Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Health and Fitness

Bridgeport Hospital CEO: ‘Healthcare Act Not Working’

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William M. Jennings, president and CEO of Bridgeport Hospital, told the Westport Rotary Club today that the Affordable Healthcare Act “is not working for us.”  In response to a question, Jennings said the legislation has not reduced emergency room activity or changed the profiles of the types of patients being seen. “The Healthcare Act has not been a positive experience for us so far,” he said. Jennings noted that Bridgeport Hospital’s cost basis is among the lowest in the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westporter: ‘Hail Mary Pass Better Than Getting Tackled’

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Richard Bunting of Westport was among those who appealed to legislators in Hartford today to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental treatments that have not yet received FDA approval.

He told the Public Health Committee that his wife, Mary, has multiple sclerosis and cannot tolerate the medications that are currently available. He said has cancer that is in remission, but it has no treatment.

When you have cancer, doctors tell you to try this or that, said Bunting, 63. “And then one day, they tell you, ‘We’ve tried everything.’”

He said he wishes people like his wife had better access to experimental drugs. “A Hail Mary pass is better than laying down to get tackled,” he said.

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Anthem Says Hackers Stole Customers’ Personal Information

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Hackers targeting health insurer Anthem gained access to personal information on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees across the country, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

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Gov. Dannel P Malloy addresses a news conference on the Anthem data breach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas/CTmirror.org photo

The company said cyber attackers had obtained personal information including names, birth dates, medical identification and Social Security numbers, street and email addresses and employment information, including income data. There was no evidence that credit card or medical information had been compromised, according to a statement from Anthem President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish.

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Comings & Goings: SoulCycle to Compo Acres

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SoulCycle, a salon for physical fitness spinning, will open at 372 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center sometime in 2015, according to an employee in SoulCycle’s Greenwich salon.The New York-based business, founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, now has 30 salons around the country including 13 in New York City and others in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Massachusetts, California and Washington, D.C. The Westport salon, located between Patriot National Bank and Choice Pet Supply is “months off from opening,” according to a worker for KBE Construction, contractors for New York-based Equity One, owners and property managers of the shopping center. It will open in the space previously occupied by Joseph A. Bank, which has moved to 260 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Packed Library Program on Ebola

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A standing room only crowd, including Staples High SchoolAP Environmental Studies students, came to the Westport Library tonight to hear Dr. Eric Starbuck, Save the Children advisor on child Health and pandemic preparedness, speak about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the impact of the first U.S. cases. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

CT to Handle Quarantines on Case-by-Case Basis

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut will require all travelers from the West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus to be actively monitored, require those who meet certain risk factors to be quarantined, and will decide each case individually, according to a statement released by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office Monday night.

The stated policy appears less stringent than one the Malloy administration issued Oct. 16, which said all asymptomatic people who come to Connecticut from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, or who have been in contact with someone with Ebola, would be quarantined. But an administration spokesman said the procedures outlined Monday are in line with what the state has implemented in the past week. Public health officials said last week that they could use discretion in handling individual cases.

State policies for addressing people possibly exposed to the deadly virus have received significant scrutiny in recent days following the diagnosis of Ebola in a New York City physician who had recently returned from volunteering in Guinea with the group Doctors Without Borders.

Soon after, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced mandatory quarantine policies for returning medical workers last week, triggering a backlash from public health experts.They warned that mandatory quarantines for medical providers showing no symptoms were not scientifically justified and could reduce the willingness of health care workers to volunteer to fight the outbreak in West Africa.

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Ebola Prompts Malloy to Declare Health Emergency

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE Even though no Ebola virus cases have been reported in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today declared a public health emergency in the state because of the outbreak.

Malloy signed an order that gives the commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) the power “to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals” who may have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.

In a statement, Malloy’s office stressed the quarantine is not due to a specific case being identified, “but rather as a precautionary and preparatory measure,”  whether it is confirmed or potential case in Connecticut.

“Right now, we have no reason to think that anyone in the state is infected or at risk of infection,” Malloy said. “But it is essential to be prepared, and we need to have the authorities in place that will allow us to move quickly to protect public health, if and when that becomes necessary. Signing this order will allow us to do that.”

Access Health CT Chief Leaving for Fed Job

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

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Kevin Counihan: led Access Health CT through a relatively smooth launch. Ctmirror.org photo

Kevin Counihan is resigning as the chief executive of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange to lead the once-troubled federal Obamacare marketplace, officials announced today.

As CEO of the federal exchange, Counihan will assume responsibility for the HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace, a crucial piece of the Affordable Care Act that is used to enroll people in coverage in nearly three dozen states.

The federal exchange’s launch last fall was considered disastrous, and Counihan’s appointment comes less than three months before the Nov. 15 start of the second open enrollment period for private insurance.

Counihan will also run the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a part of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that plays a key role in implementing the health law.

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Connecticut and Climate Change: ‘We Get it Here’

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut met an initial goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and is on track to meet the next goal of going 10-percent those levels by 2020, according to a progress report issued today.

“We know that greenhouse gases are in fact affecting our environment, at least we believe that in this part of the country, and have precious little debate about it, I might add,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released the report at Crest, a heating-and-cooling company in Hartford that spent $145,000 to install rooftop solar energy panels that are saving the firm $22,000 annually.

Solar energy is growing in Connecticut, but the biggest reduction in carbon pollution came from the state’s shift from coal to natural gas to produce electricity. Emissions in the power sector have dropped 31 percent since 1990 and 22 percent since 2005.

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