“Babies are such a nice way to start people.” – Don Herrold
I’d like to welcome my nephew William Cole Mariotti, born September 14, to the world. We’re really glad you’re here.
It’s moving east.
Enterovirus D68 is making its way across the country. Enteroviruses are common this time of year, but experts believe this particular type is more serious. EV-D68 starts out like the common cold but can cause breathing difficulties and severe respiratory illness, particularly in children with asthma. As of last week, the CDC confirmed 80 cases in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. The virus is now on the east coast, with over a dozen cases in New York and four cases in Philadelphia.
Proper hygiene helps. Wash your hands. To reduce the spread of germs, cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. Then remember to wash your shirt. And stay away from my nephew.
The Ebola epidemic. The U.S gets involved.
In a push to build clinics, distribute supplies, and train health care workers, the U.S. will dedicate $500 million and 3,000 troops to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 5,000 people have been infected with the virus and about half have died. The assistance from the U.S. is welcome. “Today, there is not one single bed available for the treatment of an Ebola patient in the entire country of Liberia,” said Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general.
This will be a regular section that aims to explain parts of the 11,000-page law. This is a weekly newsletter. It will take years.
The basics. It goes by several names: The new health care law. The affordable care act (ACA). Most commonly, Obamacare. The law was signed by President Obama in March of 2010.
It includes policies that do two main things: expand access to health insurance and change the way doctors get paid by the federal government.
What’s happening with coverage? As of May 2014, approximately 20 million Americans gained health insurance coverage under the ACA, and the percentage of uninsured Americans dropped from 18% in 2013 to 13.4% in May 2014. Not bad.
Urgent care on wheels.
A fire rescue team and emergency room doctor teamed up to reduce unnecessary and expensive ambulance rides in the Denver area. “It’s not the prairie and the old West anymore, where you have to be missing a limb to go to the hospital. Now it’s a sore throat, or one day of cold or flu…” The duo created a “mobile care unit” in the form of a station wagon to visit lower acuity patients and treat them on-site. The care unit includes a suture set and miniature medical lab to complete blood tests. Needless to say, the station wagon clinic is far less expensive than the Emergency Room.
Some healthy diversity.
Latinos comprised 3% of the nursing workforce and 17% of the nation’s population. By 2060, Latinos are projected to comprise nearly one-third of the U.S. population. Campaigns are under way to recruit more Latino nurses, as “having diverse providers makes it possible to deliver health care that’s meaningful, culturally appropriate and patient and family-centered.”