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Mental health access at universities, vision loss from medication, and more

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February 9, 2017

In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, Right Care Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.

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A STAT survey of 50 universities across the U.S. finds that long wait times for mental health services are common. As awareness of mental illness symptoms and demand for these health services among college students has increased, low-staffed universities are unable to keep up, putting students on waiting lists for weeks. “Students are turned away every day…multiple suicide attempts and deaths go virtually ignored each semester,” dissatisfied students wrote in a petition pushing for more mental health support at 20 top universities.

On Full Measure, Howard Pomeranz, MD, a neuro-ophthalmologist from Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, discusses his research on erectile dysfunction medications and their less-known risk of permanent loss of vision. Published reports in 2005 had indicated that 14 patients went blind after taking one of the drugs; subsequently drug-makers added warnings to their drugs, but questioned if there was a link. A prospective study confirmed the connection, finding there was in fact a twofold risk of developing blindness over someone not taking the drugs. The risks, however, may be greater, Pomerantz says.

As the out-of-pocket costs for employer-sponsored insurance increase, more families may be turning to public health insurance to cover their children, writes Aaron Carroll, MD, MS in an AcademyHealth blog. Carroll cites a Health Affairs study in which researchers tracked coverage rates in a sample of low- and moderate-income families where one or more parents received insurance from their employer. From 2008 to 2013, the proportion of children covered by their parent’s insurance decreased at about the same rate as children covered under Medicaid or CHIP increased.

The largest group of health care professionals in the United States—registered nurses—has not been invited to the table as the future of the ACA is debated by the new administration, as noted in HealthLeaders Media. While 3.1 million strong, and rated the most trusted of all professions for the 15th year in a row, nurses are uniquely positioned to address some of health care’s greatest concerns. Among them is a push toward more ambulatory care, an increase in patient volumes, and a shortage of nursing faculty.

Lown Institute Fellow Francisco Irby, MD, and Network Development and Organizing Manager Stephanie Aines, MEd, this week were invited guests on Cambridge (MA) cable television station CCTV. They discussed the work of the Right Care Alliance, including the value of listening booths, the need for strong doctor-patient relationships, Right Care Action Week activities and the importance of organizing for a better health care system. View the segment here.

Announcements

The deadline for the Lown Institute’s annual Right Care Vignette Competition, is only a few weeks away. We are seeking clinical vignettes written by trainees describing harm or near-harm from medical overuse. Submit your vignette here.

The early bird registration deadline for the 5th Annual Lown Institute Conference has been extended to February 28. Register now to join us at the conference and hear inspiring keynotes from health leaders, researchers, and activists; learn about the latest original research on overuse and underuse; participate in workshops created by RCA members; and meet and strategize with hundreds of others like you who are advocating for right care.

If you have a teammate or colleague in the Right Care Alliance who has demonstrated extraordinary passion and dedication to right care, nominate them for a Right Care Alliance Award. The award recipients will be recognized at the Lown Institute Conference.

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RightCare Weekly is made possible through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

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