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augustinehloz   , 22

from West New York


Slowing Health Costs Thwart Fed’s Inflationary Medicine - Bloomberg

external link More Americans have health insurance: why Obamacare doesn't get full credit (+video) - CSMonitor.com

The slowdown is frustrating the efforts of Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues to lift inflation out of the doldrums, suggesting they will need to press on with record-low interest rates. Price increases, not counting volatile food and energy costs, decelerated to a 1.1 percent year-over year pace in February from 2 percent two years earlier, with medical goods and health-care services accounting for almost a third of the slowdown, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on the governments personal consumption expenditures price index. The cost of health-care services rose just 0.8 percent in February from a year earlier, compared with an average 2.6 percent pace in the prior 10 years. Prices of medical goods such as prescription drugs rose 2.2 percent, down from the 10-year average of 2.7 percent. Behind the slowdown in medical costs: cuts in Medicare reimbursements under last years budget sequestration, and an influx of cheaper generic drugs as patents expired on brand-name prescription medications. Downward pressure on health costs will ease this year with fewer patent expirations and no repeat of sequestration.

Health Care - Making Progress | Nancy K. Kaufman

6000659612397847594.jpg Higgins said he believes institutions have done a pretty fair job providing for grievances, but what caught our eye is the lack of oversight, he said. The bill would place the Department of Health and Social Services in charge of establishing a standardgrievance procedure for all in-patient mental health facilities statewide. DHSS would review and monitor all grievances, set up an appeals procedure, and categorize grievances by type. A call line to process grievances www.wellandhealthy.com within five days would also be set up. The bill also spells out patients rights to choose a designated patient advocate to assist in filing the grievance. The patient would also have the right for records to remain confidential unless the patient has signed off on the records release. After three days, a patient has the right to have a reasonable opportunity to be connect with family and friends, the bill states. The importance of that cant be overstated, Myers said. Without your family and friends, you feel so lost and alone. As it stands today, the statutes are vaguer -- specifying that a facility have a grievance procedure in place and that it designate a patients rights advocate to help file a grievance if needed. Higgins' legal team found that the statutes designation of authority to individual facilities may be an unconstitutional excessive delegation that provides no standards in the grievance process. Consequently,a facility would essentially regulate itself. But some argue that this is not the case -- that proper oversight already exists, and the bill would simply create another layer of bureaucracy that would burden the system and could worsen patient care.


6000659645896663362.png If the Gallup poll omitted seniors, that would tend to push up its measure of Obamacares impact on coverage. (It would find similar numbers of people becoming newly insured, but out of a smaller overall pool excluding people on Medicare.) Some other insights from the polls: Gallup found that young people (age 25 to 34) are still the most likely age group to be uninsured. The laws architects envisioned this younger group as being especially important enrollees, because insurers can cover them at lower cost than older enrollees. But the poll found this group gained coverage in recent months only at the same pace as people 35 to 64. Some of the progress in insurance coverage probably stems from overall economic conditions or other factors unrelated to Obamacare. A surprise finding from RAND is that the largest source of the gains in new insurance coverage has been growth in employer-sponsored insurance, not among people shopping the Obamacare marketplaces or enrolling in Medicaid. Some of these newly insured individuals may have taken up an employer plan as a result of the incentive created by the individual mandate; others may have newly found a job, RAND researchers Katherine Grace Carman and Christine Eibner write in a report on the poll.

Health care workers wash hands more when patients are watching - CBS News

6000528542045139132.jpg Pre-existing conditions were usually excluded, gender discrimination was rampant and young adults were kicked off their family policies at 18. Not only were women subject to discriminatory rates, but none of the preventive services women typically need were required. That is no longer the case. Now most private insurance must cover contraception, domestic violence screenings, Pap tests and mammograms, among other important care and life-saving screenings that many women used to forego due to cost. A key new required benefit is maternity care -- excluded by 87 percent of individual market insurance plans in 2009. In other words it is no longer a pre-existing condition to be female. It now appears that more than 7 million people have signed up for insurance in the marketplaces created by the ACA -- and more will have that chance during the next open enrollment period beginning November 15. Nine million more bought ACA-compliant policies directly from insurance companies.

Latest ObamaCare surprise: Most won't be able to buy health insurance until end of year | Fox News

6000659670528533450.png Internally, Fraser Health knew they had a serious problem. According to one internal document written in 2011, this translates to increased length of stay, increased risk of further complications and increased risk of morbidity/mortality. Despite the risks, Fraser Health never took the steps to warn the public of the magnitude of the problem, instead simply posting written warnings about the bacteria in units experiencing outbreaks. The authority has since taken steps to reduce the incidents of infection. It announced last February it had reduced C. difficile rates by about 40 per cent from a year earlier. At Burnaby Hospital, the rate was almost halved from 15.2 cases per 10,000 patient days to 8.2. In February, a Fraser Health spokeswoman told The Sun there were 4.1 cases per 10,000 patient days in the latest fiscal year. Final figures for the 2013/2014 fiscal year were not available.

Mental health grievance bill for Alaska a blessing, or burden? | Alaska Dispatch

6000528572014738222.jpg During the project, nearly 97 percent of the health care workers washed their hands before direct contact with their patients, according to the study in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. The researchers also found that 58 percent of health care providers said they changed their hand hygiene practices, 88 percent said they were more motivated to wash their hands and 33 percent said they had more conversations with patients about infection prevention and control. "Involving patients as the monitors of their health care providers' hand hygiene seems like an obvious, simple choice, and yet most hospitals in Canada don't use this method -- many opt for the often costly and time-consuming alternatives such as having their colleagues monitor wellandhealthy and audit," study co-lead author Jessica Ng, manager of infection prevention and control at Women's College Hospital, said in a hospital news release. The pilot project -- adapted from an approach used at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore -- was so successful that it is being implemented in other areas of the hospital, which is believed to be the first Canadian hospital with this type of program. "The patient-as-observer approach is a practical, accurate and cost-saving alternative to the time- and resource-intensive direct observations by a paid hospital employee," study senior author Dr. Michael Gardam, the hospital's director of infection prevention and control, said in the news release. "It's a promising tool for championing patient safety and quality improvement, because it supports education, engagement and empowerment of patients to play a more active role in their own health care," he added.

Fraser Health Authority boss handed walking papers

5956162092944717350.jpg So its built into the screwy logic of the whole ObamaCare system." DiVito puts it this way: "So can you imagine that on July 1, an indvidual's walking down the street, they get hit by a car, the ambulance comes and picks them up and inside that ambulance is an insurance www.wellandhealthy.com salesman selling them a policy. That is exactly what the insurance industry was trying to avoid." There is one way consumers can still sign up, but only under limited circumstances. "If you have a qualifying event, a life qualifying event, which means you get married, you get divorced, you get fired from your job" says Goodman. Or you have a child, or lose a spouse or have a change in income. "It has to be one of those kinds of events, he adds. And if you dont have that, you're not going to be able to buy insurance." Barring any of those so-called life events, tens of millions will remain uninsured and won't be able to buy health insurance, no matter how hard they try.

Health officials were slow to reveal meningitis deaths, advocates say - latimes.com

6000659687958273836.jpg Above, the Hollywood Wilshire Health Center in Los Angeles. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press / April 4, 2014) By Abby Sewell This post has been updated. See below for details. April 8, 2014, 2:30 p.m. Advocates from health organizations and the gay community criticized Los Angeles County officials Tuesday over their response to a recent cluster of meningitis cases that have led to the deaths of three young men. The county's Department of Public Health announced last week that there have been eight cases this year of invasive meningococcal disease -- a serious and sometimes fatal illness that stems from a rare bacterial infection.It is spread by close exposure to someone sneezing or coughing or by direct contact with saliva or nose mucus. Four of the eight cases occurred in men who have sex with men, and three of them were HIV -positive. The county is offering free vaccinations against the disease to patients without health insurance at five clinics , with extended hours through April 11.