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  • 4 Jan 2023 12:22 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Patient education messaging provided in emergency department settings was able to sway COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. [Patient Engagement HIT]

    Even two years after FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine approval, vaccine hesitancy is still rampant, especially among minority populations.

    Recent Kaiser Family Foundation data showed that 23 percent of the United States population is reluctant to be vaccinated, with Hispanic people less likely than their White counterparts to receive a vaccine.

    Primary health facilities have been vital in addressing barriers to COVID-19 vaccine adoption. Past surveys have indicated that 77 percent of patients say provider recommendations influenced vaccine decision-making, highlighting the importance of primary care providers for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

    Full article here> 


  • 3 Jan 2023 6:12 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been around for decades. In the past 20 years or so, it’s become a growing part of our lives. Researchers are now drawing on the power of AI to improve medicine and health care in innovative and far-reaching ways. NIH is on the cutting edge supporting these efforts.

    At first, computers could simply do calculations based on human input. In AI, they learn to perform certain tasks. Some early forms of AI could play checkers or chess and even defeat human world champions. Others could recognize and convert speech to text.

    Today, different forms of AI are being used to improve medical care. Researchers are exploring how AI could be used to sift through test results and image data. AI could then make recommendations to help with treatment decisions.

    Some NIH-funded studies are using AI to develop “smart clothing” that can reduce low back pain. This technology could warn the wearer of unsafe body movements. Other studies are seeking ways to better manage blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels using wearable sensors.

    Learn more about the different types of AI and their use in medical research.


  • 30 Dec 2022 9:49 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Women’s health varied by health insurance coverage, with uninsured women experiencing some disparities in preventive care and insured women reporting unwelcome surprises about the limits of their coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study. [TechTarget]

    “Despite the role that health insurance plays in helping people afford health care and reducing patients’ financial risks when they need routine care, get sick, or need to be hospitalized, scope of coverage and affordability can still be challenging for many women with insurance coverage,” the study found.

    Most women reported having good, excellent, or very good health. However, those who reported fair or poor health were largely concentrated in Medicaid (30 percent) and uninsurance (23 percent) populations.

    Full article here>


  • 29 Dec 2022 12:03 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    ...A wide variety of infections can cause ME/CFS, and SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is no different: Many cases of long COVID are effectively ME/CFS by another name. The exact number is hard to define, but past studies have shown that 5 to 27 percent of people infected by various pathogens, including Epstein-Barr virus and the original SARS, develop ME/CFS. Even if that proportion is 10 times lower for SARS-CoV-2, the number of Americans with ME/CFS would still have doubled in the past three years. “We’re adding an immense volume of patients to an already dysfunctional and overburdened system,” Beth Pollack, a scientist at MIT who studies complex chronic illnesses, told me.

    Full article here>https://lnkd.in/eBTap9ja


  • 28 Dec 2022 10:02 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Patient access to mental healthcare is poorer among women, with high costs and limited provider availability stymying the process, according to new figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation. [KFF]

    Mental healthcare access issues are playing out in gender-based health disparities, with a smaller proportion of the women who need mental healthcare attempting to access it compared to men. 

    The healthcare industry is finding itself at a crossroads in terms of mental healthcare. Nearly three years into a pandemic that disrupted work and daily life for virtually everyone, the US healthcare system needs to come to grips with skyrocketing mental health needs

    Full article here>


  • 27 Dec 2022 5:30 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The homicide rate among children in the United States rose by more than 4% per year since 2013, but jumped nearly 28% from 2019 to 2020, new data show. [MedScape]

    Although long-term trends varied by region and demographics, with some groups and areas seeing declines in killings, the increases were the highest among Black children and boys ages 11 to 17 years old, according to the researchers, who attribute the surge in violent deaths to a recent rise in firearm-related killings in children. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in the United States, claiming what the American Academy of Pediatrics has equated to a classroom-full of lives each day.

    "There are troubling recent rate increases among several groups, warranting immediate attention, with some racial and ethnic disparities persisting for more than 20 years," said Rebecca F. Wilson, PhD, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who helped conduct the study.

    Wilson and her colleagues, whose findings appear this week in JAMA Pediatricsexamined data on 38,362 homicide victims in the United States aged 0 to 17 years who were killed between 1999 to 2020.

    Full article here>

    Another article of interest - Rising Rates of Homicide of Children and Adolescents  Preventable and  Unacceptable. Visit this page>


  • 23 Dec 2022 9:09 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The $1.7 trillion spending bill Congress unveiled this week includes an extension of HHS rules that made telehealth more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but falls short of permanently extending the flexibilities. Despite that, telemedicine groups cheered the legislation, while still reminding lawmakers there’s more to do.

    “Today, our Congressional telehealth champions on both sides of the aisle came through,” Kyle Zebley, SVP of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association, said in a statement. “We asked Congress and they listened.”  [Healthcare Dive]

    Full article here> 


  • 22 Dec 2022 6:23 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    As the US was entering the 2022 holiday season—a time when public health experts anticipated a spike in cases of COVID-19—most nursing home residents and staff members were not up to date with their vaccinations against the disease, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)... [JAMA Health Forum] 

    The KFF authors analyzed data on vaccination rates of nursing facility residents and staff members in the 14 400 nursing facilities that reported such data (out of 15 200 total). In their analysis, they found that as of November 20, fewer than half (45%) of all nursing facility residents and fewer than a one-quarter of staff (22%) were up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, defined by the CDC as “having received a bivalent booster or having received a final shot of the original vaccines less than 2 months ago.”

    Full article here> 

    Download PDF of article here> 


  • 21 Dec 2022 6:56 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Nearly $3.3 million in fines were issued to 202 nursing homes during the third quarter of this year, according to recent data from the Department of Public Health.

    Six homes received $50,000 fines for “type AA” violations that led to the death of residents. Those include:

    ·    Good Samaritan Pontiac for failing to assess a resident’s risk for a fall, resulting in them falling in the shower and subsequently dying from their injuries.

    ·    Heritage Health Chillicothe for failing to provide diabetic monitoring, necessary equipment and medication for a patient, resulting in them becoming comatose and dying from diabetic ketoacidosis.

    ·    Mt. Vernon Countryside Manor for failing to thoroughly assess a resident in distress and contacting a physician for further guidance, leading to their death. 

    ·    Parc Joliet for failing to ensure a resident was free from neglect, leading them to not receive glucose monitoring and scheduled insulin.

    ·    Shawnee Senior Living for failing to identify, monitor and treat pressure wounds for three residents reviewed for pressure ulcers. One individual was later hospitalized with abnormal labs and died.

    ·    Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chicago for failing to provide medication for the treatment of a seizure disorder for a resident. The resident, who was later found unconscious and experiencing seizures, died.

    In addition, 104 homes received “type A” violations for incidents with a “substantial probability” for death or serious mental or physical harm. 

    Download full report here>


  • 20 Dec 2022 5:16 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Five companies recently received FDA warning letters for selling illegal e-cigarettes designed to look like toys, food, and cartoon characters. [JAMA Network]

    “The designs of these products are an utterly flagrant attempt to target kids,” Brian King, PhD, MPH, director of the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.

    The e-cigarettes look like glow sticks and popsicles and other items popular with youth and feature characters from video games, television shows, and films, such as The SimpsonsSquid Game, and Minions.

    None of the products’ manufacturers had submitted a premarket application to the FDA, whose approval is necessary before a new tobacco product is introduced to the market. The agency said it has issued more than 440 warning letters to companies marketing illegal e-cigarettes containing tobacco-derived nicotine.

    The FDA considers e-cigarettes without marketing authorization to be adulterated and misbranded. If the companies marketing them fail to correct violations, the FDA can seek a permanent injunction, seizure, or civil money penalties.

    Analyzing 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey data, the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 14.1% of high school students reported having used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days and more than one-quarter of those who vaped said they did so every day.


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