Want to know what diseases your pet can give you?


From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Good for you?

To observe World Animal Day (Oct 4) the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Has launched a redesigned Healthy Pets Healthy People website, with expanded information about diseases people can catch from pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

Users can now search alphabetically by animal and learn which zoonotic diseases they may carry. It is a unique “one-stop shop” where people can learn simple actions to protect themselves – and their pets.

The redesigned website offers:

  • An alphabetized list and description of diseases that can spread from animals to humans.
  • A list of animal species with the description of diseases associated with the animal.
  • Specific groups of people that may be more susceptible to diseases from animals.
  • Tips for preventing illnesses acquired from pets and other animals.
  • Detailed information about the health benefits of owning a pet.

Continue reading


Newly insured treasure Medicaid, but growing pains felt


By Sara Varney

SAN DIEGO — The Affordable Care Act unleashed a building boom of community health centers across the country. At a cost of $11 billion, more than 950 health centers have opened and thousands have expanded or modernized.

In San Diego, new clinics have popped up on school campuses and busy street corners. Cramped storefront clinics have been replaced with gleaming, three-story medical centers with family medicine, radiology and physical therapy on site. They are outfitted to care for new immigrants in dozens of languages from Spanish to Somali.

The community health centers are the country’s largest primary care system for low-income patients, now working to absorb a tsunami of new Medicaid enrollees.

At age 58, after several worrisome decades without health insurance, Lori Simpson is finally getting treatment for her dangerously high blood pressure, a serious thyroid disorder and, after years of double vision that had made it difficult for her to work and care for her grandchildren, surgery for her eyes.

“I have nine medications that I get every month, and mine comes to a little over two hundred dollars,” Simpson said. Prescription medications for her husband, a diabetic, cost $400 a month. “We don’t pay anything, it’s all covered. It’s just amazing.”

Simpson goes to the Family Health Centers of San Diego, which saw an increase of 24,000 patients, almost overnight, after the Medicaid expansion began in January 2014. Dr. Chris Gordon, the center’s assistant medical director, said it was a rush primary care clinics have been waiting for ever since President Barack Obama signed the health law in 2010.

“We’ve anticipated this for years and have been planning for it,” Gordon said. “We have capacity to take on patients. These are patients that haven’t had access before because they just didn’t have the financial means to get in. And now all of a sudden, they actually get to come in, get to spend time with somebody and get to feel like they’re heard.” Continue reading


Even with insurance many adults can’t afford dental care


500px-Cavities_evolution_1.svgAdults With Insurance Often Still Have Unmet Dental Needs, Survey Finds

By Michelle Andrews

Dental care ranked number one among health care services that people with insurance say they’re skimping on because of cost, a new survey found.

One in five adults reported that they had unmet dental care needs because they couldn’t afford necessary care, according to the brief by researchers at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

People said they were more likely to go without dental care than prescription drugs, medical care, doctor or specialist care, and medical tests. Continue reading


ICHS offering multilingual education and information services at Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center


logoInternational Community Health Services  community advocates have started offering health education and health awareness information and Affordable Care Act health insurance enrollment assistance in Spanish, Russian, Hindi, and Punjabi, as well as English — at Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center.

A table will be set up by ICHS community advocates outside Crossroads Mini City Hall at Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday. No appointment is needed.

Bellevue Crossroads Outreach (1)

International Community Health Services (ICHS) community advocates are reaching out and providing services to diverse communities on the Eastside from their table at Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center. In the picture (from L to R): Duby Monteros, Blanca Lujan Westrich, Alexandra Poseukova, and Miran Hothi.

Crossroads Bellevue shopping center is located at 15600 N.E. 8th St., Bellevue, WA 98008.

ICHS is offering the service to the community in partnership with Crossroads Mini City Hall and Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center.

For more information about ICHS, please visit: www.ichs.com


US awards $21 million to support tribal domestic violence programs


From the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Indian Health Service

indian-health-services-seal-200pxThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Indian Health Service (IHS) announced Thursday the award of nearly $21 million to support tribal domestic violence victims and organizations in American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the nation.

ACF funding announced today is being awarded under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), which is the primary federal funding source dedicated to providing immediate shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence and their dependents.

Grants will be awarded to 136 tribes and tribal organizations serving 274 tribes.

These funds will help to strengthen tribal responses to domestic violence and emphasize public awareness, advocacy, and policy, training, and technical assistance. Continue reading


Pecked by a chicken? Sucked into a jet engine? There’s a code for that

Rooster looking through the wires of a cage

Photo by dragonariaes

By Barbara Feder Ostrov

If you’re struck by an orca, sucked into a jet engine, or having relationship problems with your in-laws, fear not: Your doctor now has a medical diagnosis code for that.

Today U.S. doctors, hospitals and health insurers must start using the ICD-10, a vast new set of alphanumeric codes for describing diseases and injuries in unprecedented detail.

The transition, mandated by the federal government, has been called American health care’s Y2K moment, because the codes haven’t been updated in 36 years. Doctors and hospitals are on high alert since the arcane letters and digits are key to how health care providers get paid. If they don’t use the right codes, down to the decimal, they may not be paid sufficiently – or at all.

For months, healthcare insiders have been venting their frustrations with the changeover, posting Halloween-themed ICD-10 office decor on social media and mocking some of the wackier codes. Among the targets: W61.33 (pecked by a chicken), Y08.01 (assault by hockey stick) and R46.1 (bizarre personal appearance).

Not to mention W56.22xA – “struck by orca” – which became the title of an illustrated book of infamous ICD-10 codes that’s sold nearly 10,000 copies, said its editor, Niko Skievaski of Madison, Wis. Continue reading


Injuries cost US $671 billion a year.


Sign for an emergency room.From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The total cost of injuries and violence in the United States was $671 billion in 2013, according to two Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The cost associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion; nonfatal injuries was $457 billion.

Each year, more than three million people are hospitalized, 27 million people are treated in emergency departments and released, and more than 192,000 die as a result of unintentional and violence related injuries.

The two studies include lifetime medical and work loss costs for injury-related deaths and injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments and break down costs by age, gender, and injury intent.  Other key findings include:

  • Males accounted for a majority (78 percent) of costs for injury deaths ($166.7 billion) and nonfatal injury costs (63 percent; $287.5 billion);
  • More than half of the total medical and work-loss costs of injury deaths were from unintentional injuries ($129.7 billion), followed by suicide ($50.8 billion) and homicide ($26.4 billion);
  • Drug poisonings, which includes prescription drug overdoses, accounted for the largest share of fatal injury costs (27 percent), followed by transportation-related deaths (23 percent) and firearm-related deaths (22 percent);
  • The cost for hospitalized injuries was $289.7 billion in 2013; the cost for injuries treated and released in hospitals and emergency departments was $167.1 billion; and
  • Falls (37 percent) and transportation-related injuries (21 percent) accounted for a majority of the costs associated with emergency department treated non-fatal injuries.

To review the full report and the study details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.