The Health News USA March 7 2018

  • The Trump administration approved Arkansas’s request to impose a work requirement on thousands of Medicaid enrollees, but put off a decision on the state’s controversial request to be able to do an Obamacare-lite expansion. Nearly 40,000 Arkansas residents ages 19 to 49 will be required to perform 80 hours of work or community engagement such as volunteering or educational classes, per month. Those who fail to comply for 3 months will lose coverage for the rest of the calendar year.
  • A new study suggests that U.S. states with the strongest firearm laws have fewer gun-related murders and fewer suicides than states that take a more permissive approach to regulating these weapons. The study found that counties in states with strong gun laws had lower rates of firearm homicides than counties in states with weak laws. In states with weak laws, counties had lower gun murder rates only if neighboring states had strict regulations in place. But states with strong gun laws had lower firearm and overall suicide rates regardless of the strength of laws in bordering states.
  • A new study published Monday found that children as young as 1 year old are overdosing on opioid medication and being hospitalized at a rapid rate. The number of pediatric opioid hospitalizations requiring intensive care nearly doubled to 1,504 patients between 2012 and 2015, from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/5/donald-trump-approves-medicaid-work-requirements-a/

The Trump administration approved Arkansas’s request to impose a work requirement on thousands of Medicaid enrollees, but put off a decision on the state’s controversial request to be able to do an Obamacare-lite expansion.

Nearly forty thousand Arkansas residents ages nineteen to forty nine will be required to perform eighty hours of work or community engagement such as volunteering or educational classes, per month. Those who fail to comply for three months will lose coverage for the rest of the calendar year. Former President Obama had rebuffed states that wanted to impose work requirements on able-bodied persons under Medicaid. Mister Trump, though, has thrown the door open, and Kentucky and Indiana have already won approval for work requirements.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and members of his cabinet beamed as Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services, signed the work waiver request. More than a dozen other states have either submitted proposals or expressed interest in similar programs.
….
Arkansas had already won approval under the Obama administration for a trial to use federal money to pay for some of its Medicaid beneficiaries to get coverage from private plans.
Opponents say the work requirements will entrap people in a maze of reporting requirements, oust them from coverage and make it harder for them to get healthy — undermining their ability to work instead of lifting them into jobs. They’re also gearing up to oppose plans like Arkansas’s idea to cut the expanded Medicaid eligibility income threshold, which could push an estimated sixty thousand people out of coverage.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-firearms-suicides/strict-state-gun-laws-linked-to-fewer-suicides-and-murders-idUSKBN1GH39W

A new study suggests that U.S. states with the strongest firearm laws have fewer gun-related murders and fewer suicides than states that take a more permissive approach to regulating these weapons. The study found that counties in states with strong gun laws had lower rates of firearm homicides than counties in states with weak laws.

In states with weak laws, counties had lower gun murder rates only if neighboring states had strict regulations in place. But states with strong gun laws had lower firearm and overall suicide rates regardless of the strength of laws in bordering states.

….
In three thousand one hundred eight counties in forty eight states, researchers examined data from two thousand ten to two thousand fourteen for firearm suicides and homicides.
Researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine that each year on average, for every one hundred thousand people in the population, there were about ten firearm suicides and more than two murders involving guns.

They also scored state gun control laws, awarding up to twelve points for regulations like licensing gun dealers and purchasers, requiring background checks for private gun sellers, mandating prompt reporting of stolen firearms, and limiting how many guns one person can buy at once or over a certain period of time.

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California had the strongest firearm control laws, with a score of ten, but many counties in California are also adjacent to states with weak regulations. Compared with counties in states with tough laws that bordered states with strict regulations, counties in states with weak laws that were adjacent to states with weak laws had higher overall and firearm murder rates. But these counties didn’t have higher rates of non-firearm homicides.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/nearly-twice-as-many-kids-are-being-hospitalized-due-to-opioids.html

A new study published Monday found that children as young as one year old are overdosing on opioid medication and being hospitalized at a rapid rate. The number of pediatric opioid hospitalizations requiring intensive care nearly doubled to one thousand five hundred four patients between two thousand twelve and two thousand fifteen, from seven hundred ninety seven patients between two thousand four and two thousand seven, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics.
….

Doctor Jason Kane, Associate Professor of pediatrics and critical care at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago and lead study of the study said about twenty percent of the youngest children were poisoned by methadone, an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain or opioid dependence in adults. This means many young children are likely finding their parents’ medication and ingesting it.

The majority of the opioid-related hospitalizations were of children between the ages of twelve and seventeen years old, the data showed. However, one-third of the children that required intensive care due to opioid overdose were under the age of six. Overall, thirty seven percent of patients required mechanical ventilation and twenty point three percent required vasopressors, a drug used to raise blood pressure.  The study highlighted another way the U.S. opioid epidemic is impacting American adults and their children. Opioids, including heroin and fentanyl, were involved in more than forty two thousand overdose deaths in two thousand sixteen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the negative economic effect of the opioid crisis is estimated to be more than one trillion dollars from two thousand one through last year.

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