Interact for Health - Health News HeadlinesMarch 04, 2020
Health News Headlines HEALTH EQUITY: Anthem pledges $2 million to address health disparities in Kentucky Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Medicaid plan in Kentucky, together with the Anthem Foundation, will invest $2 million in 2020 to address health disparities across the state, with a heightened focus on school-aged children (Business Wire, 2/18). The Medicaid plan will collaborate with community organizations to fund health disparity-focused programs to address topics such as proper nutrition, dental care and mental health awareness. Read the announcement. DRUG USE: Opioid crisis may be far worse than thought A new study suggests opioid-related deaths may be grossly underreported (Safai, Graber, ABC News, 2/27). Researchers at the University of Rochester looked at 632,331 drug overdoses between 1999 and 2016. Of those nearly eight in 10 were attributed to a drug classification, the rest (21.5%) were unclassified. Of the unclassified overdoses, further investigation revealed that 71.8% involved opioids. That means the total number of deaths from opioid-related overdoses could be 28% higher than reported due to incomplete death records. Read the ABC News coverage here and the study here. DRUG USE: Franklin County may need a temporary morgue to handle drug overdose deaths Drug overdose deaths are reaching record highs in Franklin County pushing the coroner’s office to consider opening a temporary morgue (Arnholz, ABC News, 2/12). Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9, Franklin County, which includes the majority of the Columbus metropolitan area, experienced almost 30 deaths due to suspected opioid overdoses, including 10 in a single day. Between 2018 and 2019, the county, Ohio’s most populous, saw a 10 percent increase in overdose deaths. Read the ABC News coverage.