The End of the World….at Least for 20101

A recent article in the Washington Post reflects on global events in 2010. According to global reinsurer Swiss Re:

“Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 – the deadliest year in more than a generation . . . caused $222 billion in economic losses in 2010 – more than Hong Kong’s economy.” … Read more →

Lost Hospital — Allentown State Hospital, Hanover Township, Pennsylvania0

In 1901, Pennsylvania’s passed a new law “to Provide for the Selection of a Site and the Erection of a State Hospital for the Treatment of the Insane Under Homeopathic Management, to be Called the Homeopathic State Hospital for the Insane, and Making an Appropriation Therefor.”

With an appropriation of $300,000 (“or as much thereof as may be necessary”), a section in Hanover Township, near Allentown, was chosen for the location of this new hospital (originally named Pennsylvania State Homeopathic Asylum), spanning over 209 acres.  Finally completed in 1912 after many delays, Allentown State Hospital was located between Allentown and Bethlehem, right along the Allentown and Bethlehem Electric Line. … Read more →

The Ever Expanding Nation’s Health Care Hierarchy0

Hospital accreditation, certification and periodic review come from a variety of both public and private sources, though the goal is generally consistent: develop uniform standards to ensure that hospitals in the United States all operate at an acceptable safety level and deliver quality patient care in an appropriate and effective manner.

Hospitals are subject to the Medicare Conditions of Participation set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Before 2008, only the Joint Commission and Health Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) were approved by CMS to accredit hospitals as meeting the Medicare Conditions of Participation. … Read more →

Surveying California’s Health Insurance Benefits0

The leading source of health insurance coverage nation-wide is employer-based. In California, the California Health Care Foundation recently published its 2010 Employer Health Benefits Survey, identifying changes in these benefits, such as types and employee cost sharing options, as well as the implications resulting therefrom.

Some survey highlights include:

  • Since 2002, premiums have increased 134.4%.
  • The proportion of employers offering coverage is similar to last year, although California lost nearly 210,000 jobs from July 2009 to July 2010.
  • Single-coverage premiums in California were $5,463 annually, compared to the national average of $5,049.
  • California workers contributed $725 annually for single coverage in 2010, and $3,632 for family coverage.
  • Enrollment in plans with a deductible of $1,000 or more for single coverage in 2010 was 27%, up from 7% in 2006.
  • Twenty-eight percent of California firms either reduced benefits or increased cost sharing for employees in 2010, compared to 15% in 2009.

View the full report Here. [audio:|titles=Happy Together (The Turtles Cover) 1]

The Red Cross Wants To Keep You Warm0

This cold winter, the American Red Cross wants to do more than just provide warm shelters. The Red Cross has provided on its Website some important safety tips for people to follow when the temperatures start to drop.

For Your Home:

  • Use generators correctly: Never operate a generator inside the home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment needed directly to the outlets on the generator. … Read more →

“Get Ready” For Flu Season0

As we enter the flu season, public health officials continue to remind us that routine and proper hand washing is still one of the simplest and most effective defenses against the spread of influenza.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, proper hand-washing can prevent up to half of all foodborne illnesses. Children who wash their hands at least four times a day experience 24% fewer days with colds and flu, and 51% fewer days sick from stomach ailments.

In support of this effort, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has launched its “Get Ready” campaign to promoting proper hand-washing. … Read more →

Examining Delays in the Organ Recovery Process0

Organ recovery refers to the removal, preservation and use of human organs and tissue from the bodies of the recently deceased to be used in surgical transplants on the living.  Though mired in ethical debate and heavily regulated, organ donation in the United States has largely become an accepted medical practice.  As the number of people needing a transplant continues to rise faster than the number of donors, this is good news.

It is important to note that total organ donation is only considered once it is clear that a patient has no hope of survival. Until that time, the focus will always be on healing the patient at hand. The prospect of gathering viable organs from a severely injured patient plays no role whatsoever in a doctor’s overall diagnosis or treatment, as every doctor is medically and ethically obligated to provide each patient with the best quality care until such time as brain death occurs.  Pledging to donate an organ will never place the patient in added jeopardy, though it may save a stranger from harm. … Read more →

CDC Study: When Mastication Turns to Emesis0

According to a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 48 million people in the United States get sick from food-related illness (more than 15% of population). Of that number, 128,000 require hospitalization, and 3,000 die.

In a recent publication appearing in Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D, M.P.H., said:

    “We’ve made progress in better understanding the burden of foodborne illness and unfortunately, far too many people continue to get sick from the food they eat. These estimates provide valuable information to help CDC and its partners set priorities and further reduce illnesses from food.” … Read more →