress to remove restrictions in accessing health care under current immigration reform proposals.

Hospital Closures

Picture1This week, the HJ team, along with the Commission on the Public Health System, New York State Nurses Association, Choices in Childbirth, and other partners, held a press conference in  front of Jacobi Medical Center to reopen Labor and Delivery services at North Central Bronx Hospital (NCBH). On August 12, the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) suspended Labor and Delivery at NCBH and transferred all staff to Jacobi. Several individuals spoke out against HHC’s decision and emphasized the negative impact that the closure will have on North Bronx moms and babies. Please sign the petition to reopen vital maternity services at NCBH.

Access to Mental Health Services for Low-Income Children and Children of Color

Mayor Bloomberg announced the opening of the Engagement Center in Harlem. The goal of the center is to address the problem of truancy (unauthorized school absence) among students in the area, and will offer mental health services to students who come to the center.

Washington State is fundamentally changing the way it provides mental health services to children on Medicaid. Following a class-action lawsuit filed in 2009, the state has agreed on a settlement, which calls for intensive in-home and community-based care. The goal of the program will be to keep children out of the foster care system and inpatient treatment centers.

Health Disparities

A new study looks at racial disparities in nursing homes, and finds that low-income African Americans fare worse than other races. The study points to poorer quality of care at Medicaid-reliant nursing homes as a contributor to the disparity.

And finally, the Equity of Care collaborative has released a new guide on collecting patient race/ethnicity/language data to reduce health care disparities.

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