Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.
Urban Institute: New Hampshire’s Experiences With Medicaid Work Requirements: New Strategies, Similar Results
In June 2019, New Hampshire began requiring beneficiaries to report work and community engagement hours as a condition of eligibility for its Medicaid expansion program, Granite Advantage, becoming the second state to do so following Arkansas’ work requirements implemented a year earlier. Though state officials implemented numerous strategies to try and avoid the problems experienced in Arkansas – where over 18,000 Medicaid adults were disenrolled in the first six months of Arkansas Works – they found themselves at nearly the same end point: on the brink of disenrolling a large share of the state’s Medicaid expansion population. Moreover, New Hampshire reached this point in a fraction of the time, facing the prospect of disenrolling up to 17,000 beneficiaries after just two months, a startling 67 percent of those subject to the requirements. However, state officials suspended the program before this occurred, and federal courts subsequently halted the program indefinitely. (Hill, 2/10)
JAMA Internal Medicine: Clinical Advances In Sex- And Gender-Informed Medicine To Improve The Health Of All: A Review
Clinicians should consider incorporating sex and gender in their decision-making to practice precision medicine that integrates fundamental components of patient individuality. Recognizing the biological and environmental factors that affect the disease course is imperative to optimizing care for each patient. Research highlights the myriad ways sex and gender play a role in health and disease. However, these clinically relevant insights have yet to be systematically incorporated into care. The framework described in this review serves as a guide to help clinicians consider sex and gender as they practice precision medicine. (Bartz et al, 2/10)
CNN: Air Pollution Can Cross State Lines, And With Deadly Consequences, Study Says
Air pollution is known to have negative — even deadly — effects on our health, and studies have shown that breathing pollution can kill, even at levels below air quality guidelines. Now, a new study shows that air pollution produced in one state often blows across state lines, and can contribute to health issues and even premature deaths hundreds of miles away. (Crespo, 2/12)
Reuters: More Evidence Links Ozone Pollution To Premature Death
People who live in cities where the air is polluted by factories and traffic fumes may not live as long as they would have with cleaner air, a recent study suggests. Researchers focused on ozone, an unstable form of oxygen produced when various types of traffic and industrial pollution react with sunlight. Worldwide, about four in five people in urban areas are exposed to ozone levels that exceed safe levels recommended by the World Health Organization, the study team notes in The BMJ. (2/12)
The New York Times: Excess Vitamin B12 May Be Deadly
High levels of Vitamin B12 may be too much of a good thing. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, important in nerve and blood cell health, and most people obtain enough of it in food. Those with B12 deficiency, or an inability to absorb it, can use supplements. But a study in JAMA Network Open suggests that very high blood levels of vitamin B12 may be life-threatening. (Bakalar, 2/11)
American Academy Of Pediatrics: Cognition After Early Tonsillectomy For Mild OSA
A total of 141 children (75.8%) attended baseline and 12-month assessments, and BIA was obtained at baseline and 12-month follow-up for 61 and 60 participants in the adenotonsillectomy versus NoAT groups, respectively. No cognitive gain was found after adenotonsillectomy compared with NoAT, adjusted for baseline; BIA scores at 12-month follow-up were as follows: adenotonsillectomy, 465.46 (17.9) versus NoAT, 463.12 (16.6) (mean [SD]). Improvements were seen for polysomnogram arousals and apnea indices and for parent reports of symptoms (Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire), behavior (Behavior Assessment System for Children behavioral symptoms, P = .04), overall health, and daytime napping. (Waters et al, 2/1)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.