Updates From Capitol Hill

HHS Solidifies Protections for LGBTQ Patients

HHS Solidifies Protections for LGBTQ Patients

In a May 2021 expansion to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and the Title IX civil law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office for Civil Rights, increased protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) people from discrimination. The revisions now prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Big Tobacco Continues to Target Female Smokers, but Oncology Nurses Can Help

Big Tobacco Continues to Target Female Smokers, but Oncology Nurses Can Help

More than 16 million people who identify as women and girls in the United States reported smoking in 2021, according to a May 2021 report from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, of which ONS is an active member, who partnered with several leading women’s organizations on the study. Female smokers are also significantly more likely than men to use menthol cigarettes, and e-cigarette use among high school girls rose by 89% from 2017–2020.

Research Between Structural Racism and Health Disparities Calls for Changes in Healthcare Delivery

Research Between Structural Racism and Health Disparities Calls for Changes in Healthcare Delivery

Structural racism is repeatedly linked to health disparities, but a new agency report outlines plans to address discrimination and improve patient outcomes. In a special 2021 supplement to the journal Ethnicity and Disease, “Structural Racism and Discrimination: Impact on Minority Health and Health Disparities,” the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities published a series of reports exploring the relationships between policies, practices, and health. It also included recommended solutions, including outcomes from interventions in a school district and a local health department and future research directions (e.g., examining ways racism embedded in online systems can contribute to health disparities).

U.S. Rep. Underwood Pushes for Increased Access to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

U.S. Rep. Underwood Pushes for Increased Access to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

In May 2021, U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood, RN (D-IL), introduced the Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act that, if passed, would require private health insurance plans to cover three primary care visits and three behavioral health or substance abuse disorder visits per year without cost sharing. Underwood’s goal was to promote legislation that would make health care more accessible and affordable. 

The Future of Nursing Charts a Path to Achieve Health Equity 

The Future of Nursing Charts a Path to Achieve Health Equity 

Society in 2021 has been challenged by an economic crisis and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Today, nurses must have an arsenal of tools and knowledge—and the ability to adapt in unpredictable circumstances—to assist patients seeking health care.

APRNs Are Essential in Survivorship Programs

APRNs Are Essential in Survivorship Programs

As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow in the United States, so too does the need for cancer survivorship programs. Oncology advanced practice RNs (APRNs) are essential team members as institutions develop and deliver comprehensive and holistic programs to meet survivors’ needs.

Racial Minorities Receive More Aggressive EOL Ovarian Cancer Care

Racial Minorities Receive More Aggressive EOL Ovarian Cancer Care

During the last month of life, non-White patients are more likely to receive aggressive care with little to no focus on palliative or end-of-life (EOL) care for their ovarian cancer, researchers reported in Cancer.

Rebecca Loh

Research Findings Confirm Link Between Communication and Safety

Research Findings Confirm Link Between Communication and Safety

My team’s current project to understand communication in ambulatory oncology settings stems from more than a decade of research (Kamimura et al.), in which we have tried to uncover the factors that facilitate high-quality cancer care for patients and a satisfying practice environment for care teams (Friese).