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General Maternal & Child Health

New Kaiser Survey Finds States Focusing on Cost Containment Following Expiration of Stimulus Funds
Faced with the end of stimulus money and a continuing weak economy, Medicaid officials in virtually every state are enacting a variety of cost cutting measures as states’ spending for Medicaid is projected to increase 28.7 percent this fiscal year to make up for the loss of federal funds, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. The new survey, Moving Ahead Amid Fiscal Challenges: A Look at Medicaid Spending, Coverage and Policy Trends, Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, and two related papers –Impact of the Medicaid Fiscal Relief Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which examines the impact of the enhanced federal funding provided by the Recovery Act that expired in June 2011, and Update on State Budgets in Recession and Recovery, which provides a brief overview both of the effect of the recent recession on state budgets as well as the current condition of state budgets as they continue to recover in the recession’s aftermath – are available on their website.

Women’s Health

New HRSA/MCHB Report on Women's Health
On Nov. 3, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released Women’s Health USA 2011, the tenth edition of an annual data book identifying priorities, trends and disparities in women’s health. The 2011 edition highlights several new topics, including secondhand tobacco smoke exposure, Alzheimer’s disease, preconception health, unintended pregnancy, oral health care utilization and barriers to health care. For the first time, the special population section of the report features data on the health of lesbian and bisexual women, as well as Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women. Data on American Indian and Alaska Native women are also featured. Women’s Health USA 2011 is available in print and online. To view the full report, click here.

Tutorial: Reproductive Health Care Policy for Women in the United States
In this updated tutorial, Usha Ranji, M.S., associate director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, summarizes major issues in reproductive health care policy. She discusses coverage and financing of reproductive care in public programs and private plans, as well as the key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect reproductive health. To view the tutorial, click here.

Children’s Health

MOD Releases 2011 Premature Birth Report Card
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Last week, the March of Dimes (MOD) released the 2011 Premature Birth Report Card. While the United States earned a “C”, preterm birth rates improved in almost every state between 2006 and 2009, and in several states the change was more than 10 percent, according to the March of Dimes 2011 Premature Birth Report Card. The nation’s preterm birth rate has declined nearly 5 percent from the 2006 peak of 12.8 percent. The full 2011 Premature Birth Report Card press release and the 2011 Report Card, with specific states of interest, can be found on their website

HRSA Report: Children in Rural Areas Face Different Health Challenges
Children in rural areas face different challenges to their health and have less access to care when compared with children in urban areas, according to a new report from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH): The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation in 2007, which is published every four years, examined the overall health of rural children in the United States from birth to 17 years. The report finds greater prevalence of certain physical, emotional, behavioral and developmental conditions in rural areas. To see more in-depth information about the book and its findings, click here.

Policy Brief: Improving Federal Collaboration for Homeless Children and Youth
This joint policy brief from the Campaign to End Child Homelessness, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, National Collaboration for Youth, and National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty offers recommendations on how the federal government can enhance policy and program coordination to improve outcomes for homeless children and youth. Click here to see the brief.

KaiserEDU Issue Module: HPV Vaccine and Cancer
This issue module has been updated with access to the most recent research and information available on human papiloma virus (HPV) vaccine utilization, costs and policies, including the latest data on vaccine coverage and application for boys. To view the module, click here.