For those wanting to quit smoking, there’s an app for that
The Washington State Department of Health is offering a smartphone app to help residents kick their tobacco habits, the Seattle/LocalHealthGuide reports. The first 1,900 downloads of SmartQuit are free; after that they’re $49.99.
Seattle Children’s and Mayo Clinic seek to cut genetic testing costs
Genetic testing could reach $25 billion within a decade, the Los Angeles Times reports. To help trim those costs, Seattle Children’s hospital and Mayo Medical Laboratories are teaming up, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.
Feeding infants peanuts could prevent allergies
To prevent peanut allergies, infants and young children should eat foods containing peanuts — a reversal of conventional wisdom, The New York Times reports. An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the study “makes it clear that we can do something now to reverse the increasing prevalence of peanut allergy.”
Prices for 70 health care procedures now online
The website Guroo gives the average local cost for 70 diagnoses and medical tests, based on what insurance companies actually pay, Kaiser Health News reports. “It’s good for uninsured people. It’s good for people with high deductibles,” said Katherine Hempstead with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “It’s good for any person that’s kind of wondering: If I go to see the doctor for such-and-such, what might happen next?”
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:
- Review and ensure implementation of proper infection control procedures during all stages of the patient encounter;
- Review triage protocols for early identification to trigger appropriate infection control response; and,
- Take extra steps specifically for Ebola.
Resources for physicians
- Complete infection control guidance from the CDC
- A health care provider preparedness checklist for Ebola
- Department of Health’s key messages for providers regarding Ebola
- Department of Health’s guidance for safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients in the U.S.
Resources for patients
- Department of Health Ebola overview for patients
- Department of Health Ebola fact sheet (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Ukrainian and Vietnamese)
- Patient resources for your practice on Ebola from the CDC
- CDC travel advisory
- Ebola facts (color pdf poster) from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
News and other resources
- Medscape’s Ebola resource center
- Washington State Department of Health’s Ebola virus disease information for public health and health care providers
- American Medical Association’s Ebola resource center
- Washington State Hospital Association’s Ebola resources for hospitals and the public
- Washington State Nurses Association’s Ebola resources for registered nurses
News on Ebola
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.
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.
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.
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.
- HHS Sec. Burwell Faces Stiff Questioning Over Health Law Contingency Plans
- Viewpoints: How Dr. Seuss, Other Angles, Might Figure In High Court Review Of ACA Challenge; Obamacare Tax Complications
- Longer Looks: The Next Health Agenda, OxyContin And Shrinking Hospitals
- State Highlights: Miss. Blazes Telemedicine Trail For Other States
- FDA Asking Duodenoscope Makers to Prove That Their Disinfection Methods Work (FREE)
- ACIP Recommends Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccines in High-Risk People (FREE)
- New Combo Antibacterial Approved for Complicated Intra-Abdominal Infections, UTIs (FREE)
- Effort Aims to Treat Cancer Based on Gene Mutations, Not Cancer Type (FREE)