Commentary: Creative use of data helps fight the opioid epidemic
Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have increased almost six times since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 47,000 people in 2017, and a third of those deaths involved prescription medications. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has expanded its data tool involving opioid prescriptions. Its update to... Read more
CMS mapping tool on prescriptions helps communities fight opioid crisis
This Commentary is written by Jean Moody-Williams, regional CMS administrator Leveraging community partnerships and critical data is one of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ key strategies to help tailor prevention and treatment efforts to combat the opioid crisis, particularly in rural communities. With that aim, CMS launched... Read more
One-quarter of Georgia hospitals penalized over patient safety problems
One in four Georgia hospitals will be paid less by Medicare due to high rates of infections and patient injuries. The 27 percent figure of eligible Georgia hospitals facing penalties is slightly above the national average, which is 25 percent.   The Georgia hospitals facing pay reductions include some... Read more
Bill would protect tenants facing unhealthy living conditions
Water leaks and sewage overflows. Rampant mold. Rat infestation. Residents’ descriptions of such conditions in some Cobb County apartment complexes recently underscored the breadth of environmental hazards that tenants can face. In Georgia, renters have the right to complain about unlivable conditions, and landlords have a legal duty to make... Read more
Legionnaires’ disease on the rise, and experts not sure why
Cases of Legionnaires’ disease have quadrupled in Georgia over the past 10 years, public health statistics show. That increase mirrors a national trend, with U.S. cases up fivefold since 2000. About 80 percent of Georgia outbreaks have occurred in health care facilities, according to Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist. Legionella... Read more

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