Ava Passley covered her nose and giggled as Dr. Jacob Hen walked into an examination room at his pediatric pulmonology office in Trumbull recently.
Ava, 3, of Bridgeport, knows what to expect from a visit with Hen, having dealt with asthma since she was 1. She also spent several nights in the hospital after an attack in 2012. "I had always heard about wheezing, but had never really heard it before that," her mother, Beverly Passley said.
As the state works to improve its mental health system, new federal data shows that hospitals in Connecticut restrain psychiatric patients at more than double the average national rate, with elderly patients facing restraint at a rate seven times the national average.
In addition, the state lags behind in providing adequate post-discharge continuing care plans for psychiatric patients, especially teens and the elderly. Connecticut’s 28 inpatient psychiatric units and hospitals developed continuing-care plans for fewer than 70 percent of patients they discharged from October 2012 to March 2013 – indicating that thousands of patients may have left facilities without adequate treatment and medication plans.
A C-HIT analysis of the federal data, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the first time, shows that Connecticut ranks in the top fourth of states (11th highest) in the use of physical restraints in inpatient psychiatric facilities – and is the third highest state in restraining patients 65 and older.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn’t just for fidgety little boys anymore.
The number of young adult women taking medications for ADHD jumped by 85 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to a recent report by St. Louis-based Express Scripts, a pharmaceutical benefits company.
While children are still more likely to have ADHD, the rate of diagnosis is climbing faster in adults – up 53 percent in grownups versus 19 percent in kids over those four years.
Hospital administrators in Connecticut who have been involved in the unprecedented streak of mergers and consolidations often tout the financial benefits and efficiencies of such moves.
But as the number of independent hospitals in the state dwindles – with more than half of the 29 acute-care hospitals now operating in networks with other hospitals or out-of-state partners – experts and advocates worry that the consolidations will reduce competition in the market and give hospitals more leverage to raise prices. Adding to their concerns is a proposal by a private company to convert four non-profit hospitals to for-profit entities.
Hypertension rates among women in all eight Connecticut counties increased from 2001 to 2009, with disparities widening for African American women compared to whites and Hispanics, according to a C-HIT analysis of data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
In fact, nearly one out of every two African American women living in Connecticut suffers from hypertension, a life-threatening condition that can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, research shows.