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Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Justice

During Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, the Federal government won or negotiated over $2.3 billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements , and it attained additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. As a result of these efforts, as well as those of preceding years, in FY 2014, approximately $3.3 billion returned to the Federal government or paid to private persons. Of this $3.3 billion, the Medicare Trust Funds3 received transfers of approximately $1.9 billion during this period, and over $523 million in Federal Medicaid money was similarly transferred separately to the Treasury as a result of these efforts. The HCFAC account has returned over $27.8 billion to the Medicare Trust Funds since the inception of the Program in 1997.

In FY 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened 924 new criminal health care fraud investigations. Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in 496 cases involving 805 defendants. A total of 734 defendants were convicted of health care fraud-related crimes during the year. Also in FY 2014, DOJ opened 782 new civil health care fraud investigations and had 957 civil health care fraud matters pending at the end of the fiscal year. In FY 2014, the FBI investigative efforts resulted in over 605 operational disruptions of criminal fraud organizations and the dismantlement of the criminal hierarchy of more than 142 health care fraud criminal enterprises.

Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014

March 23, 2015 Comments off

Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In 2014, a total of 9,412 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, with an incidence rate of 3.0* cases per 100,000 persons, a decrease of 2.2% from 2013 (1). Although overall numbers of TB cases and rates continue to decline, the percentage decrease in rate is the smallest decrease in over a decade (1). This report summarizes provisional TB surveillance data reported to CDC’s National Tuberculosis Surveillance System for 2014. TB cases and rates decreased among U.S.-born persons, and although the case rate also decreased among foreign-born persons,† there was an increase in total number of cases among foreign-born persons. The rate among foreign-born persons in the United States in 2014 was 13.4 times higher than among U.S.-born persons. Racial/ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by TB within the United States. Asians continue to be the racial/ethnic group with the largest number of TB cases. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, the TB rate among Asians was 28.5 times higher, whereas rates among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were each eight times higher. Four states (California, Texas, New York, and Florida), representing approximately one third of the U.S. population, accounted for half of all TB cases reported in 2014. Continued progress toward TB elimination in the United States will require focused TB control efforts among populations and in geographic areas with disproportionate burdens of TB.

Child Maltreatment — 2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections

March 20, 2015 Comments off

2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

The 2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections was created primarily to support community-based child abuse prevention professionals who work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being.

+ Download PDF version.
+ Order (free) print copy.

Invasive Cancer Incidence and Survival — United States, 2011

March 18, 2015 Comments off

Invasive Cancer Incidence and Survival — United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Because of improvements in early detection and treatment of cancer, the proportion of persons with cancer who survive ≥5 years after diagnosis has increased (1). To assess progress toward achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives (2),* CDC analyzed data from U.S. Cancer Statistics (USCS) for 2011, the most recent data available. USCS includes incidence and survival data from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (3). In 2011, a total of 1,532,066 invasive cancers were reported to cancer registries in the United States (excluding Nevada), for an annual incidence rate of 451 cases per 100,000 persons. Cancer incidence rates were higher among males (508) than females (410), highest among black persons (458), and ranged by state, from 374 to 509 per 100,000 persons (339 in Puerto Rico). The proportion of persons with cancer who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis was 65% and was similar among males (65%) and females (65%) but lower among black persons (60%) compared with white persons (65%). Surveillance of cancer incidence and survival are essential for identifying population groups with high cancer incidence rates and low cancer survival rates as well as for estimating the number of cancer survivors, which was 13.7 million in 2012 (1). These data are being used by states to effectively develop comprehensive cancer control programs, including supporting the needs of cancer survivors.

Systems for Rapidly Detecting and Treating Persons with Ebola Virus Disease — United States

March 17, 2015 Comments off

Systems for Rapidly Detecting and Treating Persons with Ebola Virus Disease — United States
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC, other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and international partners are taking multiple steps to respond to the current Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa to reduce its toll there and to reduce the chances of international spread. At the same time, CDC and HHS are working to ensure that persons who have a risk factor for exposure to Ebola and who develop symptoms while in the United States are rapidly identified and isolated, and safely receive treatment. HHS and CDC have actively worked with state and local public health authorities and other partners to accelerate health care preparedness to care for persons under investigation (PUI) for Ebola or with confirmed Ebola. This report describes some of these efforts and their impact.

FDA releases final guidance on reprocessing of reusable medical devices

March 17, 2015 Comments off

FDA releases final guidance on reprocessing of reusable medical devices
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced new actions to enhance the safety of reusable medical devices and address the possible spread of infectious agents between uses.

The new recommendations are outlined in a final industry guidance aimed at helping device manufacturers develop safer reusable devices, especially those devices that pose a greater risk of infection.

Medical devices intended for repeated use are commonplace in health care settings. They are typically made of durable substances that can withstand reprocessing, a multi-step process designed to remove soil and contaminants by cleaning and to inactivate microorganisms by disinfection or sterilization. While the majority of reusable devices are successfully reprocessed in health care settings, the complex design of some devices makes it harder to remove contaminants.

FDA’s guidance document, titled “Reprocessing Medical Devices in Health Care Settings: Validation Methods and Labeling” includes recommendations medical device manufacturers should follow pre-market and post-market for the safe and effective use of reprocessed devices.

Dental Caries and Sealant Prevalence in Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011–2012

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Dental Caries and Sealant Prevalence in Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2012

  • Approximately 23% of children aged 2–5 years had dental caries in primary teeth.
  • Untreated tooth decay in primary teeth among children aged 2–8 was twice as high for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children compared with non-Hispanic white children.
  • Among those aged 6–11, 27% of Hispanic children had any dental caries in permanent teeth compared with nearly 18% of non-Hispanic white and Asian children.
  • About three in five adolescents aged 12–19 had experienced dental caries in permanent teeth, and 15% had untreated tooth decay.
  • Dental sealants were more prevalent for non-Hispanic white children (44%) compared with non-Hispanic black and Asian children (31% each) aged 6–11.
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