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7 Reasons Not Everyone Can Just Hop on a Telehealth Video Call


Address Equity in the Telehealth Revolution

Delaying medical care can cause catastrophic health and financial problems. That’s why early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services temporarily expanded its telehealth coverage so physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers would be reimbursed for telehealth services. Other payers followed suit. Unfortunately, not everyone can just hop on a telehealth video call. Many Latinos and other vulnerable populations—older people, people experiencing domestic violence, and families with low income—face insurance, language, health literacy, digital literacy, and digital access barriers to telehealth services. Moreover, telehealth can be challenging for people with autism, intellectual and developmental ...

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Telehealth for Latinos in the Age of Covid-19


Telehealth Latinos Age Covid-19

As shelter-in-place orders swept the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare providers’ implementation of telehealth expanded rapidly. In telehealth sessions, those seeking routine check-ups, mental health care, or other services can meet with their provider virtually using computers or other smart devices. This novel way of treating patients aims to look for ways to deliver care to patients in their homes to limit the transmission of the novel coronavirus. "The current public health emergency and the resulting accelerated growth potential in telehealth services is an opportunity for providers to enhance their care practices and for insurers and policymakers to recognize the value of telemedicine," a recent report from UCLA's Center for the Study of Latino health and ...

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Opioids Use and the Coronavirus Pandemic


Opioids Use Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Latinos are bearing an extraordinary burden when it comes to cases, deaths, other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worse, this continues a trend of this group's continual hardship of experiencing health and social inequities. Many reports suggest that this trend of Latinos and other people of color being disproportionately affected is worsening already harsh historical inequities. One of those inequities is drug use. Moreover, COVID-19 and opioid addiction can impact and worsen each other, mainly for people of color. "As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) particularly hard," Dr. Nora ...

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Latinos Stand in Solidarity with ‘Black Lives Matter’


Black Lives Matter Solidarity Latinos Stand

Since the founding of this country, Latinos, African-Americans, and all people of color have experienced harm at the hands of an unjust system. With the death of George Floyd at the hands of those meant to protect and serve, millions have taken to the streets to protest systemic racism across the U.S. Latinos, who are experiencing a rising burden of hate crimes, discrimination, and anti-immigrant sentiment, have joined in the Black Lives Matter cause to advocate for change — not just in African-American neighborhoods, but in all communities of color. “It’s not just black people being murdered by police. Hispanics are dying, too,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), told El Paso news station WWLP 22. “It’s not only one bad ...

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CDC: 55% of U.S. Coronavirus Cases Are Latino, Black


latina walking face mask coronavrisu covid-19 death case rates

Latinos and Blacks together comprise 55% of coronavirus cases, nearly double their U.S. population makeup, according to new CDC data. Overall, Latinos were 33% of COVID-19 cases and Blacks were 22% in an analysis of 1.3 million lab-confirmed coronavirus cases reported to CDC during January 22-May 30, 2020. These are much higher rates than Latinos and Black representation in the U.S. population (18% and 13%). The new CDC data reinforce the disparate impact of COVID-19 on Latinos amid worsening historical inequities. "As protests against systemic racism in policing take place nationwide following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, the pandemic continues to show similar discrepancies in healthcare and economics," Forbes reports on the CDC ...

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Does Racism Qualify as a Public Health Crisis?


racism as a public health crisis prejudice stereotype

Unlike a pandemic or emergency, there is no epidemiological definition for public health crisis. Experts at the Boston University School of Public Health tried to solve this. They explored the distinction between immediate and important and how politics, perceived risk, and affected groups shape the concept of a crisis. For example, they juxtaposed the number of deaths caused by terrorism and by gun violence with action taken by the U.S. government. Between 2001 and 2013, 3,380 Americans were killed by terrorism and 406,496 Americans were killed by firearms on U.S. soil; yet the U.S. spent trillions on the War on Terror and failed to pass gun control legislation. They conclude that people often confuse the immediate and the important, and that the important often fails to receive ...

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Mental Health, COVID-19, and Their Impacts on Latinos


Mental Health COVID-19 Impacts Latinos

The current novel coronavirus afflicts more than just the lungs. For Latinos and other people of color, COVID-19 has caused disproportionately higher rates of cases and death, job loss, and other inequitable impacts. These groups are also experiencing more mental health issues than in previous eras, according to Dr. Madeline Aviles-Hernandez, the Outpatient Services Director at the Gándara Center. “This crisis is making life much more difficult for [Latinos, African-Americans and other culturally diverse populations] we serve, including those in recovery and people who have yet to be treated for such problems as anxiety and depression,” Aviles-Hernandez said in a statement. “Minorities have been—and continue to be—less likely to receive mental health ...

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Data: COVID-19 Unemployment Highest among Latinos, Immigrants


COVID-19 Unemployment Highest Latinos Immigrants

The American economy has been in freefall since the outbreak of the current novel coronavirus — and Latinos face the most widespread unemployment. Update 7/23/20: Since the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, about 50 million people have filed for unemployment, including another 1.4 million last week. "This marks the 18th straight week that weekly jobless claims surpassed 1 million," according to ABC News. Job loss is impacting Latinos and immigrant communities at higher rates than their peers during the pandemic, according to recently published data from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The pandemic is not only forcing more Latinos out of work, but it will have long-lasting ripple effects across the nation, according to Dr. Rogelio Sáenz, a professor in the ...

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Study: 1 in 10 Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients with Diabetes Die Within a Week


Elderly woman with diabetes coronavirus in hospital bed sick

We know that older adults with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the worst effects of coronavirus. New data show that 10% of COVID-19 patients with diabetes die within one week of being hospitalized, according to a French study in the journal Diabetologia. Most hospitalizations are men and older adults (average age 69.8). The study also found that each increase in body mass index (BMI) is associated with an increase in the risk of intubation and/or death in the 7 days following admission for COVID-19, Dr. Samy Hadjadj told Medscape Medical News. "Before [this study] it was, 'all diabetes [patients] are the same.' Now we can surely consider more precisely the risk, taking age, sex, BMI, complications ... as clear 'very high-risk situations,'" Hadjadj said. "So ...

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