Newsroom

Provider alert from BCHHS Public Health: Pertussis outbreak in Henderson County

December 6, 2017

As you are likely aware, an outbreak of pertussis is currently happening in Henderson County – as of last night, 10 cases have been identified, affecting numerous schools. Investigation and contact tracing by Henderson County Department of Public Health is ongoing. Additionally, other surrounding counties have confirmed cases.

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CMS updates Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model for 2019

November 22, 2017

CMS updates Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model for 2019
Expansion of model to 25 total states to provide Medicare beneficiaries with more choices and lower costs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced several updates to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model for 2019 that encourages customized benefit designs and flexibilities that meet the health needs of beneficiaries in a total of 25 states.   

“This Administration is committed to making sure that our seniors have more choices and lower premiums in their Medicare Advantage plans,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “CMS expects that this demonstration will provide insights into future innovations for the Medicare Advantage program.”

CMS recently announced in the Medicare Advantage and Part D proposed rule that it is providing new flexibility for customized benefit designs that address the specific health needs of certain beneficiaries under Medicare Advantage. This allows additional plan variety and options, reduced cost sharing for customized benefits and different cost-sharing for beneficiaries that meet specific medical criteria

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National Patient Advocate Foundation Invites Asheville to Share “What Matters to You?”

November 21, 2017

MAHEC hosts RWJF-funded workshop on December 7 to support shared decision making for patients

On December 7, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host the first of two national skilled communications workshops to support shared decision making in healthcare.

"Person-centered care requires that patients and providers have the communications skills to talk about what matters at critical points in the treatment process,” shares Gwen Darien, NPAF executive vice president for patient advocacy. “This workshop brings patients, providers and community advocates together to identify and develop those skills.”

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Buncombe Commissioners To Announce Joining the Fight Against Opioid Distributors

November 14, 2017

Buncombe County Commissioners will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 to announce the filing of a lawsuit in the fight against the distribution of opioids.

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MAHEC Partners with Mission Health To Provide Obstetrical Life Support Training

November 13, 2017

The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is offering Basic Life Support in Obstetrics (BLSOSM) trainings on November 30 and December 11 at its Biltmore campus to help healthcare providers, first responders and emergency personnel effectively manage normal deliveries and obstetrical emergencies.

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International Expert on Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy to Speak at MAHEC

November 6, 2017

On Monday, November 13, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will welcome
Dr. Hendrée Jones from UNC Chapel Hill to discuss strategies for improving health outcomes for women with opioid use disorder during pregnancy.

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Public Health Provider Alert from BCHHS: Advice for Health Care Providers Treating Patients in or Recently Returned from Hurricane-Affected Areas, Including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

October 25, 2017

CDC issued the attached Health Advisory on 10/24/17 to remind clinicians assessing patients currently in or recently returned from hurricane-affected areas to be vigilant in looking for certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza.

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Opioid Prescription Practices in Western North Carolina

October 25, 2017

In 2005 this patient went in for surgery to correct a deviated septum. The surgery was successful and he was discharged home with a prescription for 30 Percocet tablets. His recovery was uneventful and when he went back for a re-check and reported that he had not needed to take any of the pain pills he was given the surgeon informed him that this was pretty much a “painless surgery.” When he asked why he been given the 30 pills he was told it was “expected.”

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As a reminder, physicians in NC are required by state law (NC General Statute § 130A-135) to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to the local health department.

October 2, 2017

The BCHHS Communicable Disease phone and fax lines are back in service.  If you tried to call or fax a communicable disease report to us on 9/30 or 10/1, please resend that information at this time to ensure we have all the information we need.

 

In general, BCHHS Communicable Disease staff are available 24/7 by calling 828-250-5109 or fax at 828-250-6169.

  •  If you ever try to contact them at these numbers and are unable to leave a message or your fax fails to go through, please contact me at 828-989-6145 or Ellis Vaughan, our Clinical Services Coordinator, at 828-545-6740.

 

As a reminder, physicians in NC are required by state law (NC General Statute § 130A-135) to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to the local health department. The Communicable Disease report form for Buncombe County is located at https://www.buncombecounty.org/common/health/Morb_Card.pdf. Please review the list of reportable diseases and conditions on the form, as well as the time frame for reporting them to public health.

Finally, we have had situations where health care providers have been hesitant to share protected health information with our Communicable Disease nurses during their investigations. Please understand that release of this information is allowable under HIPAA. See the attached memo from the NC DHHS for specifics.

Thanks for working with us to identify, contain and manage communicable diseases in our community.

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Public Health Provider Alert From BCHHS: Updated Guidance on Care of Pregnant Women With Possible Zika Exposure

September 15, 2017

This memo is intended to provide updated guidance on Zika virus testing and caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure.

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Submission from NCRHLA on Proposed Design for Medicaid Managed Care

September 13, 2017

The North Carolina Rural Health Leadership Alliance (NCRHLA), a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, appreciates this opportunity to submit feedback ont he North Carolina Proposed Program Design for Medicaid Managed Care. 

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Vaya, MAHEC Make Opioid Overdose-Reversal Kits Available to Buncombe County Schools

September 6, 2017

Buncombe County Schools are now better prepared to prevent fatal overdoses on campus thanks to collaborative efforts by Vaya Health, MAHEC and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

 

On Wednesday, September 6, Lieutenant Mike Ruby of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office delivered opioid overdose-reversal kits and training to student resource officers for more than 14 Buncombe County middle and high schools in Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe, Owen, Reynolds, and Roberson school districts.


Each kit contains two doses of NARCAN® nasal spray, the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, which can be administered by student resource officers and school nurses for emergency treatment of a suspected opioid overdose. These kits were made possible through a state grant to Vaya Health, a regional public managed healthcare organization.

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BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists

August 30, 2017

Clinicians are encouraged to take the following actions when caring for an individual with a recent tattoo:

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From the APHA: Administration Shows Disregard for Research, Preference for Anti-Evidence Policy

August 28, 2017

In the first half of this week, the Trump administration has shown a disregard for science and evidence when it comes to the environment and safeguarding health.

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Public Health Alert from BCHHS: CDC Advisory About Invasive Meningococcal Disease

July 10, 2017

From the CDC: Patients Receiving Eculizumab (Soliris®) at High Risk for Invasive Meningococcal Disease Despite Vaccination

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