Dr. Kelly-Blake a co-author of shared decision-making article in ‘American Journal of Preventive Medicine’

Kelly-blakeCenter Associate Professor Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake is co-author of a research article in the July 2019 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The multi-institution research team includes lead author Dr. Masahito Jimbo of the University of Michigan.

“Interactivity in a Decision Aid: Findings From a Decision Aid to Technologically Enhance Shared Decision Making RCT” reports on a study that used a randomized control trial to compare the effect of a web-based decision aid that addressed colorectal cancer screening. They concluded that the interactive decision aid did not improve the outcome compared to the non-interactive decision aid.

The full text is available online via Science Direct (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).

Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake promoted to associate professor

Karen Kelly-Blake photoThe Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences is thrilled to announce the promotion of Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake to associate professor. Dr. Kelly-Blake holds an appointment in both the Center for Ethics and the Department of Medicine in the College of Human Medicine (CHM).

Dr. Kelly-Blake holds a PhD in medical anthropology from Michigan State University and specializes in health services research, shared decision-making, and medical workforce policy and development. She joined the Center in 2009 as a project manager on a grant of Dr. Margaret Holmes-Rovner’s, became a research associate in 2011, and assistant professor in 2014. She has played an integral part in the development and implementation of social context of clinical decisions (SCCD) content in the CHM Shared Discovery Curriculum.

Dr. Kelly-Blake is currently working with colleagues in the Department of Medicine, the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics to resubmit an NIH R01 to assess implementation of the Office Guidelines Applied to Practice Program for medication adherence for heart disease management in people with diabetes in Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers across the state of Michigan. She is also working with colleagues at the University of Michigan to submit a new NIH R01 to assess a multi-level clinical intervention for patient navigator enhanced colorectal cancer screening in community primary care practice settings. Additionally, she is working with the Assistant Director of the Center for Ethics on a project to assess the value of patient-physician concordance on patient health outcomes.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kelly-Blake!

Listen: Activating and Empowering Patients

No Easy Answers in Bioethics logoNo Easy Answers in Bioethics Episode 15

How can shared decision-making tools and evidence-based guidelines be used to ensure that every patient receives the best care possible? How can patients be activated and equipped to interact with their provider and manage their health condition? In this episode, three Michigan State University researchers—Dr. Bill Hart-Davidson, Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake, Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences and the Department of Medicine, and Dr. Ade Olomu, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine—discuss a shared decision-making tool they developed called Office-GAP, Office-Guidelines Applied to Practice. Together they discuss the origins of the project, and the results so far in improving outcomes for patients managing chronic illness by using a simple checklist to get patients and providers on the same page.

Ways to Listen

This episode was produced and edited by Liz McDaniel in the Center for Ethics. Music: “While We Walk (2004)” by Antony Raijekov via Free Music Archive, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Full episode transcript available.

About: No Easy Answers in Bioethics is a podcast series from the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Each month Center for Ethics faculty and their collaborators discuss their ongoing work and research across many areas of bioethics. Episodes are hosted by H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.

Dr. Kelly-Blake a co-author of new article in ‘Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology’

Karen Kelly-Blake photoCenter Assistant Professor Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake is co-author of an article published in Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, “Sex Differences in Statin Prescribing in Diabetic and Heart Disease Patients in FQHCs: A Comparison of the ATPIII and 2013 ACC/AHA Cholesterol Guidelines.”

The team of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine researchers, Nazia Naz S. Khan, Karen Kelly-Blake, Zhehui Luo, and Adesuwa Olomu, found statin underprescribing for both men and women with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus in Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The full text is available online with open access via Sage Journals.

Medical workforce diversity research published in ‘Medical Education’

Karen Kelly-Blake photoLibby Bogdan-Lovis photoAn article from a multi-institution research team led by Center Assistant Professor Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake and Assistant Director Libby Bogdan-Lovis has been published in the September 2018 issue of Medical Education.

In “Rationales for expanding minority physician representation in the workforce: a scoping review,” the authors discuss “rationales for and approaches to expanding under‐represented minority (URM) physician representation in the medical workforce” found in their scoping review of fifteen years of literature.

The full text is available online via Wiley Online Library (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).

Dr. Kelly-Blake and Libby Bogdan-Lovis further discussed their article in an interview for the Medical Education podcast series.

Related items from the Center:

Patient dumping: why are patients disposable?

Bioethics in the News logoThis post is a part of our Bioethics in the News series

By Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD

A public uproar ensued when a video revealed hospital staff literally dumping a woman wearing only a gown and socks in frigid weather on the streets of Baltimore. Imamu Baraka, a psychotherapist, witnessed the incident and recorded it on his cellphone. In the video, we see Mr. Baraka questioning the security personnel about their activity, and then we see them silently walking away.

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Image description: a crumpled hospital gown is pictured on the edge of a concrete ledge. The background is a concrete sidewalk. Image source: Lynn Park/Flickr Creative Commons.

The fact that the public appeared to be surprised by this event was bewildering. Patient dumping is hardly a new phenomenon, and in fact, it should not come as a surprise that those being dumped in this fashion are predominately non-white, poor, homeless, mentally ill, uninsured, and drug users. So, what is patient dumping? It is when hospitals that are capable of providing necessary medical care fail to screen, treat, or appropriately transfer a patient, or alternatively, when they turn the patient away because of the patient’s inability to pay for services.

Hospitals have long relied on this tactic as a way to offset care for those patients who cannot cover their costs, and so the hospital then is not reimbursed—it is an economic profit-loss decision. But, this blog is not about blaming hospitals. It is about recognizing that patient dumping is a symptom of larger healthcare system and societal ills. Consider the following:

Thirty million people in the U.S. remain uninsured after Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. Forty million adults experience mental illness in a given year. 554,000 people in the U.S. are homeless. Forty-three million live in poverty. Every day, the opioid epidemic claims 175 lives. These many data points speak to the U.S.’ combined lack of healthcare and social safety nets. Filling those gaps alone could potentially avert patient dumping.

By default, public, not-for-profit hospitals are charged with caring for such vulnerable patients. In the era of value-based, pay-for-performance, and accountable care organization (ACO) reimbursement models, those hospitals consequently will struggle to meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quality care metrics.

Federal legislation such as the Hill-Burton Act and later the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) were instituted to address legal and ethical concerns about patient dumping. Signed in 1946 by President Truman, Hill-Burton directed hospitals to make services available to anyone living in the geographic region of the hospital and to provide care free of charge to those individuals unable to pay. Signed in 1986 by President Reagan, EMTALA was enacted to protect all individuals seeking treatment at Medicare-participating hospital emergency departments. In addition to federal statutes, states also have passed legislation requiring hospitals to provide care irrespective of ability to pay and require that patients be medically stable before transfer. Regrettably, federal and state laws have not performed as was intended. Statutes designed to prevent patient dumping are criticized for 1) having narrow and unclear definitions of what constitutes a medical emergency; 2) failing to clarify what it means to stabilize patients before a transfer; and 3) failing to adequately provide the means for monitoring and enforcement (Ansell & Schiff, 1987).

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Image description: An aerial photo of a medical waiting area shows rows of blue chairs, and three seated individuals dispersed throughout. Image source: Erwin Morales/Flickr Creative Commons.

It would seem that patient dumping is symptomatic of larger macroeconomic and macrosocial issues. What possible solutions exist?

Suppose we actually provided health care to everyone? The ACA has greatly expanded insurance coverage by extending Medicaid, but many people remain uninsured due to prohibitive costs. Imagine having access to health insurance that was not employment dependent. Imagine that people with mild, moderate, and severe mental illness received comprehensive health services. Imagine a system of care that recognized that social determinants of health profoundly influence health outcomes. Imagine having food assistance folded in as part of a medical treatment.

Suppose we eradicated poverty and homelessness? Imagine a time when people could actually support themselves and their families because they made a living wage. Imagine that support was available for people to simultaneously work and pay for childcare.

Suppose we actually utilized comprehensive discharge planning for patients? Imagine planning documents that were easy to read and comprehend because health literacy was important. Imagine patients understanding the medications they needed to take when they got home. Imagine that prior to discharge patients had appointments scheduled for follow-up visits and had the transportation in place to get them there. Imagine providing support visits for elderly patients to make sure they were living in decreased fall risk environments.

Suppose we made the profession of medicine responsible for caring for our most vulnerable—the sickest sick and poorest poor? Imagine that all provider-patient panels included a significant number of homeless, poor, mentally ill, and uninsured individuals. Imagine an equal, fair, and just distribution of medical care service to the underserved that lightened that specific expectation on under-represented minority physicians (URMs). We know that URM physicians bear a disproportionate burden of providing care for the most vulnerable patients. Such a burden might substantially constrain their ability to meet quality care metrics for reimbursement.

Patient dumping is a harsh, cruel response to a healthcare and social system that can also be harsh and cruel. The goal for the U.S. healthcare system is to “ensure that every patient is a wanted patient regardless of ability to pay”.

Incidents of patient dumping such as the one recorded in Baltimore should not be cause for public consternation. The public protestation should instead be about macro-level systems and social ills that make such responses unsurprising. The above suppositions are probably wild-eyed idealist notions. But for a moment, just suppose they weren’t?

Karen Kelly-Blake photoKaren Kelly-Blake, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences and the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University.

Join the discussion! Your comments and responses to this commentary are welcomed. The author will respond to all comments made by Thursday, August 9, 2018. With your participation, we hope to create discussions rich with insights from diverse perspectives.

You must provide your name and email address to leave a comment. Your email address will not be made public.

More Bioethics in the News from Dr. Kelly-Blake: Incarcerated AND Sick: At Risk for Pain, Injury, and DeathWhite Horse, White Faces: The Decriminalization of Heroin AddictionRacism and the Public’s Health: Whose Lives Matter?Concussion in the NFL: A Case for Shared Decision-Making?

Click through to view references

Incarcerated AND Sick: At Risk for Pain, Injury, and Death

Bioethics in the News logoThis post is a part of our Bioethics in the News series

By Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD

The U.S. project of mass incarceration reveals that more than 2 million people are jail-involved at any given time. That rate far exceeds that of any other nation in the world. Incarcerated patients are sicker, bearing an increased burden of chronic disease, namely addiction, viral infections, and mental illness. Conditions often exacerbated by solitary confinement. Moreover, those incarcerated are disproportionately from communities of color suffering from historical racial discrimination. Consider the following: Whites (non-Hispanic) comprise 64% of the U.S. population, 39% of the U.S. incarcerated population, and the national incarceration rate (per 100,000) is 450; Hispanics make up 16% of the U.S. population, 19% of incarcerated population, and the national rate is 831; Blacks are 13% of the U.S. population, 40% of the incarcerated population, and the national incarceration rate is 2,306 per 100,000.

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Image description: a black and white photograph showing a person’s hands reaching through from behind metal fencing. Their hands are grasping the fence in the foreground, and the rest of the person’s body is not visible. Image source: Tiago Pinheiro/Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1976 Estelle vs. Gamble ruling the U.S. Supreme Court established that “deliberate indifference to healthcare for inmates constituted cruel and unusual punishment, and was thus prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.” In April of this year, a class action lawsuit was filed in the State of Illinois arguing, “health care inside the Illinois Department of Corrections systematically puts inmates at risk of pain, injury, and death.” In effect, Illinois has been put on notice that the correctional health care it provides (or the lack of provision), violates the 1976 Supreme Court ruling. Of course, Illinois is not the only state faced with this problem. A recent ruling found the Alabama Department of Correction’s mental health care system to be “horrendously inadequate.”

The challenges to delivering health care in correctional institutions are similar to those experienced in delivering care in any under-resourced setting that serves vulnerable patients. Overcrowding and understaffing are oft-cited explanations for the inadequacy of correctional health care delivery. An additional, deeply concerning factor is the privatization of prisons with related underbids, cost overruns, and vast gaps in the actual services provided. With increasing numbers of women cycling in and out of prison, women prisoners have specific health needs related to the increased likelihood of being victims of domestic and sexual violence. There is a pressing need for correctional health care services to address these health issues.

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Image description: a close-up photo of the bars of a prison cell, with the bars in focus in the foreground and an empty green/yellow cell visible in the background. Image source: Dave Nakayama/Flickr Creative Commons

As a matter of justice, incarcerated patients should receive the same level of care that they would receive in a community setting. Unfortunately, this notion is not politically popular. Nevertheless, work is being done to merge correctional health and public health to ensure continuity of care once prisoners are released. Significantly, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) specifically addresses the importance of ensuring that the jail-involved have access to the same benefits as the non-incarcerated. The ACA expansion of Medicaid eligibility supplies a critical opportunity to treat prisoners once released. Untreated substance abuse and mental illness among the jail-involved increases their likelihood of future imprisonment.

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Image description: a close-up photo of part of a large metal door that reads “SOLITARY.” Image source: Shannon O’Toole/Flickr Creative Commons

Health care providers often find themselves serving two masters in correction settings. Providers have a duty to provide care that is in the best interest of the patient, but equally, they are also employed by the institution that has other, often conflicting interests, namely to confine, punish, and possibly, rehabilitate. This conflict is referred to as dual loyalty. The virtual societal silence on larger issues about the nature of the institution of incarceration is problematic and makes many correctional health providers “complicit as the United States has embarked on a vast and unprecedented social program of mass incarceration.” Given this state of affairs, providers should use their professional power and work to advocate for and insist upon substantial reforms in clinical care within prisons. A key critical reform is to eliminate solitary confinement. Medical providers also must advocate for change in the criminal justice system. The current project of mass incarceration in the U.S. harms the individual health of prisoners and the public health of the community.

Because of lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits on behalf of prisoners, as well as the dedication of committed health care professionals, activists, and advocates, the quality of health care in prisons has steadily improved. Yet there remains vast room for improvement in clinical care. Physicians hold leadership and management positions in correctional institutions. Combined with the social privilege afforded them in the U.S., physicians have the power, and I would argue the obligation, to spearhead reforms in correctional health care and ensure that the incarcerated sick are at no greater risk than the non-incarcerated of pain, injury, or death.

Karen Kelly-Blake photoKaren Kelly-Blake, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences and the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University.

Join the discussion! Your comments and responses to this commentary are welcomed. The author will respond to all comments made by Thursday, August 10, 2017. With your participation, we hope to create discussions rich with insights from diverse perspectives.

You must provide your name and email address to leave a comment. Your email address will not be made public.

More Bioethics in the News from Dr. Kelly-Blake: White Horse, White Faces: The Decriminalization of Heroin AddictionRacism and the Public’s Health: Whose Lives Matter?Concussion in the NFL: A Case for Shared Decision-Making?

Click through to view references

Correlates of Patient Intent and Preference on Colorectal Cancer Screening

Karen Kelly-Blake photoCenter Assistant Professor Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake is a co-author of an article in the April 2017 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The article, “Correlates of Patient Intent and Preference on Colorectal Cancer Screening,” is co-authored by Masahito Jimbo, MD, PhD, MPH, Ananda Sen, PhD, Melissa A. Plegue, MA, Sarah T. Hawley, PhD, MPH, Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, Mary Rapai, MA, Minling Zhang, BS, Yuhong Zhang, BS, and Mack T. Ruffin IV, MD, MPH.

From 2012 to 2014, a total of 570 adults aged 50–75 years were recruited from 15 primary care practices in Metro Detroit for a trial on decision aids for colorectal cancer screening. The article discusses the results of that trial. The full article text is available on the ScienceDirect website (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).

Dr. Kelly-Blake presents at National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates Conference

Karen Kelly-Blake photoOn February 15-16, Center Assistant Professor Dr. Karen Kelly-Blake attended the National Association of African American Studies (NAAAS) and Affiliates 25th Joint National Conference held in Dallas, Texas. This conference marked the 25th gathering of scholars from across the U.S. and more than twenty countries. Dr. Kelly-Blake’s presentation was titled, ““Danger Talk”: The Covert Costs of Racial/Ethnic Concordance in the Medical Workforce.” The presentation reported preliminary results of a 2000-2015 scoping literature review that examined medical workforce policy strategies for increasing under-represented minorities in medicine. The research is a multi-institutional collaboration with Libby Bogdan-Lovis, MA (MSU), Nanibaa’ Garrison, PhD (University of Washington), Faith Fletcher, PhD, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago), Brittany Ajegba, MPH (MSU), Nichole Smith (Vanderbilt University), and Morgann Brafford, BS (MSU).

Dr. Kelly-Blake discussed the rationales and strategies that are employed to increase under-represented minority (URM) physician workforce capacity. She began by asking the audience to provide reasons for why it would be important to increase URMs in the medical workforce. The top three replies were: communication, cultural sensitivity, and the need to reflect general population demographics. Dr. Kelly-Blake agreed with the audience that these are often the primary justifications provided in the literature. Under-represented minorities (URMs) disproportionately shoulder the burden of care to the underserved, and most often in under-resourced communities. The problem, or the “danger talk” is that selectively placing service expectations not similarly placed on White physician colleagues along with unexamined assumptions of racial/ethnic concordance between patient and physician may place an unfair and unequal burden on URMs. Dr. Kelly-Blake further suggested that such service commitment rhetoric might unwittingly dissuade URM physicians from pursuing research and professional leadership opportunities. In short, welcoming URM physicians into the “house” of medicine, but then limiting their service to the kitchen. Dr. Kelly-Blake concluded that increasing URM physician presence in the medical workforce is indeed admirable and welcomed, but policy initiatives that influence URM’s futures in the medical workforce may have hidden, unanticipated and restrictive consequences.

To learn more about this research, watch the Bioethics Brownbag & Webinar Series talk from Dr. Kelly-Blake, “Covert Costs of Racial and Ethnic Concordance in the Medical Workforce,” recorded on January 18, 2017.

Covert Costs of Racial and Ethnic Concordance in the Medical Workforce

bbag-icon-decCovert Costs of Racial and Ethnic Concordance in the Medical Workforce

Event Flyer

Over the past century US medical workforce demographics have shifted. Moving away from a white male dominated profession, there is a welcomed push towards increasing gender, ethnic, racial and linguistic representation. Commonly, that push is linked to notions of desirable doctor/patient identity matching – described here as “concordance.” That demographic shift is accompanied by policy initiatives and rhetoric shaping the professional futures of Native American, African American, and Latino underrepresented minority (URM) physicians. Do these policy initiatives carry social costs that inadvertently influence URM’s futures in the medical workforce? This analysis considers the nature of medical workforce policy strategies. Findings suggest that selectively placing service expectations not similarly placed on their non-minority physician colleagues along with unexamined assumptions of racial/ethnic concordance between patient and physician may place an undue burden on URMs.

jan18-bbagJoin us for Ms. Bogdan-Lovis and Dr. Kelly-Blake’s lecture on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.

Dr. Kelly-Blake is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and the Department of Medicine. Ms. Bogdan-Lovis is the Assistant Director for the Center for Ethics. Bogdan-Lovis and Kelly-Blake are co-leading a multi-institutional research project on Doctor-patient Race/Ethnic Concordance in the Medical Workforce. They are interested in unpacking the complexities surrounding underrepresented minority service to the underserved and how that service may distract those physicians from pursuing other medical professional opportunities.

In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!

Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! Visit our archive of recorded lectures. To receive reminders before each webinar, please subscribe to our mailing list.