The benefits of telehealth

In most rural communities, access to specialists sometimes means traveling long distances, and very often recurring trips for needed care. It can include not only the cost of fuel to travel, but lodging, meals, care for school-age children or elderly family members while away, someone to look after the farm or business, plus sundry other issues. Telehealth can relieve some of those burdens on rural community members by increasing access to specialist via virtual visits.... Read More >>

DOH letter outlines syphilis screening recommendations during pregnancy

In 2015 and 2016, seven women in Washington State gave birth to eight infants with congenital syphilis. In response to this dramatic increase of a preventable disease, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) distributed a letter to women’s health providers outlining recommendations for syphilis screening during pregnancy. Up to 40 percent of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection as newborns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.... Read More >>

DBHR seeking participants for opioid treatment projects

The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) has received a State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis Grant from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The total grant award is for $11.79 million for the time period of May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. ... Read More >>

WSHA to survey Rapid Response Teams

When a patient demonstrates signs of imminent clinical deterioration, a team of providers — a Rapid Response Team (RRT) — is summoned to the bedside to immediately assess and treat the patient with the goal of rapid clinical assessment and prevention of harm. WSHA will conduct a survey to learn more about how members have initiated these programs.... Read More >>

New Quality Payment Program MIPS eligibility lookup tool available

A new lookup tool is available that will allow you check if a clinician who bills to Medicare will need to submit quality data to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). You can do so by entering a provider’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) on the Quality Payment Program website. Clinicians who bill Medicare more than $30,000 in Part B allowed charges a year and provide care for more than 100 Medicare patients a year are included in the Quality Payment Program.... Read More >>

Opioid use soars among middle-aged, elderly

Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 accounted for about 44 percent of overdose deaths in 2013 and 2014, and the number of adults older than 50 seeking treatment for opioid addiction has increased dramatically, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One key strategy to counter this is to empower patients to manage pain with alternatives to opioids whenever possible, such as by controlling daytime pain after surgery with non-opioid medication, or only using opioids at night or not at all.... Read More >>

May is American Stroke Month

Nearly 800,000 Americans have a stroke every year, leading to 133,000 deaths annually. Statistics show that someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of stroke every four minutes. Stroke is the leading cause of serious, preventable long-term disability.... Read More >>

Resources for maternal addiction and neonatal abstinence syndrome

A national trend on the rise also causing concern in Washington is the dramatic increase in maternal addiction and neonatal abstinence syndrome. To address the increased need for information and resources to treat addicted women and their babies, the Safe Deliveries Roadmap program has focused recent educational sessions for clinicians and staff on how to navigate the rise in maternal addiction.... Read More >>

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest off to a strong start

After the first six months of data, Honoring Choices© Pacific Northwest is proud to report the growing impact this joint initiative is having on advance care planning, even such early stages.... Read More >>

CDC launches online training series on opioid prescribing guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week released the first module in a new online training series to help clinicians apply its opioid prescribing guidelines for adults with chronic pain.... Read More >>

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