Trending News Today: Low-Income Toddlers Fall Through Medicaid Coverage Cracks

Top news from across the health care landscape.

Many toddlers are falling through the cracks and failing to receive Medicaid coverage renewal when they turn 1-year-old, reported Kaiser Health News. Although infants of mothers covered by Medicaid are automatically eligible for coverage during the first year of their lives, a federal policy that requires eligibility to be reevaluated on their first birthday routinely undermines this. Sometimes, antiquated computer systems will automatically drop toddlers after their first birthday unless a renewal has been processed. This is an ongoing problem in states that have fallen behind in renewals. “You hate any baby to lose coverage,” Jill Hanken, a lawyer at the Virginia Poverty Law Center, said in the report. “A 1-year-old needs to have consistency with their health care and visits with the pediatrician.”

A second patient has been identified as carrying the strain of E. coli resistant to the colistin antibiotic, reported The Washington Post. This comes after a Pennsylvania patient was found to carry the same superbug gene, the first case reported in the United States after being identified in China last fall. In both of these cases, the bacteria carried the gene mcr-1, which allows the organism to resist colistin. Just last week, scientists discovered an additional gene that causes bacteria to become resistant to colistin called mcr-2. Currently, public health officials and experts fear that the gene will spread to bacteria that are now susceptible only to colistin. This fall, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to establish 7 regional laboratories that will be able to perform better and faster testing for a wider scope of antimicrobial resistance.

In the United States, it has been found that young gay black and Hispanic men are most likely to be infected with HIV, and they're least likely to get tested for it. To address this issue, a recent study used the gay dating app Grindr to advertise home HIV self-testing kits, reported The New York Times. The study was confined to Los Angeles, and there were less than 400 test kits that were distributed; however, the findings show potential. For the study, researchers used banner ads on Grindr to offer free test kits that recipients either receive in the mail, at a pharmacy, or from a vending machine at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center parking lot. The kit involves taking a simple swab of the gums, with the results given in 20 minutes. The results of the study found that of 56 black and Hispanic men who requested kits and answered survey questions, 69% had not been tested in the last 6 months. Additionally, 2 participants learned they were HIV-positive after using the kits.