Report calls for urgent action to help children of incarcerated parents

In Pennsylvania, 181,000 children have had a parent incarcerated in their lifetime, according to a new nationwide study. That’s roughly 7 percent of the state’s children, according to a survey of data by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, which outlines the collateral consequences of mass incarceration on families and calls for urgent reforms by judges, prisons and governments to break cycles of poverty.

PA is losing OB units, making care for pregnant women tough to reach

Health Women in Pennsylvania are making long journeys for pregnancy care and delivery. According to the state Department of Health’s annual hospital survey, from 2004 to 2014, the commonwealth lost 28 obstetric units — colloquially known as maternity wards or delivery rooms — from a total of 124 units, a 23-percent decline.

Why are more black, Latino children uninsured?

A recent study in Texas that has broader implications about health care for children in low-income families shows that parents of more than half of the state’s uninsured Latino and black children don’t realize their kids could be eligible for Medicaid or state health coverage.

State data lacking when it comes to babies born addicted

Beginning in July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will collect data about all babies born addicted to opioids.

The longstanding problem is that data are scarce about the number of babies born dependent on drugs, according to a joint WITF/ NPR story. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services [DHS] Secretary Ted Dallas said the department has relied on “reasonably good” estimates.

About 3,700 babies on Medicaid were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome between 2013 and 2014 in the state, according to WITF.

PA lawmakers troubled by prescribing to state’s foster, delinquent youth

Juvenile justice experts described to a panel of lawmakers Friday the potential dangers pyschotropic medications pose to vulnerable youth.

They didn’t stop at explaining the problem either.

With a dozen lawmakers in one room for the third-annual Children & Youth Disability & Mental Health Summit, they made pleas for additional funding, data collection and transparency.

Issues surround home health rating system

Many potential patients looking into home health care agencies in the state may wonder at the conflicting ratings: a three out of five stars from Medicare, and a five out of five from patient satisfaction surveys.