Yale: Medicaid Expansion Tied To Early Breast Cancer Detection

In states where Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women are more likely to receive breast cancer diagnoses at an early stage, compared with women in other states, new research shows. Among women younger than 50, the average rate of diagnosis at advanced stages lowered from 23% to 21% between 2012-13 (before most states expanded Medicaid) and 2015-16 (after expansion), according to a Yale Cancer Center study published today in JAMA Surgery.  In states where Medicaid wasn’t expanded, the average rate of advanced-stage diagnoses stayed constant at 26% during those years. “It’s a small percentage change [in expansion states] but it was statistically significant,” said Dr. Tristen Park, senior author of the study and a breast cancer surgeon at the Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, especially since the drop was evident over just a few years. “It’s quite exciting.

Getting Workforce Back To Full Strength Will Require Faster, Easier, And Better COVID-19 Tests

After the COVID-19 crisis came to Connecticut, the New Haven office of Comprehensive Dental Health shut down completely for two weeks. Later, Dr. Joseph Tagliarini began opening the office a few days a week with a skeleton crew to handle emergencies. Now the office is operating at nearly full staffing—with six full-time and six part-time employees. Nobody on the staff has gotten sick, and Tagliarini wants to keep it that way. He hopes the health care industry will produce a new generation of tests for the virus that will be simple, inexpensive, and accurate, and will deliver results on the spot.

Low-Income Children Are Most Vulnerable To Pandemic’s Long-Term Effects

Tameeka Coleman and six of her children lived on the streets before moving into a shelter in Fairfield. “We were together, so it was bearable,” said Coleman, 38. The hardest part was when her children cried for their home. “They wanted to know how we had lost our apartment,” said Coleman, who was evicted after she couldn’t pay the rent. Living conditions play a key role in children’s well-being.

Vape Marketing Linked To COVID-19 Draws Critics

Vape manufacturers have long been accused of marketing to teens with flavors like mango and cotton candy. Now vaping opponents say vape manufacturers are exploiting the coronavirus with face mask and hand sanitizer giveaways and #COVID-19 discounts. One maker of disposable vapes, Bidi Vapor, declared on Instagram: “A Bidi Stick a day keeps the pulmonologist away.”

The national Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says the tactics are hypocritical. Its president, Matthew L. Myers, said it’s imperative that young people quit vaping to avoid being susceptible to COVID-19. “Never before in our history has it been more important for young people to have healthy lungs,’’ Myers said.

Nursing Homes Deaths Rise; 5 Facilities Cited By DPH

The number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes increased to 6,947 from 6,008  in a week, and nursing home deaths now represent 59.8% of all COVID-related deaths, according to the latest figures released by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) Thursday night. Also, DPH released the first inspection reports done at nursing homes during the pandemic and cited five for infection-control violations and poor practices for use of personal protective equipment (PPE), among other violations. COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes rose to 1,927 from 1,627 in one week.  Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 163 (76%) have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 160 a week ago. Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford reported the most COVID-19 deaths with 54, followed by Kimberly Hall North in Windsor, with 43; Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 41; and Shady Knoll Health Center in Seymour, with 35. The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is Litchfield Woods in Torrington, with 127, followed by Silver Springs Care Center in Meriden with 116, Abbott Terrace Health Center, Waterbury, with 115; Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford with 111, according to the DPH data.

Nursing Homes Fined After Resident’s Death, Injuries, Medication Error

The state has fined six nursing homes for violations that jeopardized residents’ safety, including an incident in which resident with Alzheimer’s was found dead outside a facility in Wallingford. The facilities were fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that occurred between September 2019 and February 2020. Skyview Rehab and Nursing of Wallingford was fined $10,000 after a resident with Alzheimer’s disease left the facility in January and was found dead about 50 feet from the facility, DPH said. Staff noticed the resident was missing at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 26, and the resident was found at 8:46 a.m., DPH reported.

Coping With Pandemic: Managing Fear

Fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 is reasonable – especially now with plans announced to start reopening Connecticut. There are things you can do to take precautions and be proactive and plan for your own safety. ConnHealthITeam · Coping With Pandemic: Manage Your Fear
C-HIT’s Colleen Shaddox talks with Rajita Sinha, Foundations Fund Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University and the founding director of the Yale Stress Center, about how to take control and manage fear during the pandemic.  

 

 

 

A Surge In COVID-19 Testing Needed Before Connecticut Can Reopen Safely

Leslie Radcliffe looks ahead to the planned reopening of Connecticut’s economy beginning on May 20 with a mix of hope and anxiety. Hope, because people in her working-class Hill neighborhood in New Haven will be able to return to work, but anxiety because she’s worried that the “reopening” won’t go smoothly. In particular, she is concerned about testing for coronavirus. Will there be enough testing so the disease won’t catch fire again and threaten the lives and livelihoods in her predominantly black and Latinx neighborhood? Radcliffe, an administrative assistant at Yale University, has been working from home, but last week she began driving her brother to his job at Costco.

Coping With Pandemic: Resurgence Of Guilt

Placing loved ones in a nursing home is often fraught with emotions, and a common one is guilt.  Many are feeling a resurgence of guilt now, knowing that they are at higher risk during this pandemic. Coronavirus has swept through 150 of the state’s nursing homes and, as of April 29, 1,249 residents have died — representing about 55% of all COVID-19 deaths.  As of last Thursday, there were 4,814 cases in nursing facilities. ConnHealthITeam · Coping With Pandemic: Guilt
Dr. Kirsten Wilkins, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, talks with C-HIT’s Colleen Shaddox about strategies you can use to help your elderly relatives – and yourself – cope during the pandemic.

DPH: Nursing Home Conronavirus Deaths Rise To 768

Nursing home resident deaths attributed to COVID-19 have more than doubled, from 375 to 768, in one week, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Public Health (DPH) released Friday night. COVID-19 cases rose from 1,713 to 3,423, the DPH said. Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 135 have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 108 a week ago. The 768 nursing home deaths as of April 22 represent 43% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. Kimberly Hall North in Windsor has reported the most COVID-19 deaths, with 34, according to the DPH, followed by Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 29; Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford with 27; and Sheridan Woods Health Care Center in Bristol, with 24.