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Nurses comprise most coronavirus hospitalizations among health care workers, CDC says

Nurses comprised the highest percentage of coronavirus hospitalizations over other types of health care personnel, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The agency assessed data from the COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET). Of over 6,000 adults who were hospitalized with coronavirus between March to late May, 5.9% were health care workers.

Nurses comprised the highest percentage of coronavirus hospitalizations over other types of health care personnel, per the CDC. (iStock)

Nurses comprised the highest percentage of coronavirus hospitalizations over other types of health care personnel, per the CDC. (iStock)

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WORKING TOGETHER AS NURSES TO TREAT CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS: ‘WE’RE JUST CALLED TO STEP UP’

Almost one-third of the hospitalized health care workers were nurses. In total, over 36% of health care personnel worked in nursing-related jobs, including certified nursing assistants.

“Nurses are frontline workers and might be at particular risk for exposure because of their frequent and close patient contact, leading to extended cumulative exposure time,” according to the CDC report.

Of all the health care personnel, nearly 90% had at least one underlying condition, and obesity was the most common at 73%. Nearly one-third of the workers required intensive care, and 4% died.

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Nurses make up a significant proportion of health care workers in the U.S. The CDC noted that, in 2019, registered nurses comprised about one-third of health care practitioners. 

Serious cases of COVID-19 among health care workers at risk of transmission “could decrease the workforce capacity of the health care system,” the CDC wrote.

The agency stressed the importance of face masks while inside health care facilities to lower the risk of virus transmission. Eye protection was advised during patient contact in areas with elevated community virus spread.

The data had limitations, including how it was unknown whether workers were infected in the workplace or out in the community. 

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Quest Diagnostics and Catapult Health Provide Virtual Preventive Care Services for Employers During COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

First collaboration of virtual care provider and national laboratory provider features self-collected at-home specimen collection and mental health care support to empower diverse workforces to access health care safely

Clinical encounter also evaluates patients for risk of COVID-19

SECAUCUS, N.J., Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, and Catapult Health, the leading national provider of employer-sponsored Preventive Checkups, have formed a collaboration designed to help organizations facilitate virtual (telehealth) access to clinical services for their employees and adult dependents, with emphasis on reducing risks related to preventable chronic diseases.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated logo. (PRNewsFoto/Quest Diagnostics Incorporated)
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated logo. (PRNewsFoto/Quest Diagnostics Incorporated)

The first-of-its-kind collaboration specifically focuses on helping employers create a highly convenient and safe way for employees to access thorough and guideline driven preventive care and mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows many individuals are reluctant to seek in-person health care due to fear of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, raising the prospect that untreated, preventable conditions will progress to more advanced disease.

“Social distancing and fear of contracting COVID-19 make it difficult for many individuals to access preventive care services from their healthcare providers. At the same time, employers recognize that at-home care, technology enabled options, including preventive care and screening, can be highly effective in enabling prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, supporting better workforce health and lower medical costs,” said Jay G. Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, and head of the company’s Employer Population Health programs. “Quest Diagnostics and Catapult Health have complementary capabilities that, together, will improve the ability of organizations to support their employees’ health by providing a patient-centric service that meets them where they are during the pandemic and beyond.”

The collaboration pairs insights from Quest’s biometric screenings offered at-home via specimen self-collection, at Quest’s Patient Service Centers, and at the worksite with Catapult Health’s new VirtualCheckup™ solution. The VirtualCheckup includes a video preventive care checkup to allow for confidential analysis and consultation with a nurse practitioner. Each checkup covers personal and family health history, Quest’s lab test and biometric data, prescription drug adherence, depression screening (PHQ-9), and concludes with the creation of a personal action plan to include referral into employer health and benefits programs. The consultation also screens for potential COVID-19 exposure, and individuals identified as at-risk may be directed to COVID-19 diagnostic testing services provided by Quest.

Health plans typically reimburse Catapult’s preventive care checkups as a covered annual preventive checkup, reducing medical costs for employers and the need for employees to visit a doctor for the checkup.

“When people skip doctor visits, the consequences can be grave in terms of poorer long-term outcomes and higher medical costs,” said David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health. “Because they sponsor much of the nation’s healthcare, employers end up absorbing these costs to a great degree. Our unique virtual care model is designed to change that by taking preventive care into employee’s homes, thereby solving for access

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The Latest: Ky. gov urges more care in hardest-hit counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor is urging people in the state’s counties hit hardest by the pandemic to take stricter steps to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Andy Beshear stressed Monday that he is only offering recommendations — not mandates.

Beshear says people should avoid hosting or attending gatherings of any size. He says employers should allow employees to work from home when possible, and noncritical government offices should operate virtually. Also, he says, in-person shopping should be reduced, with people opting to order online for pickup.

The recommendations are aimed at the 55 counties — nearly half of all Kentucky counties — with the highest infection rates. Those counties have a daily average of at least 25 new virus cases per 100,000 residents.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump to intensify his campaign schedule despite U.S. virus surge, new White House outbreak

— Wary of angering public with restrictions, Iran has few ways to contain virus

— Nations across Europe enact more sweeping restrictions to try to slow surging infection rates

— Mexico acknowledges far more deaths than officially confirmed, saying 139,153 now attributable to COVID-19

— El Paso, Texas imposes curfew as virus cases overwhelm hospitals

— COVID-19 cases surge in north-central West Virginia county, shutting down schools and sports

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— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is again imploring people in his state to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which can cause the sometimes deadly COVID-19.

During his daily briefing Monday, delivered from the OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Pritzker said there is a “COVID storm on the rise, and we have to get prepared.”

Pritzker spoke two days after Illinois officials reported 6,131 coronavirus infections, which was a new single-day high for the state.

His public health director reported another 4,729 fresh cases Monday, with 17 deaths from COVID-19.

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JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is expanding a mask mandate to seven additional counties to try to control the spread of the coronavirus as cases increase rapidly in some areas.

His new order takes effect Wednesday and lasts until at least Nov. 11.

Sixteen of Mississippi’s 82 counties will now have a requirement for people to wear face coverings when they are indoors away from their homes. Social gatherings in those 16 counties also will be limited to 10 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.

Reeves says the restrictions are in counties that have had at least 200 confirmed virus cases or at least 500 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents during a recent two-week period.

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WASHINGTON — The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday that North Dakota’s capital city had the worst COVID-19 protocols she’s seen in her travels around the country after she spent a day looking around.

Dr. Deborah Birx, whose tour has taken her to nearly 40 states, said

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Nurses Make Up Most Hospitalized Coronavirus Health Care Workers, CDC Finds | Health News

Most of the health care workers hospitalized with the coronavirus are nurses, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The report found that nearly 6% of all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were health care workers, with 36.3% of those patients being nurses. More than two-thirds, 67.4%, had direct patient contact and more than 4% of the health care workers who were hospitalized died.

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The CDC’s report included medical records from nearly 7,000 coronavirus patients who were in the hospital between March 1 and May 31.

Nearly 90% of health care workers who were hospitalized with the virus had at least one underlying medical condition, with the most common, 73%, being obesity.

According to the report, the median age of the hospitalized health care worker was 49, compared to 62 among the general population. Most health care workers in the hospital with COVID-19 were women, with a large proportion being Black.

Additionally, the report found that the median length of hospitalization among the providers with COVID-19 was four days and 27.5% of providers were admitted to the intensive care unit for a median of six days.

The CDC said the findings were comparable to those reported among health care providers with COVID-19 in China.

In the U.S., nursing-related occupations account for a large proportion of the health care workplace, and in 2019 registered nurses represented approximately one-third of health care providers.

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Utah hospitals Covid: Proposed critera would ration health care at overwhelmed facilities

A group of administrators representing Utah’s hospitals presented Gov. Gary Herbert with a list of “criteria they propose doctors should use if they are forced to decide which patients can stay in overcrowded intensive care units,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

They told Herbert that they’d need to put the criteria in place if the coronavirus trend continues, Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association, told the Tribune.

To triage care, the proposal would take into account a patient’s age, health, situation and ability to survive, Bell told CNN affiliate KUTV on Sunday night.

“At the end of the day, some senior person, versus some healthy young person, probably would not get the nod,” Bell said.

Bell said Utah is suffering from a “phenomenal case growth and spread rate” of Covid-19.

The state reported more than 1,000 new cases per day for the last 12 days. On Sunday, Utah had its highest seven-day average for new daily cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 104,882 people in Utah have been infected with coronavirus, and at least 572 people have died.

Track the virus in your state and across the US

Even before a formal rationing of health care, one Utah mother who suffered a heart attack was delayed in getting adequate treatment due to the Covid-19 surge.

Researchers: Bad national Covid-19 response meant at least 130,000 US deaths could have been avoided
Laurie Terry needed special equipment in a hospital’s intensive care unit. But a doctor told the family there weren’t enough resources available amid the growing Covid-19 surge.

Eventually, Terry was taken to a hospital that had the specialized care she needed, but her condition has gotten worse.

“We’ve seen, in the past couple of weeks, that our health care system is at capacity,” state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said.

“I don’t know what to do anymore,” she said. “I’m really not trying to scare anyone. I’m just trying to inform you of what’s going on and give you the facts.”

Herbert had one wish for the public:

“I would hope that people will take this seriously,” the governor said.

CNN’s Holly Yan and Martin Savidge contributed to this report.

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Hospitals Balance Covid-19 Care With More-Lucrative Services During Latest Virus Surge

Hospitals are holding off as long as possible before halting procedures to make room for fresh waves of Covid-19 patients, a reversal from earlier this year when facilities postponed care, leading to steep financial losses and public-health risks.

National hospital chain Tenet Healthcare Corp. pushed ahead with procedures as states permitted, such as knee and hip replacements, colonoscopies, and surgery to implant pacemakers, through recent surges in Alabama, California and elsewhere. In southeast Wisconsin, where already rising Covid-19 hospitalizations jumped 35% in the first two weeks of the month, Advocate Aurora Health continues nonessential surgery across a dozen hospitals.

HCA Healthcare Inc., one of the nation’s largest hospital systems, waited until last week to suspend some surgery in El Paso, Texas, where a coronavirus surge sharply accelerated in recent weeks. About 80% of the procedures there continue, however.

Nashville-based HCA stops surgery “as a last resort,” said Jon Foster, an HCA president who oversees 90 of the company’s 186 hospitals.

Hospitals have grown more circumspect of shutdowns through new waves of the virus after fallout from voluntary and state-ordered shutdowns in March and April. And unlike last spring, fewer states are ordering broad shutdowns, leaving it to hospitals.

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In 2020, the future of health care is on your ballot

America’s health care system is at the root of every political question — from the coronavirus response and the economy to our national security. Without access to quality and affordable health care, Americans cannot succeed.

While then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his historic presidential campaign in 2016, I was practicing medicine and caring for patients in central Pennsylvania, working in our nation’s broken health care system and fighting every day for my patients.

Four years later, much has changed — both in my own life and in our nation; and yet, health care remains the paramount issue in this election.

Now in Congress, I am proud to serve as one of the few policymakers who have navigated America’s health care system as a doctor, a patient, and a legislator. It is my privilege to work alongside President Donald Trump to deliver results for American patients.

In his first term, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden’s ’60 Minutes’ interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought ‘9/11 attack was 7/11 attack’ MORE has worked hard to lower prescription drug costs, expand Americans’ health care choices, and invest in lifesaving innovation for the 21st century. He signed landmark legislation including Right to Try and the childhood cancer-fighting STAR Act into law, offering hope to American patients and their families. The Trump administration also has undertaken unprecedented efforts to combat the drug crisis, as well as to support hurting families and Americans in recovery.

Republicans know that improving America’s health care system goes beyond repealing the less than-Affordable Care Act. It’s imperative that we enact solutions to protect Americans with preexisting conditions, lower health care costs, and affirm patients’ ability to make choices that work for them. To put it simply — if you like your doctor, you should be able to keep your doctor.

Health care is also a matter of national security. Especially as Americans continue to combat the coronavirus crisis, we must prevent future pandemics from reaching our shores. Now more than ever, American leaders must act to secure our supply chains — especially for medicines and other health care supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) — and return the manufacturing of these items back to America and to our allies. Our nation can no longer allow the Chinese Communist Party to control Americans’ access to medical supplies.

As President Trump and Republicans in Congress stand up to China, protect Medicare, and safeguard seniors’ access to quality and affordable health care, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden’s ’60 Minutes’ interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought ‘9/11 attack was 7/11 attack’ MORE continues to embrace the radical left and its spiral toward socialized medicine.

Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSix notable moments from Trump and Biden’s ’60

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Socialized medicine or health care freedom

As an emergency room physician and cancer survivor, I understand that each minute counts in a medical emergency. And as our nation chooses a direction on health care this November, we need to remember the realities that follow from government-run socialized medicine – increased taxes, longer wait times, delayed care and fewer incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.



Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom


© iStock
Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom

Socialized medicine will have profoundly negative effects on our country. The Medicare for All plans proposed by Democrats in the House and Senate are authoritarian measures that will control the lives of Americans in the most intimate way possible. Under Medicare for All, the federal government will possess the medical records of every American and have the power to dictate when and what type of care you receive. This will ultimately lead to rationed care and unaccountable bureaucrats making the most difficult, ethical decisions about your life.

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The Tennesseans I represent have no interest in allowing the federal government to take such an intrusive role in our health care decisions. If the government pays for our health care, are they going to tell us how many kids we can have, whether we can drink sugary sodas, or whether we can smoke? Ultimately, socialized medicine endangers our freedom to make life choices. That’s why the best direction for America’s health care system is to get the heavy hand of government out of the way and let patients, doctors, and states make their own medical decisions.

Socialized medicine will not only entail a massive government expansion into the private life of every American: It will also place a tremendous burden on the backs of the American taxpayers. Neither Medicare for All bill even attempts to put a price on its plan. That is always a bad sign. Organizations across the political spectrum have estimated the costs, and the numbers are staggering. According to the Mercatus Center, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan could cost taxpayers an additional $32.6 trillion over ten years.

Sanders’ plan does not specify where the money will come from, but we know the only way to pay for it will be to dramatically raise taxes across the board. The Heritage Foundation estimates that two-thirds of American households will see a dramatic increase in taxes. In other words, American families will be paying more for supposedly “free health care.”

Public option health care plans like those favored by Presidential nominee Joe Biden are just as radical, despite rhetoric that suggests otherwise. Dr. Lanhee J. Chen of the Hoover Institute explains that a “public option could add more than $700 billion to the 10-year federal deficit.” The long-term cost may be even greater, exceeding military spending by 2042 and matching combined spending on Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies by 2049.

A public option is more insidious because it masquerades under the guise of choice. In the end, however, it will leave Americans with only one

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Utah hospitals plan on rationing care as coronavirus cases surge in the state: report

Hospitals in Utah will soon be forced begin prioritizing younger COVID-19 patients over older ones amid surging rate of hospitalizations from the virus in the state, doctors warned Utah’s governor on Thursday.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that hospital administrators in the state asked Gov. Gary Herbert (R) to approve a plan that would take drastic steps to reduce intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in the event of hospital ICUs being overwhelmed, which they said was a serious possibility in the days ahead.

If ICUs are nearing capacity, patients who are not seen to be improving even with intensive care will be asked to consider moving to a regular hospital bed. Doctors will also be asked to clearly communicate with patients about do-not-resuscitate orders.

“These discussions on goals of care need to occur independently from triage decisions,” read the guidelines, according to the newspaper. “Providers must be careful not to coerce patients or their families.”

Once ICUs reach capacity, hospitals will take matters into their own hands to determine ICU priority, according to the Tribune. Lower priority will be given to patients who are older if two patients are otherwise equally eligible for an ICU bed, while those who are pregnant receive higher priority.

A spokesperson for Herbert’s office and other state officials confirmed to the Tribune and other news outlets that ICUs in the state are nearing capacity, but did not confirm if Herbert would approve the plan proposed by hospital administrators.

“Right now, it feels very close to being under the crisis standards of care. The [hospital administrators] were very clear about the level of stress that they’re under,” said Joe Dougherty, an official with Utah’s Division of Emergency Management. “We can have a public health order…but even with that in place, we still need people to choose to limit their gatherings.”

“We are not there yet, but we are too close, uncomfortably close,” added a spokesman for the governor.

Utah’s daily rate of new coronavirus cases is now double what it was at the peak of the first wave of cases earlier this year, with state officials reporting 1,543 new cases on Saturday, according to The New York Times. 319 patients are currently hospitalized across the state with the virus, while 568 deaths have been reported in the state since the pandemic began.

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IU School of Medicine partnering to increase greater access to psychiatric care in Northwest Indiana | Local News



STOCK_IU_Northwest

Indiana University Northwest




MERRILLVILLE — A new partnership is seeking to bring greater access to psychiatric care in Northwest Indiana.

The IU School of Medicine in collaboration with the Northwest Indiana GME Consortium is launching a new psychiatry resident program at IU Northwest to train psychiatrists in a four-year program.

The program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, will accept four residents each year.


IUN to offer degree exploration, admissions advice in virtual open house

It is the first psychiatry residency program in northern Indiana and the third in the IU School of Medicine, IU School of Medicine Northwest — Gary campus director Elizabeth Ryan said in a news release.

“The program contributes to a goal of recruiting medical students to the Northwest-Gary campus, upon medical school graduation transitioning to a Northwest Indiana-located residency program and retaining these physicians to serve in the Region,” Ryan said.

The United States Health Resources and Services Administration has designated Northwest Indiana as a high-needs geographic health professional shortage area, according to an IU School of Medicine news release.


250% spike in NWI COVID cases, rising positivity rates indicate worst is yet to come, professor says

The program’s partners say they hope the new cohort can help ease this gap.

Residents in the new program will be integrated into the network of Northwest Indiana GME Consortium partners, like Regional Health Systems in Merrillville.

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