NPR’s Scott Simon and Bloomberg View’s Kavitha Davidson discuss the late Frank Gifford, concussions and the debate over locker room interviews.
An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco stores may have been caused by contamination of celery and onions used in making the salad, according the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
The presence of the bacteria was discovered in sample of celery and onion diced blend collected from a Costco store by the Montana Public Laboratory.
The blend was used to make the Costco rotisserie chicken salad eaten by ill people in this outbreak.
Preliminary results indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Laboratory testing is ongoing to isolate the E. coli bacteria and then determine the DNA fingerprint to confirm the link.
As a result of the preliminary laboratory results, on November 26, 2015, Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., voluntarily recalled multiple products containing celery because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
By April Dembosky, KQED
Board meetings for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital are usually pretty dismal affairs. The facility in remote Fort Bragg, Calif., has been running at a deficit for a decade and barely survived a recent bankruptcy.
But finally, in September, the report from the finance committee wasn’t terrible. “This is probably the first good news that I’ve experienced since I’ve been here,” said Dr. Bill Rohr, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital for 11 years. “This is the first black ink that I’ve seen.”
Small, rural hospitals everywhere have been struggling to survive. Many people who live in these areas are older or low income — not a great customer base for a hospital that needs to make money
Things first started going badly for the hospital in 2002, when the lumber mill in Fort Bragg closed down. Many people lost their jobs — and their health insurance, which had paid good rates to the hospital.
Today, about 7,000 people are left in the blue-collar town, and the economy is propped up by tourists who come to the rugged Mendocino coastline to hike or fish.
By 2012, the hospital declared bankruptcy. Now it’s barely hanging on. And some locals are worried that the only hospital in the area might close for good. Continue reading
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The holidays only come once a year, but they last for weeks—from Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s Day. Temptations go with the season, from treats at work to food-filled family celebrations to edible gifts.
If you have diabetes, you’re already familiar with managing what you eat to keep your blood sugar levels on target. Use these tips for a little extra help staying on track during this most wonderful—and challenging—time of the year.
1. Stick to your plan: Stay on your regular food, activity, and medication schedule as much as possible. Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast, and if you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs like potatoes and bread during the meal. If you slip up, get right back on track at your next meal.
2. Stay in control: It’s easier to do if you:
- Eat more slowly.
- Start with soup or vegetables to tame your appetite.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, which can open the gateway to overeating.
3. Fit in favorites: Savor a few special treats you can’t get any other time of year.
4. Stay active: Physical activity can help make up for eating more than usual, and it helps you deal with the stress of the season.
5. Get enough sleep: Too little sleep makes it harder to control your blood sugar, and it makes you hungry.
And keep in mind what the season is really about: celebrating traditions and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on family and fun, you’re likely to focus less on food. Plan ahead to enjoy the holiday season and take care of your health while you do.
For more information go to:
By Julie Appleby and Jordan Rau
Consumers seeking health policies with the most freedom in choosing doctors and hospitals are finding far fewer of those plans offered on the insurance marketplaces next year. And the premiums are rising faster than for other types of coverage.
The plans, usually known as preferred provider organizations or PPOs, pay for a portion of the costs of out-of-network hospitals and physicians.
They are the most common type offered by employers, and some consumers in the individual marketplaces find them more appealing than health maintenance organizations and other policies that pay only for medical facilities and doctors with whom they have contracts.
“Out of network providers were causing carriers to lose a lot of money, and they really needed to put their thumbs down on that.”
Only one of those would provide substantial coverage to the two hospitals her family wants access to next year, a local community facility and a children’s hospital where her 12-year-old will need special surgery.
But at $1,109 a month, the policy is twice as costly as the cheapest plans in the area. Continue reading
As of November 23, 2015, 19 people in seven states have been reported to be infected with a strain of E coli that has been linked to chicken salad sold at Costco, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. The strain is known as known as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7).
Five have been hospitalized, and 2 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported, the CDC said.
Evidence available at this time suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.
Fourteen of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before illness started.
The ongoing investigation has not identified what specific ingredient in the chicken salad is linked to illness.
Costco reported to public health officials that the company had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the U.S. and stopped further production of the product until further notice.
Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the United States on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it and should throw it away.
Even if some of the rotisserie chicken salad has been eaten and no one has gotten sick, throw the rest of the product away.
This product has a typical shelf life of 3 days and is labeled “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” with item number 37719 on the label.
By Lindsay Bosslet
Public Health – Seattle & King County
The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with local health officials, are currently investigating a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases that has been connected to Costco chicken salad.
One case has been reported in Washington state. This person, a King County resident, is a teen male who was not hospitalized. He reported eating the implicated product, which he purchased from the Shoreline Costco.
For more information on this outbreak, read this press release from Washington State Department of Health.
If you purchased this product (number 37719) from a Washington Costco, discard it and do not eat it.
People who have eaten this product and feel ill should consult with their health care provider. People usually get sick 2-8 days after getting E. coli.
PHOTO: E coli courtesy of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease
By Michelle Andrews
Many primary care practitioners will be a little poorer next year because of the expiration of a health law program that has been paying them a 10 percent bonus for caring for Medicare patients.
Some say the loss may trickle down to the patients, who could have a harder time finding a doctor or have to wait longer for appointments.
But others say the program has had little impact on their practices, if they were aware of it at all.
The incentive program began in 2011 and was designed to address disparities in Medicare reimbursements between primary care physicians and specialists.
It distributed $664 million in bonuses in 2012, the most recent year that figures are available, to roughly 170,000 primary care practitioners, awarding each an average of $3,938, according to a 2014 report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Although that may sound like a small adjustment, it can be important to a primary care practice, says Dr. Wanda Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“It’s not so much about the salary as it’s about the practice expense,” she explains. “Family medicine runs on very small margins, and sometimes on negative margins if they’re paying for electronic health records, for example. Every few thousand makes a difference.
By Lisa Gillespie
The growing abuse of prescription painkillers now touches home for a majority of Americans, according to a poll released Tuesday.
One in three say either they have been addicted to painkillers or they have known a family member or close friend who was.
That share includes those who say they know someone who died from a painkiller overdose, have been addicted themselves or know someone who has and those who know someone who took painkillers not prescribed to them, the poll’s results show. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the Foundation.)
Details from the poll:
— 16 percent say they know someone who has died and 9 percent say that person was a close friend or family member.
— 27 percent say either they have been addicted to painkillers or they have known a family member or close friend who was.
— 63 percent of whites say they have a personal connection to the abuse of prescription painkillers compared with 44 percent of blacks and 37 percent of Hispanics.
Half of those surveyed rank prescription painkiller and heroin abuse as a top priority for their governor and legislature, behind improving public education and making health care more accessible and affordable, which drew 76 percent and 68 percent shares, respectively.
Sixty-two percent of those polled said the drug Naloxone, which can reverse an overdose and is handed out in some states without a prescription and for little or no cost, should only be available via prescription.
Efforts to reduce painkiller abuse would be at least somewhat effective, many Americans say. Providing treatment for addicts is cited by 85 percent, monitoring doctors’ prescribing habits by 82 percent and encouraging people to dispose of leftover medication by 69 percent.
Kaiser’s tracking poll was conducted Nov. 10 to 17 among 1,352 adults.The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 3 percentage points.
Please contact Kaiser Health News to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
From Washington State Department of Health
Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” from Costco has been connected with at least one case of E. coli O157:H7 in Washington. Consumers who purchased this product – item number 37719 – from any Washington Costco location should discard it.
The Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other western states, are investigating E. coli illnesses from chicken salad purchased from various Costco stores in late October. Washington has confirmed one case of E. coli O157:H7 from King County, who became ill in late October. This confirmed case was not hospitalized.
Others states with confirmed E. coli cased linked to Costco chicken salad include Colorado, Montana, and Utah.
Others states with confirmed E. coli cased linked to Costco chicken salad include Colorado, Montana, and Utah. In addition to CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are working with Costco to determine the source of the contamination. Continue reading
By Susan Jaffe
Even though health problems forced Denise Scott to retire several years ago, she feels “very blessed” because her medicine is still relatively inexpensive and a subsidy for low-income Medicare beneficiaries covers the full cost of her monthly drug plan premiums. But the subsidy is not going to stretch as far next year.
That’s because the premium for Scott’s current plan will cost more than her federal subsidy.
The 64-year-old from Cleveland is among the 2 million older or disabled Americans who will have to find new coverage that accepts the subsidy as full premium payment or else pay for the shortfall.
As beneficiaries explore options during the current Medicare enrollment period, there are only 227 such plans from which they can choose next year, 20 percent fewer than this year, and the lowest number since the drug benefit was added to Medicare in 2006, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Continue reading