Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management--United States, 1998. (1/365)

From October 30 through December 23, 1998, CDC received reports of a series of bioterroristic threats of anthrax exposure. Letters alleged to contain anthrax were sent to health clinics on October 30, 1998, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During December 17-23 in California, a letter alleged to contain anthrax was sent to a private business, and three telephone threats of anthrax contamination of ventilation systems were made to private and public buildings. All threats were hoaxes and are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement officials. The public health implications of these threats were investigated to assist in developing national public health guidelines for responding to bioterrorism. This report summarizes the findings of these investigations and provides interim guidance for public health authorities on bioterrorism related to anthrax.  (+info)

Prepaid capitation versus fee-for-service reimbursement in a Medicaid population. (2/365)

Utilization of health resources by 37,444 Medicaid recipients enrolled in a capitated health maintenance organization was compared with that of 227,242 Medicaid recipients enrolled in a traditional fee-for-service system over a 1-year period (1983-1984) in the state of Kentucky. Primary care providers in the capitated program had financial incentives to reduce downstream costs like specialist referral, emergency room use, and hospitalizations. The average number of physician visits was similar for both groups (4.47/year in the capitated program; 5.09/year in the fee-for-service system). However, the average number of prescriptions (1.9 versus 4.9 per year), average number of hospital admissions per recipient (0.11 versus 0.22 per year), and average number of hospital days per 1,000 recipients (461 versus 909 per year) were 5% to 60% lower in the capitated group than in the fee-for-service group. The Citicare capitated program resulted in a dramatic reduction in healthcare resource utilization compared with the concurrent fee-for-service system for statewide Medicaid recipients.  (+info)

Subspecialist referrals in an academic, pediatric setting: rationale, rates, and compliance. (3/365)

Appropriate referrals reduce healthcare costs and enhance patient satisfaction. We evaluated the subspecialty referral pattern of a managed care general pediatric office over a 4-month period. Three-hundred-forty-six referrals (267 meeting inclusion criteria) to 24 subspecialties were generated during 4,219 office visits, with five subspecialties receiving 59% of the referrals. The main objective of each referral was management (100), diagnostic assistance (75), special procedure (63), or a combination (29). Patients kept less than half of the referral appointments, with the highest (80%) and lowest (28%) compliance rates observed in cardiology and ophthalmology, respectively. Appointments made within four weeks of the referral were more likely to be kept than those with greater lag time (P = 0.001). The subspecialists prepared written, post-consultation responses to the referring physician in 73% of cases. Presumptive and post-consultation diagnoses were congruent in 78% of those cases in which both diagnoses were noted. Overall, the managed care format enabled our practice to track referral outcomes. The subspecialists' written responses also allowed for an educational exchange between physicians. Compliance with referral appointments is a substantial problem that needs to be addressed.  (+info)

An outbreak of hepatitis A associated with an infected foodhandler. (4/365)

OBJECTIVE: The recommended criteria for public notification of a hepatitis A virus (HAV)-infected foodhandler include assessment of the foodhandler's hygiene and symptoms. In October 1994, a Kentucky health department received a report of a catering company foodhandler with hepatitis A. Patrons were not offered immune globulin because the foodhandler's hygiene was assessed to be good and he denied having diarrhea. During early November, 29 cases of hepatitis A were reported among people who had attended an event catered by this company. Two local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with two state health departments, undertook an investigation to determine the extent of the outbreak, to identify the foods and event characteristics associated with illness, and to investigate the apparent failure of the criteria for determining when immune globulin (IG) should be offered to exposed members of the public. METHODS: Cases were IgM anti-HAV-positive people with onset of symptoms during October or November who had eaten foods prepared by the catering company. To determine the outbreak's extent and factors associated with illness, the authors interviewed all case patients and the infected foodhandler and collected information on menus and other event characteristics. To investigate characteristics of events associated with transmission, the authors conducted a retrospective analysis comparing the risk of illness by selected event characteristics. To evaluate what foods were associated with illness, they conducted a retrospective cohort study of attendees of four events with high attack rates. RESULTS: A total of 91 cases were identified. At least one case was reported from 21 (51%) of the 41 catered events. The overall attack rate was 7% among the 1318 people who attended these events (range 0 to 75% per event). Attending an event at which there was no on-site sink (relative risk [RR] = 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4, 3.8) or no on-site kitchen (RR = 1.9, 95% Cl 1.1, 2.9) was associated with illness. For three events with high attack rates, eating at least one of several uncooked foods was associated with illness, with RRs ranging from 8 to undefined. CONCLUSION: A large hepatitis A outbreak resulted from an infected foodhandler with apparent good hygiene and no reported diarrhea who prepared many uncooked foods served at catered events. Assessing hygiene and symptoms s subjective, and may be difficult to accomplish. The effectiveness of the recommended criteria for determining when IG should be provided to exposed members of the public needs to be evaluated.  (+info)

Access to care for the uninsured: is access to a physician enough? (5/365)

OBJECTIVES: This study examined a private-sector, statewide program (Kentucky Physicians Care) of care for uninsured indigent persons regarding provision of preventive services. METHODS: A survey was conducted of a stratified random sample of 2509 Kentucky adults (811 with private insurance, 849 Medicaid recipients, 849 Kentucky Physicians Care recipients). RESULTS: The Kentucky Physicians Care group had significantly lower rates of receipt of preventive services. Of the individuals in this group, 52% cited cost as the primary reason for not receiving mammography, and 38% had not filled prescribed medicines in the previous year. CONCLUSIONS: Providing free access to physicians fills important needs but is not sufficient for many uninsured patients to receive necessary preventive services.  (+info)

Deaths among children aged < or =5 years from farm machinery runovers--Iowa, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, 1995-1998, and United States, 1990-1995. (6/365)

Children who reside on family farms are exposed to unique hazards. Young children may be present where work is being done and may wander into areas where machines are operating or may be passengers on these machines. This report describes four fatal incidents in Iowa, Kentucky, and Wisconsin in which young children were run over by farm machinery, summarizes national mortality data to characterize this problem, and provides recommendations for expanded prevention efforts.  (+info)

Do aftercare services reduce inpatient psychiatric readmissions? (7/365)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether aftercare services reduce the likelihood that children and adolescents will be readmitted to inpatient psychiatric facilities. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Analyses of data from the Fort Bragg Demonstration. Data were based on 204 sample individuals (children and adolescents), all of whom were discharged from inpatient facilities during the study period. STUDY DESIGN: These analyses use hazard modeling to examine the impact of aftercare services on the likelihood of readmission. Comparisons of individuals for whom the timing of aftercare services differ are adjusted for a wide range of individual characteristics, including client demographics, diagnosis, symptomatology, and psychosocial functioning. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Detailed data on psychopathology, symptomatology, and psychosocial functioning were collected on individuals included in these analyses. This information was taken from structured diagnostic interviews and behavior checklists, including the Child Behavior Checklist and Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, completed by the child and his or her caretaker. Information on the use of mental health services was taken from insurance claims and a management information system, and was used to identify the period from discharge to readmission and to describe the client's use of outpatient therapy, case management, intermediate (or stepdown) services, and residential treatment centers during this period. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS/CONCLUSIONS: Using Cox models that allow for censoring and that include the use of aftercare services as time-varying covariates, we find that aftercare services generally do not influence the likelihood of inpatient readmission. For the lower middle class families included in this study, the estimated effect of aftercare is not statistically significant and has limited practical significance. When we look at specific forms of aftercare, we find that outpatient therapy has the largest effect and that stepdown services in intermediate settings have the smallest. We also identify family and individual characteristics that influence the likelihood of readmission.  (+info)

Consensus for tobacco policy among former state legislators using the policy Delphi method. (8/365)

OBJECTIVE: To test a novel approach for building consensus about tobacco control policies among legislators. DESIGN: A pilot study was conducted using a two-round, face-to-face policy Delphi method. PARTICIPANTS: Randomly selected sample of 30 former Kentucky legislators (60% participation rate). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Consensus on tobacco control and tobacco farming policies. RESULTS: Former state legislators were more supportive of tobacco control policies than expected, and highly supportive of lessening the state's dependence on tobacco. Former state legislators were in agreement with 43% of the second-round items for which there was no agreement at the first round, demonstrating a striking increase in consensus. With new information from their colleagues, former lawmakers became more supportive of workplace smoking restrictions, limitations on tobacco promotional items, and modest excise tax increases. CONCLUSIONS: The policy Delphi method has the potential for building consensus for tobacco control and tobacco farming policies among state legislators. Tobacco control advocates in other states might consider using the policy Delphi method with policymakers in public and private sectors.  (+info)