To be healthy, is to be in a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not just merely the absence of disease according to The World Health Organization. Often times eye care is not what automatically comes to mind when thinking about overall health. However, how important is one’s vision? The answer is, vision and eye care are pivotal. Poor vision and lack of eye care can cause a number of problems that can decrease the quality of a person’s life and health.
An independent nonprofit organization, OneSight, travels to underserved and remove populations to provide better vision. During one of the organization’s trips they traveled the Amazon with a team to provide a digital eye clinic; providing an eye exam and glasses all in the same day. In the future the organization plans to add a surgical component for cataracts and other procedures. Still, there are over a billion people in the world that need glasses but have no access or funds to do so.
Short term health insurance sometimes referred to as term health insurance serves to fill in the gap in health coverage while in a state of transition. Transition periods such as in-between jobs, awaiting benefits from a new job, missed open enrollment time slot, and/or a college student fresh out of school are a few occasions when short term health insurance is necessary.
Short term health insurance under the Obama Administration developed regulations to limit the length up to three months with no opportunity for renewal. Currently, under the Trump Administration short term health insurance can be purchased for policies lasting up to 1 year with opportunity for renewal a maximum of two times.
Short term health insurance is regulated through the states not the Affordable Care Act which set specific stipulations and guidelines for insurance companies to abide by. Due to this, short term insurance has large coverage gaps, some not including maternity leave, mental health care, or prescription drugs. People with short-term health insurance policies have coverage but “skinny coverage”.
On its course to the equator, this massive iceberg breaking off of Antartica’s Ross Shelf is nearing destruction.
The iceberg, called B-15, has been drifting away from Antartica for around 20 years, covering more than 6,600 miles. The iceberg has gradually fractured into multiple smaller sections, and the section pictured is called B-15Z.
This map tracks the course of B-15Z over time, and the iceberg is now passing the South Georgian Islands. The iceberg is nearing the equator, and the warmer tropical waters will quickly melt away the gargantuan ice mass,
For more information and photos:
Texas has one of the highest vaccination rates for childhood diseases overall, 97.4%, according to CDC. But the number of children not vaccinated because of their parents’ “personal beliefs”—as opposed to medical reasons—has risen since 2003, when such exemptions were introduced, to more than 44,000 so far in 2017 according to CDC. The 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series is an overall measure that encompasses many vaccines that are recommended for children. Various demographic factors (sex, gender, race, availability of commercial health insurance) influence the decision to get vaccinated, were looked at.
The county-level data on the socioeconomic factors were obtained from US Census Bureau (American Factfinder). The health insurance data was obtained from Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The vaccination rates were obtained from Texas Immunization registry through DSHS. The data was cleaned and geocoded to be analyzed in ArcGIS to produce maps as shown in Figure 1. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between vaccination rates and independent variable.
The non-vaccination rates are higher around the major cities of Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, Houston and some northwest Texas counties. Population density has a positive correlation with the non-vaccination rate. Other demographic factors have a positive correlation in certain counties as opposed to others.
Source: American FactFinder, Texas Immunisation Registry
The limitation on the immunization data is it being an optional registry so it would not be accurate to run statistics off this information to estimate an immunization rate. In future, it is productive to expand this concept to use regression analysis to try to find the odds of the relationship expressed in the maps and to find if there is a significant association.
Preventive oral health care is essential for one’s overall health. For children, it is important to address oral health needs earlier in life to prevent oral health issues from forming and progressing into adulthood. Below is a map of the percentage of children in Georgia with financial access to preventive dental care. This map comes from an article written by Cao, Gentili, Griffin, Griffin & Serban (2017) titled, “Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia.”
The authors of the article state that financial access is, “the percentage of children who either are eligible for public insurance or have the ability to afford dental care through commercial insurance or ability to pay out-of-pocket,” (Cao et al., 2017). Although there are plenty of children who are eligible to receive public funding for preventive dental care in GA, only 27.9% of the 4,123 dentists in GA who offer preventive dental services to children accept public insurance, (Cao et al., 2017).
What are your thoughts? What does financial access to preventive dental care mean to you? Is this an accurate representation of financial access? I invite you to read more of the article on the CDC’s website, here.
Source: Cao S, Gentili M, Griffin PM, Griffin SO, Serban N. Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia. Prev Chronic Dis 2017;14:170176. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd14.170176.
Check out this map that shows the number of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites in Tennessee as of 10/6/17 and the number of National Committee for Quality Assurance certified Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) sites in Tennessee as of 1/23/18.
For more information on the Patient Centered Medical Home click here.
By Julia Watson
Today’s map shows the incidence rate per 1,000 population of diagnosed diabetes by county for the year 2013. From the map we can see a a clearly various southern states have a higher incidence indicated by the dark shading. In contrast, we see there are lower rates of diagnosed diabetes in counties within various Western states indicated by the yellow/yellow orange shading. Interestingly, we can see a similar pattern when comparing the previous map of obesity prevalence by county for the year 2013. Why might this be?
By Julia Watson
Most Veterans who served on active duty for at least 24 continuous months and who were released under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible to enroll in the VA for health care . Check out this map that shows the percent of Veteran Enrollees by County for the Fiscal Year of 2015.
By Julia Watson
Medicare beneficiaries have the option of enrolling in Medicare Part D to get assistance with covering the cost of their prescriptions drugs. Medicare Part D is not automatically include and is available in two ways, if you have Medicare Part A or Part B. Check out this map that shows the Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rate in Tennessee for the year of 2014 at the zipcode level.
For further information regarding opioids click here.
By Julia Watson
Check out this map that shows physicians authorized to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine by state as of 2017. From the map we can a large clusters of practitioners providing buprenorphine treatment practice in the southern and eastern states and in western states such as California. Why might this be?
By Julia Watson