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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.



California, Oregon pharmacists can soon prescribe birth control

Pharmacists in those two states will be authorized to prescribe contraceptives after women fill out a questionnaire about their health and medical histories, The New York Times reports. The laws are the latest effort to make birth control more accessible, which medical professionals and policymakers have long sought.

End Of Medicare bonus program means pay cut for primary care doctors

A health law program that has been paying primary care physicians a 10 percent bonus for caring for Medicare patients expires next year, Kaiser Health News reports. In 2012, $664 million in bonuses went to roughly 170,000 primary care practitioners, awarding each an average of almost $4,000.

Light may help nonseasonal depression

Bright light therapy has long been used to stave off depression that can arrive with the dark days of winter. But one study found that combining light therapy with Prozac was effective against nonseasonal depression, The New York Times reported.

Breast-feeding is good for moms, too

Two recent studies suggest that mothers may have much to gain from breast-feeding, The New York Times reports. One study found that breast-feeding protects women from a type of breast cancer, while the other suggests that breast-feeding may work as a sort of “reset” button for metabolism after pregnancy.

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

Health Care Coverage Enrollment Help


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.