The King County Medical Society (KCMS), founded in 1888, is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to representing Seattle and King County physicians and their patients by promoting best practices in medicine and raising public awareness of issues critical to quality patient care and public health.

 

News

Paul Allen establishes new cell-science institute with $100 million

The aim of the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle is to better understand the teeming world inside cells, where thousands of organelles and millions of molecules interact, The Seattle Times reports. “People spend careers trying to understand little parts of the cell, but nobody has stitched it together — because it’s too complicated for any individual to study,” said Alan “Rick” Horwitz, who will head the new institute.

Some Alaska physicians feel overwhelmed by new federal rules

Efforts to have all doctors use electronic medical records or face a penalty is hitting Alaska physicians hard since most practices are small and face hefty costs for the change, Kaiser Health News reports. Dr. Oliver Korshin, an ophthalmologist who has a solo practice in Anchorage, said, “… there’s no economy of scale, I can’t share these expenses with anybody.”

Chemical in cans, plastic bottles tied to quick rise in blood pressure

New research has found that a chemical commonly found in containers can seep into beverages and raise blood pressure within a few hours, The New York Times reports. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is used in the linings of food and beverage cans, plastic bottles and plastic packaging.

CDC warns of potentially severe flu season

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get flu vaccines and recommends prompt treatment with antiviral drugs for those with the flu and facing a high risk of complications. This season’s flu vaccine, it turns out, is a poor match for about half of the H3N2 viruses that appear to be the current dominant strain, The Seattle Times reports.

Other news

UW gets $10 million grant for palliative care

Proposed ACO rules would delay penalties 3 more years

Half of US infants sleep with unsafe bedding

‘Superbugs’ killing India’s babies, posing a global threat

Ebola: What clinicians need to know

Infection control and triage

Using proper infection control measures is crucial for preventing transmission of infectious diseases. Serious communicable diseases such as MERS and Ebola virus disease are making headlines, and flu season is looming. It’s crucial that appropriate infection control precautions are taken on a daily basis for every patient.

To protect your health care workers and patients from infectious diseases in health care settings:

  1. Review and ensure implementation of proper infection control procedures during all stages of the patient encounter;
  2. Review triage protocols for early identification to trigger appropriate infection control response; and,
  3. Take extra steps specifically for Ebola.

Resources for physicians

Resources for patients

News and other resources

News on Ebola

The argument against an Ebola quarantine for health-care workers

Ebola safety video available soon

Tapping mobile phone records could help monitor Ebola

Damage Control: Youth Sports Concussions

Increasing regulation and awareness around the causes and effects of sports-related concussions is leading to greater safety among young athletes. Physicians Leah G. Concannon and Stanley A. Herring of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program explore the latest developments in youth concussion management in their Bulletin article PreventableTragedies. Click here to download the article. 

Social Media Guidelines

Check out the latest addition to our Practice Resources: tips for how to make appropriate use of social media from the Washington State Department of Health, Federation of State Medical Boards and more.

Health Care Coverage Enrollment Help

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The open enrollment period for health coverage under the Washington State Healthplanfinder is Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals may qualify for special enrollment periods outside of the open enrollment dates, depending on their circumstances. For those who qualify for Medicaid/Apple Health, enrollment is ongoing. Or if your life situation changes, you may be able to enroll in a subsidized plan.

What’s new this enrollment season? Many things, but here are two you should know about:

  • Coverage renewals: Individuals who enrolled in a plan last year will need to renew their coverage during open enrollment. There are new options available this enrollment season and everyone — even those whose coverage was automatically renewed — is encouraged to review their plan  and not just assume the one they had last year remains the most affordable one for them.
  • Opportunity for small businesses to get coverage: King County small businesses will now be able to purchase coverage for their employees through Healthplanfinder. (Previously, only individuals in King County could purchase coverage.) The Washington Health Benefit Exchange offers information for employers.

King County’s website on health coverage has information on enrollment events in the county, how to get assistance with enrollment, and a Q&A about the new enrollment and renewal process. It will be updated regularly throughout the enrollment season. To find out more about how and where to enroll, consult Public Health – Seattle & King County’s enrollment event calendar.

More information can be found at Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

Education & Events

Visit our Education and Events page to learn more about:

  • Upcoming Continuing Medical Education opportunities throughout the Seattle-King County region; and
  • Free access to Heal-WA, an online medical library featuring tool kits, calculators, dictionaries, electronic textbooks, and journals.