Saturday, February 2, 2013
Early spike in flu cases may not be the last one; officials recommend getting a flu shot.
Saturday, February 2
As influenza illness levels begin to subside across the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reminds all Rhode Islanders that it is not too late to be vaccinated against influenza. “Although we saw an early spike in influenza cases this flu season, it is important to note that we could see the number of influenza cases rise again before the flu season officially ends in May,” said Michael Fine, M.D., director of HEALTH, adding that Rhode Island has seen 769 hospitalizations since the department began tracking confirmed influenza cases on Oct. 1, 2012. That number reflects a higher total number of hospitalizations for influenza than initially reported, as HEALTH’s staff has re-evaluated data reported by the state’s …
Friday, January 4, 2013
Director of HEALTH: It's not too late to protect yourself, family, friends.
With Rhode Island now in peak flu season and flu-related hospitalization rates climbing throughout the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health reminds all Rhode Islanders it is not too late to be vaccinated against influenza. “Influenza usually hits Rhode Island the hardest in January and February. This year, flu has been widespread in Rhode Island since early December, which means we could be facing one of the harshest flu seasons we have seen in years,” said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. “Anyone older than six months of age who has not been vaccinated against the flu should be vaccinated as soon as possible. By getting your flu shot, you are protecting yourself and your loved ones by helping to prevent the spread of the …
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Local authority among 16 receiving kudos for combating second hand smoke threat.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) recently recognized 16 of the state’s 25 public housing authorities, including the Woonsocket Housing Authority, for implementing smoking bans in their units. The DOH called the move an important step in combating potential exposures to second-hand smoke that were highlighted in a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 16 public housing authorities that have implemented bans include Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Cranston, Cumberland, Lincoln, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, Smithfield, South Kingstown, Warren, Warwick, West Warwick, Westerly, and Woonsocket. An estimated 27 to 29 million Americans living in multi-unit housing are exposed to second-…
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Department grants request after BCBSRI agreed to tell physicians with admitting privileges only at Landmark that they wouldn't be penalized.
The RI Department of Health has granted Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s (BCBSRI) request to suspend the process to remove Landmark Hospital from its coverage network. The OK came with a caveat, though: First, Blue Cross had to agree to tell physicians with admitting privileges only at Landmark that they wouldn't be penalized. The company had notified physicians in July that it would require them to seek admitting privileges at another participating hospital. “HEALTH recognized the difficult position that Landmark physicians faced in this situation,” said Michael Fine, MD, director of the RI Department of Health. “We requested that Blue Cross notify physicians that they are not required to have admitting privileges at a Blue …