Studies Examine Preventive Health Programs, Breast-Feeding, Disparities Among Children, Availability of Language Services in Medicare Prescription Plans
- "Community Health Interventions: Prevention's Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities," Center for American Progress: According to the report, community-based programs that assist individuals in modifying risky behaviors can be successful, though the outcome is dependent on funding. The report called for increased funds for CDC's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program and for HHS Office of Minority Health's Community Programs to Improve Minority Health Grant Program. It also recommended restoring funding levels to previous years' allocations for the Office of Minority Health and allocating money for each state to establish an Office of Minority Health (CAP release, 2/26).
- "Differential Response to an Exclusive Breast-Feeding Peer Counseling Intervention: The Role of Ethnicity," Journal of Human Lactation: The study examines the effects of peer counseling on breast-feeding among low-income Hispanic women. Researcher Alex Anderson and colleagues provided one group of women with prenatal and postpartum home visit counseling, in-hospital support and traditional breast-feeding education from the hospital. Another group received only the hospital breast-feeding education. Women who received the additional support were between 10 and 66 times more likely to breast-feed exclusively for two months after birth than those who only received the traditional hospital breast-feeding education. According to the report authors, more research is needed to determine why certain ethnicities respond differently to breast-feeding education (Sage Publications release, 2/27).
- "Reducing Health Disparities Among Children: Strategies and Programs for Health Plans," National Institute for Health Care Management: The institute and experts from the University of California-San Francisco released an issue paper that gives an overview of health disparities among children, public and private efforts to reduce the disparities, and a look at how health insurance affects efforts to address the disparities. The paper -- intended to serve as an informational tool to health professionals, lawmakers and families -- also provides an appendix listing current programs focusing on disparities and resources for additional research (NIHCM release, 2/27).
- "Medicare Prescription Drug Plans Fail Limited English Proficient Beneficiaries," National Senior Citizens Law Center/California Medicare Part D Language Access Coalition: Medicare prescription drug plans are not meeting requirements to provide language services to beneficiaries with limited English proficiency, according to the report from the California Medicare Part D Language Access Coalition and the National Senior Citizens Law Center. Researchers conducted a telephone survey in 11 of the 13 most common languages spoken by California residents who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and have limited English proficiency. They reached 417 households, and the survey covers the nine prescription drug plans in which dual eligibles are automatically enrolled. According to the report, the nine plans were able to serve the beneficiaries in their primary language 54.7% of the time. The report also said that beneficiaries who did not speak Spanish were able to be served 36.6% of the time. Researchers recommended increasing training, oversight and distribution of written translated material to address the issue ("Medicare Prescription Drug Plans Fail Limited English Proficient Beneficiaries" executive summary, February 2007).