What We're Reading: Immigrant Health; Ketamine Variability; Healthcare Transfers

The Department of Homeland Security is targeting immigrants who have sought assistance from food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Medicare Part D, and housing vouchers; there is wide variation among ketamine clinics, including the screening of patients, dosages, frequency of infusions, and coordination with patients’ mental health providers; public health advocates are upset over a decision by the Trump administration to divert nearly $200 million from health programs to fund the detention of unaccompanied migrant children who crossed into the country illegally.

Rule Would Bar Immigrants Who Use Food Stamps, Medicaid From Seeking Citiizenship

The Department of Homeland Security is targeting immigrants who have sought assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (welfare), Medicaid, Medicare Part D, and housing vouchers, Politico reported. But in a departure from earlier leaked drafts, the proposed rule won't target immigrants who have received subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act or the Children's Health Insurance Program. The move is an effort to drastically cut all immigration, both legal and illegal, but health advocates fear it will restrict children's access to food and healthcare. Under the rule, immigrants can be denied so-called "lawful permanent residency" if they have received certain government benefits or if the government suspects they may do so in the future.

Wide Variation Found in Use of Ketamine in Clinics Seeking Patients With Depression

A STAT News investigation found wide inconsistencies among ketamine clinics, including the screening of patients, dosages, frequency of infusions, and coordination with patients’ mental health providers. A number of clinics stray from recommendations issued last year by the American Psychiatric Association, STAT said. Ketamine, used in anesthesia and illegally as a club drug, is being promoted for the treatment of depression, based on a number of small studies.

Trump Administration to Move $200 Million Slated for Health Programs to Fund Detention for Migrant Children

Public health advocates are upset over a decision by the Trump administration to divert nearly $200 million from health programs to fund the detention of unaccompanied migrant children who crossed into the country illegally. The Hill reported that the health programs targeted in the transfer include $16.7 million from the CDC, $9.8 million from Medicare and Medicaid program operations, and $87.3 million overall from the National Institutes of Health. The money should be spent on cancer research, vaccines for rare diseases, and other health priorities, advocates said.