The poverty/disparities work group is committed to improving health outcomes for low-income and at-risk children.
Priorities include: 1) Educating members about health disparities, poverty/ homelessness, food deserts, etc. 2) Identifying community and state level partners 3) Advocating for increased access to care, food, housing and transportation.
The latest Kids Count ranking puts Minnesota at No. 1 in the country for child well-being. However, data shows not all Minnesota children are sharing in those improvements. Minnesota continues to have some of the greatest disparities in the country in terms of health, education and economic outcomes.
Download the KIDS COUNT fact sheet summarizing the data for Minnesota. Note that outcomes have worsened in the following categories:
Additionally, you can download the complete KIDS COUNTdata book.
"I practice mostly pediatric critical care. It breaks my heart every time I have to admit to the unit an adolescent who tried to hurt him/herself. Not uncommonly, social issues, poverty and education play a significant role. Other times, bullying is involved. Also, although there is a strong focus for the outpatient practice, I am try to learn how to address these issues from the inpatient standpoint."
Grace Arteaga, MD, FAAP
Division Chair, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Pediatric Simulation Program Director
"I am doing work on health equity at HCMC and we collect data that allows us to stratify some of our outcomes by the data. This year we will develop two interventions for two of the outcomes where we have disparities-optimal diabetes care and no show rates. There is a lot of other work across HCMC."
Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, MD, MPH
Hennepin County Medical Center
Assistant Chief of Provider Services
Senior Medical Director of Primary Care
MNAAP President Dr. Andrew Kiragu recently wrote a statement about the epidemic of violence and intolerance threatening the physical and emotional health of children and ways pediatric providers can partner with parents to break the cycle. Read the statement and consider sharing with colleages and patient families.
About 21 percent of children in the United States currently live in poverty. Recognizing the health implicatios of poverty and toxic stress, AAP's latest policy statement on this topic urges pediatricians to screen for poverty by asking one simple question: "Do you have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?" and be aware of tools and resources that can help lift families out of poverty. Read the policy statement Poverty and Child Health in the United States.
Check out the newly released 2015 Health Equity of Care Report at http://mncm.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2015-Health-Equity-of-Care-Report-Final-2.11.2016.pdf. You can see how your clinic/medical group/region ranks in providing optimal asthma control for kids compared to the statewide rate of 59 percent and are likely to see disparities in or near your practice based on race, ethnicity, country of origin, preferred language and other factors (see pages 126-144).
Dr. Chris Reif, director of clinical services at the Community-University Health Care Center, and member of MNAAP poverty and disparities work group, shared these 16 practical tips with providers in a recent issue of Minnesota Minnesota.
With 1 in 5 children living in food-insecure homes, AAP calls for pediatricians to use a 2-question screening tool to screen for food insecurity and refer those who screen positively to resources that support access to adequate, healthy food. Read more about AAP's policy statment "Promoting Food Security for All Children."
Dr. Scott Schwantes, chair of MNAAP's poverty/disparities work group, wrote a letter to the Pioneer Press about why poverty is a top concern among pediatricians.
In Minnesota, the share of children living in poverty increased by more than 50 percent over the past decade. This is the first report of its kind produced by DHS to take a closer look at the social issues surrounding the health of poor children.
Read the press release: http://mn.gov/dhs/media/news/news-detail.jsp?id=252-160328
Read the full report: https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-7079-ENG
As a next step, DHS says "We hope that this kind of continuous measure of family risk will allow us to risk-adjust groups of children, and that this type of tool would be available for use in Accountable Care Organization gainshare payments and other payment methodologies"
As a work group, we can consider a response to this report and offer to be a resource to DHS as it considers how to risk-adjust groups of children to provide appropriate reimbursement for providers. More to come on this...