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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Healthcare Workers - AIDS & Hepatitis C 

     

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Healthcare professionals are a high-risk occupational group for exposure and infection rates. In some areas of the world, if a health care worker is positive for an infectious disease, (s)he may be denied employment in a specific or for the total area of healthcare. Laws have been enacted that will deny employment of a health care worker if this worker is positive. (This action gives the general public a false sense of security.) Some hospitals are currently requiring health care professionals to pass a pre-employment medical to determine the health care status of this potential new hire.
Needle stick injuries are not uncommon. Thousands of health care workers each year are injected with patients' blood when needles that have been used to perform often life-saving procedures suddenly become virulent projectiles penetrating a palm, a wrist, a finger, a thigh. Approximately 800,000 U.S. health care workers will be injured by patient needles this year, according to estimates used by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Combined estimates from the CDC and EPINet-a computer-based standardized injury tracking system used by about 1,500 U.S. hospitals-suggest that more than 2,000 of those workers will test positive for new infections of hepatitis C, another 400 will get hepatitis B and 35 will contract the AIDS virus.
While AIDS is the most feared infection, hepatitis B and C are also serious and life threatening. Both diseases can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis and cancer. A vaccine is available for hepatitis B, which has helped reduce the number of health care workers infected each year from a high of 17,000 in 1983.
"Every year up to a million health-care workers receive a needle stick, and for many it is a death sentence," says Andrew Stern, international president of Service Employees International Union, the largest health care workers' union in the country, which is campaigning to have all workers use specially designed safety needles. "It's an outrage. This is a preventable crisis. More die of needle sticks than died in the ValuJet crash, but ValuJet sparked all kinds of investigation."
The Hepatitis C Virus epidemic brings large risks to workers' compensation programs and requires new risk management techniques. The workers' compensation industry has generally not recognized these risks, although it is becoming aware of the new challenges that the Hepatitis C Virus epidemic brings. There is much uncertainty about employers' and insurers' liabilities for Hepatitis C Virus-infected workers. The authors intend that, by presenting the results of our actuarial analysis, this report will help define the issues and that our recommendations will reduce the industry's long-term financial exposure.

 


Document Name & Link to Document

Description

File Size /Type

A Portrait of the HIV+ Population in America Despite the dramatic growth in our knowledge about HIV/AIDS treatment over the past 15 years, several fundamental questions about HIV care still exist: How many persons in the United States receive regular care for HIV infection? What are the characteristics of that population? How much care do HIV-infected individuals use, how much does it cost, and who pays for it? Policymakers, researchers, and the national community depend upon reliable answers to these questions to help guide their decisions in allocating future resources to HIV treatment and research.  
Chronic Disease Management: Evidence of Predictable Savings The available research evaluates different interventions and different diseases in different settings among different populations according to different methodologies. Not surprisingly, the findings of these studies vary. However, an evidence base characterized by heterogeneity leading to mixed results is not the same thing as “no evidence.” Our reading of a wide range of peer-reviewed literature was designed to pierce the veil of heterogeneity that defines the evidence base. Our analysis leads to the conclusion that well-designed care management programs can generate a positive “rate of return on investment” Pfd 414 kb

Colorado House Committee Passes Bill Requiring Coverage for Hepatitis C Treatment for Emergency Services Workers

Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill  that would allow firefighters, police officers and emergency services workers to receive workers' compensation coverage for hepatitis C treatment

 

Continuation of article re: Needle Stick Risk

Hundreds of medical workers become infected with the AIDS or hepatitis viruses from accidental punctures each year

 

 

Direct cost of needle sticks and blood exposures

Approximately 800,000 U.S. health care workers will be injured by patient needles this year, according to estimates used by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

PDF  48KB

Health care exposure

Exposure to toxins and infectious diseases from occupations

PDF  471KB

Health care fraud

Insurance Magazine report-mid way is report about Healthcare fraud

PDF  346KB

Health Spending Projections Through 2013 The rate of growth in national health expenditures is projected to fall to 7.8 percent in 2003 because of slower private and public spending growth. However, during the next ten years health spending growth is expected to outpace economic growth. As a result, the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase from 14.9 percent in 2002 to 18.4 percent in 2013. The recently passed Medicare drug benefit legislation (not included in these projections) is not anticipated to have a large impact on overall national health spending, but it can be expected to cause sizable shifts in payment sources.  
HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE OF Southeast Asian American Elders While Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants have the Vietnam War, refugee experiences and acculturation issues in common, there is wide diversity within and across the ethnic groups that comprise the Southeast Asian population. These include: degree of Westernization and acculturation, education and literacy in the home country; migration history; social class and social backgrounds; English and other linguistic skills; social supports; age at immigration, and years in the United States.  

HEALTHCARE WORKERS SORE OVER NEEDLES FDA WON’T BAN

A nursing safety expert asked how many hundreds of medical workers need to die from contaminated needle sticks before the agency bans standard needles and syringes that are causing the injuries.

 

Insurance Personnel Within the private sector, the insurance industry has been at the forefront of the societal response to HIV/AIDS, often in the ‘firing-line’ from AIDS activists resulting from the industry’s HIV testing policies. Pdf 372 kb
POLICY FOR STUDENTS EXPOSED TO OR INFECTED WITH HEPATITIS B VIRUS, HEPATITIS C VIRUS, HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS OR OTHER BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) have developed guidelines and recommendations on measures to be taken by the health care community to avoid the transmission of bloodborne pathogens. These policies emphasize the teaching and practice of universal precautions. In addition, these guidelines and recommendations have suggested that an infected Health Care Worker (HCW) not engage in exposure prone invasive procedures, although these procedures have not been specified. Further, the original CDC recommendations published in 1990 did not encourage virus specific management strategies. Since these original documents, additional epidemiologic data has been accumulated in order to provide evidence based decision-making opportunities for protecting both the HCW and the patient when an exposure to blood or body fluids has occurred.  

Tip of iceberg

Insurance Report warning looming Hepatitis C Virus crisis to the Health Care Industry

PDF 445KB

Trends in Access to Routine Care and Experiences with Care-2001 The quality of the health care received by Americans is an issue of public policy concern for several reasons.  First, the level of quality of the health care delivery system affects the capacity to provide timely, accessible, effective and efficient medical care to the population in need of services.  Secondly, estimates of quality of health care are vital to evaluate the costs and outcomes of health care delivery and to help identify potential areas where improvements are necessary.  Finally, all components of the population may not be receiving care equally. Pdf 513 kb
Withholding and Withdrawing Life-prolonging Treatments: Good Practice in Decision-making This guidance develops the advice in Good Medical Practice and Seeking Patients' Consent: The Ethical Considerations It sets out the standards of practice expected of doctors when they consider whether to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging treatments.  

Workers Compensation Report

Insurance Report- The Hepatitis C Epidemic: A Significant Risk for Workers’ Compensation

 

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