National Cancer Institute : Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality Are Not Driven by Estrogen Receptor Status Alone -- "Black women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher probability of dying from the disease than white women, regardless of their estrogen receptor status, " a study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds, according to a NCI description of the document. By comparing the breast cancer rates for black and white women using data from the NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result (SEER) program, researchers found that the "differences in breast cancer mortality may reflect racial differences in access and response to innovative breast cancer treatments, as well as other biological and non-biological factors" and "differences in outcomes in the first few years post-diagnosis make up nearly all of the disparity" (7/7).
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will hold six public hearings July 16, 2009. These hearings will take place in Lincoln at the State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, lower level conference room A. The hearings are being held to accept comments on proposed regulations. Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. CT The DHHS Division of Children and Family Services is proposing to revise regulations for the Child Care Subsidy Program to: - Clarify regulations on the denial of child care subsidy to a parent who is pursuing a second undergraduate or post-graduate degree; and - Specify that a license-exempt child care provider must not work a second job during the hours s/he is providing child care.
Twenty people in California were arrested on Thursday "in a $4.6-million Medi-Cal fraud scheme that law enforcement officials allege used unlicensed individuals to provide in-home nursing care for disabled patients, " The Los Angeles Times reports. "About 75 patients, many of them children with cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities, were treated at home or at school by the unlicensed individuals who stole identities to pose as licensed nurses, according to the United States Attorney's office." Those arrested "are among 42 defendants named in a 41-count indictment, " in what United States Attorney Thomas O'Brien calls "the largest single case alleging Medi-Cal fraud ever filed in the state of California" (Abdulrahim, 7/9).
Veterans Affairs Provides Underused Monthly Pension Benefit While Medicaid Receives Increased Attention
Medicaid receives increased attention while an underused, special monthly pension benefit called Aid and Attendance can help veterans, and spouses, with assisted living. Newsday reports that the "pension benefit may be available to wartime veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities" and that "eligible veterans need not have served overseas or in combat; they must have served during the period of a war: World War II, Dec. 7, 1941-Dec. 31, 1946; Korea, June 27, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955; Vietnam, Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975; Persian Gulf War, Aug. 2, 1990 to a date not yet determined.
The state Division of Senior and Disabilities Services is working this summer in coordination with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve its compliance with federal standards in the areas of Home and Community Based Medicaid Waivers and Personal Care Services (Personal Care Assistance). "We greatly appreciate the thorough and helpful review that CMS recently completed and we are eager to work hand-in-hand with them in any way that will better serve Alaskans who use and need our services, " said Rebecca Hilgendorf, Director of Senior and Disabilities Services. The CMS review cited several areas in need of improvement to assure that the state's oversight of the Waivers and Personal Care Services is consistent with federal and state regulations.
Stroke in children costs at least $42 million annually in the United States, researchers report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. In the first cost analysis of pediatric stroke in the United States, researchers reviewed data from U.S. children age 0 to 20 who used hospital inpatient services. The database, the Kid's Inpatient Database (KID 2003), recorded 2, 224 strokes. "This is just the upfront cost - the initial stroke care of these children - not the long-term care cost, " said Warren Lo, M.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at The Ohio State University and pediatric neurologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.