Health Beat: CDC Says 53 Million Adults In The U.S. Live With A Disability

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 98 views 

CDC: 53 MILLION ADULTS IN THE US LIVE WITH A DISABILITY
In the United States, one out of every five adults has a disability, according to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common functional disability type was a mobility limitation – defined as serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs – reported by one in eight adults, followed by disability in thinking and/or memory, independent living, vision, and self-care.
The researchers found that the highest percentages of people with disabilities are generally in Southern states, for example Alabama (31.5%), Mississippi (31.4%), and Tennessee (31.4%). The report did not determine why differences occur by state; however, states in the South tend to have some of the higher rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which may also be associated with disability.

The report also revealed that non-Hispanic black (29%) and Hispanic (25.9%) adults were more likely to have a disability than were white non-Hispanic (20.6%) adults. Those with lower education levels, lower incomes, and those who are unemployed were also more likely to report a disability. More information about CDC’s work to support inclusive public health and health care settings is available here.

FITCH: MEDICAID COSTS OUTPACING STATES’ REVENUE GROWTH
Rising Medicaid costs outpacing average revenue growth for U.S. states could lead to long-term budgetary imbalances, but states are taking actions to offset the risk, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Already one of the largest components of annual spending for U.S. states, Medicaid costs are on the rise. Medicaid spending has increased between 6% and 7% on an average annual basis over the past 20 years compared to just 4.5% annual growth in state tax revenues. That said, efforts by U.S. states are showing improvement, according to Fitch Ratings Director Eric Kim.

“Some states are shifting away from fee-for-service payments and towards managed care, while others are cutting reimbursement rates or limiting the types of benefits provided,” said Kim. “These efforts have been successful to some extent at slowing growth, but it will continue to be a formidable challenge.” Fitch anticipates that states will utilize their ample fiscal flexibility to maintain long-term budgetary sustainability.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected state budgets, though not enough to significantly alter fiscal profiles. As a result, state rating changes attributable to the ACA are not likely now or for the foreseeable future, Fitch said. “U.S. States: The Rising Cost of Care” is available here.

ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL EYES SPRINGDALE FOR NEW FACILITY
A growing population in Northwest Arkansas and continued benevolent support for Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation are two good reasons why the Little Rock-based hospital is reportedly eyeing Springdale for a new child specialty facility. The formal announcement is slated for Friday (Aug. 7) at the Color of Hope Charity Gala to benefit the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. Until then, the foundation and the hospital remain tight-lipped about their footprint expansion. Read what details are imminent here.

CENSUS BUREAU TO RELEASE INCOME, HEALTH COVERAGE DATA
The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced its schedule for the 2014 income, poverty and health insurance coverage statistics from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey, as well as the 2014 American Community Survey releases. The Census Bureau will host a technical meeting on Aug. 28 to provide background information on income, poverty and health insurance coverage. The meeting will be held at the agency’s Suitland, Md. headquarters, and will be streamed online.

The annual release of national-level income, poverty and health insurance coverage statistics will take place on Sept. 16. The reports will include statistics for calendar year 2014 and compare trends with previous years. Statistics on numerous social, economic and housing characteristics, including language, education, the commute to work, employment, mortgage status and rent, as well as income, poverty and health insurance coverage will be available on the following day.