KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Research Roundup: Marketplace Enrollees; Fighting Infections; Unintended Pregnancies

Here is a selection of news coverage of recent health research.

Health Affairs: Understanding Characteristics Of Likely Marketplace Enrollees And How They Choose Plans
In 2015, adults likely to have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace were predominantly non-Hispanic whites and, on average, older and more aware of the availability of Marketplace subsidies than adults who remained uninsured. Enrollees were also significantly more likely than adults who remained uninsured to rely on some type of application assistance instead of exclusively looking for information through the Marketplace website. (Blavin, Karpman and Zuckerman, 3/2)

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute: Getting Enrollment Right For Immigrant Families
[M]eeting the goal of enrolling the remaining seven million people who are eligible for marketplace coverage but are still uninsured ... will require not only targeted, effective outreach with groups that are eligible but unenrolled, but also improved systems to make the application process work better .... The recommended action steps to reach immigrant families ... include: Refining the federally-facilitated health insurance marketplace immigration status and citizenship status verification protocols ... so that valid document numbers are more likely to be electronically verified and immigrants who are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP are not routed unnecessarily to the state Medicaid agency .... Developing an alternative process to confirm identity. Boosting resources for communication in languages other than English and Spanish. (Schwartz and Brooks, 2/24)

The Kaiser Family Foundation: A Closer Look At The Remaining Uninsured Population Eligible For Medicaid And CHIP
Recent analysis shows that 27% or 8.8 million of the 32.3 million non-elderly uninsured are eligible for Medicaid coverage. This issue brief provides a closer look at key characteristics of the uninsured who are eligible for Medicaid .... This 27% (8.8. million) includes 18% (5.7 million) who are Medicaid-eligible adults and 10% (3.2 million) who are Medicaid or CHIP-eligible children. ... The uninsured and eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (referred to as the uninsured and eligible for the rest of this brief) include both adults made newly eligible for the program by the expansion and individuals who were already eligible under pre-ACA rules but had not enrolled. Among the remaining uninsured, 9% fall into the “coverage gap” because they live in one of the 19 states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion and the ACA does not provide financial assistance to people below poverty for other coverage options. (Rudowitz et al., 2/22)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital Signs: Preventing Antibiotic-Resistant Infections In Hospitals — United States, 2014
CDC assessed health care–associated infections (HAI), including Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), and the role of six AR (antibiotic resistant) bacteria of highest concern nationwide in several types of health care facilities. ... In 2014, the reductions in incidence in short-term acute care hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals were 50% and 9%, respectively, for central line-associated bloodstream infection; 0% (short-term acute care hospitals), 11% (long-term acute care hospitals), and 14% (inpatient rehabilitation facilities) for catheter-associated urinary tract infection; 17% (short-term acute care hospitals) for surgical site infection, and 8% (short-term acute care hospitals) for CDI. ... The likelihood of HAIs caused by any of the six resistant bacteria ranged from 12% in inpatient rehabilitation facilities to 29% in long-term acute care hospitals. (Weiner et al., 3/3)

The New England Journal of Medicine: Declines In Unintended Pregnancy In The United States, 2008–2011
We calculated rates of pregnancy for the years 2008 and 2011 according to women’s and girls’ pregnancy intentions and the outcomes of those pregnancies. ... Less than half (45%) of pregnancies were unintended in 2011, as compared with 51% in 2008. The rate of unintended pregnancy among women and girls 15 to 44 years of age declined by 18% .... Rates of unintended pregnancy among those who were below the federal poverty level or cohabiting were two to three times the national average. Across population subgroups, disparities in the rates of unintended pregnancy persisted but narrowed .... The percentage of unintended pregnancies that ended in abortion remained stable during the period studied (40% in 2008 and 42% in 2011). (Finer and Zolna, 3/3)

Here is a selection of news coverage of other recent research:

Reuters: Mom And Dad Often Catch Hospital Errors Doctors Missed
Parents often catch medical errors that their child’s doctor missed, according to a U.S. study that suggests families may be an untapped resource for improving hospital safety and preventing mistakes. Roughly one in ten parents spotted mistakes that physicians did not, according to the study of safety incidents observed on two pediatrics units at a hospital in Boston. (Rapaport, 2/29)

Reuters: Patients Get Mixed Reactions From Docs Over Mail-Ordered Genetic Tests
Patients who order direct-to-consumer genetic tests report mixed experiences when they take the results to their doctors, a new study found. About a quarter of people who ordered direct-to-consumer genetic testing from companies like 23andMe reported discussing the results with their primary care doctors. But nearly one in five were not at all satisfied with the conversations, researchers report. (Seaman, 2/29)

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