Weekly Dose of Health News October 14 2014

The United Hospital Fund has issued a new report on their Preventable Hospital Readmission Initiative, started in 2011. The report looks at several New York City Hospitals and their work that included staffing enhancements, patient and caregiver education, medication management and electronic health record system enhancements.

Governor Cuomo announced the New York State Ending the Epidemic Task Force, a key component of his Campaign to End AIDS. You can see the release here. The Task Force is in charge of developing a plan to meet the Campaign goals. The first meeting was in Troy, New York this week. There are four additional meetings scheduled in Troy and New York City. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations for potential inclusion in the Executive Budget submission in January.

There can be a considerable difference between a person’s fitness age and chronological age. A lower fitness age could potentially increase a person’s lifespan. This New York Times blog post discusses a new report which finds that life expectancy in the U.S. continues to climb. The increase has been dramatic over time and racial disparities have narrowed.

The New York State Department of Health has issued a regulatory proposal to certify ACOs, or Accountable Care Organizations, this week.

This is from New York State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson on the appointment of a DSRIP Director: I am pleased to announce that Peggy Chan has accepted the position of DSRIP Director in the Office of Health Insurance Programs, Department of Health.  She will be joining our team on October 20, 2014.  Peggy previously worked for the New York Presbyterian Hospital as the Director of the Office of Care Management, Community Health.  She has over 25 years of experience in the health care field and an extensive background in health plan operations and care management.

Greater New York Hospital Association and 1199/SEIU are sponsoring this Ebola education seminar on October 20. Featured presenters are Thomas Freidan, MD MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mary Bassett, MD, MPH New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Howard Zucker, MD, JD Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Health.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has released an Ebola preparedness plan. And here is a statement from the New York State Department of Health on the infected Texas health care worker and New York’s readiness. Here is a joint statement from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Health and Hospitals Corporation. President Obama is considering appointing an Ebola Czar.

The New York State Office of Mental Health has announced new funding for mental health programs in the Hudson Valley and Long Island.

The September 18 DURB meeting summary has been updated with final determinations by the Commissioner for the Preferred Drug Program portion of the meeting.

Here is an update on Senator Carlucci’s mental health hearing scheduled for Rockland County.