What We're Reading: HIV Prevention Drug Use; Wyoming Medicaid; LA County Revamps Prison Healthcare

March 8, 2018

Use of an HIV-prevention pill is increasing across the country, but has lagged among blacks and Latinos; Wyoming House fails to pass Medicaid work requirement bill that sailed through the state Senate; Los Angeles County is overhauling the healthcare in its jails in order to better equip inmates to manage their health.

Use of PrEP Lags Among Non-Whites

Use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV-prevention pill, is increasing across the country, but use has lagged among blacks and Latinos, according to new data. California Healthline reported that the number of PrEP users rose by an average annual increase of 73% from 2012 to 2016, but wide ethnic and racial disparities exist. Black Medi-Cal enrollees had a PrEP use rate that was 37% lower than that of their white counterparts. There are also geographic disparities, with half of all PrEP users residing in just 5 states.

Wyoming Medicaid Work Requirement Bill Dies in House

Although a bill that would implement work requirements in Medicaid sailed through the Wyoming state Senate, it was not able to pass the House. The Senate bill didn’t get out of the House’s labor committee, where the bill ended with a tied 4-4 vote, reported Casper Star-Tribune. In Wyoming, the bar to qualify for Medicaid is already higher than in other states, and it hasn’t moved to expand the program like states that have passed work requirements.

Revamping Healthcare in LA County Jails

Los Angeles County is overhauling the healthcare in its jails in order to better equip inmates to manage their health once they are released. According to Kaiser Health News, the effort makes sense in these jails because inmates stay an average of just 60 days in the LA system. The county is making the health clinics in the jails more like those in the real world, with inmates assigned to primary care doctors and those who need advanced care referred to specialists. Nearly half of the inmates have at least 1 chronic disease and two-thirds are addicted to drugs or alcohol.