Business, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, Long Term Care

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda Issues Statement on COVID-19 Outbreak at Orinda Convalescent Facility

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. -- At least 49 people test positive for the novel coronavirus at Orinda nursing home. "We are saddened to find out about the situation at the Orinda Care Center, where it has been reported 27 residents and 22 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19," says Nicole Howell, executive director of Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda.

"These seniors are our community's most vulnerable and valuable members, and they deserve access to the highest level of care and protection we can provide. Ombudsman Services is privileged to serve these residents, and we are on standby to offer support and resources to them during this challenging time."

Nicole adds, "It is almost surreal that we are all faced with a situation that just a month ago, we could not have fathomed. We are hopeful as we see our country and communities rise to the challenge, seeking to protect our most vulnerable, but there is so much more to be done. This local outbreak underscores the urgent need for us to double up on our commitments to practice all safety guidelines for this virus while working to maintain high engagement and connection with our seniors. We call on all members of our community to connect with the old adults in their lives via phone call, Zoom, social media, email, and other forms of digital communication."

"Unfortunately, our most vulnerable seniors are those in long-term care facilities like Orinda Care Center, and they require the most protection. To ensure their safety, it is of utmost importance that facilities and caregivers have access to all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)," Howell goes on to say. "Further, facility staff should only be working at one facility to prevent possible spread to other facilities and should be compensated accordingly."

Nicole emphasizes, "We call upon cities, counties, elected officials, and all citizens to engage in this process and ensure that senior care facilities have the necessary supplies, food, and means to keep their residents safe. We hope you will all join us in taking a stand and ensuring that our seniors are safe."

About Nicole Howell:
As the executive director for Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda, Nicole is responsible for ensuring that the nearly 500,000 seniors in those counties have access to the highest level of care and respect and, above all, are able to live free of abuse and neglect.

Throughout her decadelong career in the nonprofit community, Nicole has helped cultivate change through a belief that there are power and equity in shared leadership. She believes that powerful leadership is met with equal parts enthusiasm, engagement, and connection to the team and those you are working with.

"I've always had a passion for the nonprofit community, but when I became part of Ombudsman Services, something just clicked. I quickly found myself becoming a fierce advocate for seniors and dependent adults and was driven to immerse myself in culture-changing initiatives and person-centered care philosophies. It's a true honor to be able to use my voice for those who don't quite know how to or can't."

An avid speaker on all topics on elder advocacy and elder justice, Nicole is honored to serve and be a part of the Solano Partners Against Violence as a Solano County appointed board member, a member of the Core Project Team for the Alliance to End Abuse, a member of the Steering Committee for the California Elder Justice Coalition, a member of the Council for Age-Friendly Communities - Alameda County, a board member for the Trinity Center - Contra Costa County, a member of the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek Sunrise, and 2020 Walnut Creek Chair for Wine, Women, and Shoes.

About Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda:

Ombudsman Services is the only organization mandated by law to make unannounced visits to long-term care facilities to ensure that residents are free from abuse and are receiving quality care. We have been aiding the community for more than 40 years and all services are free of charge. We serve Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda Counties with our team of highly trained Ombudsman staff and volunteers.

For more information, visit https://www.ccsombudsman.org/

Related link: https://www.ccsombudsman.org/

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Business, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, Product Launches, Religion and Churches

TryTank Experimental Lab launches ‘Dial-A-Priest’

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- TryTank Experimental Lab is making Dial-A-Priest available to hospitals around the country starting Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Dial-A-Priest is a free service that connects callers to an Episcopal clergyperson who can offer the "Ministration at the Time of Death" from the Book of Common Prayer by telephone to hospital patients.

The hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at (213) 423-3600. The number can easily be found at www.dialapriest.com. On mobile devices the site functions as one-click dialing.

"The anticipated number of people who will die from this pandemic will be too large for our hospitals medically and has already exceeded what the Church can respond to pastorally," said the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, director of the TryTank. "Too many people are dying at the same time, and without the physical presence of a local pastor. This is a way to use the gifts of clergy from all over the United States to help where there is the most need."

While the clergy on the hotline are all Episcopal, they will offer the prayers to any person who wishes to receive them.

After conceiving the idea, TryTank put out a call to mainly retired Episcopal priests through Facebook and other channels. Within hours more than 75 volunteers had been screened and were undergoing orientation on how to use the system.

"What strikes me about this tragedy is how alone everyone is. We are all alone in our various isolations," the Rev. Alice Downs said. "But through this project I can reach into someone's aloneness. From way over here on an island off the coast of Maine I can say to someone dying alone those ancient sacred words that bind us as one people."

TryTank Experimental Laboratory for Church Growth and Innovation is a joint project between Virginia Theological Seminary and the General Theological Seminary. TryTank offers inventive approaches to the challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Working in partnership across the Episcopal Church, TryTank works to understand the forces threatening the church in order to identify creative ways to equip future leaders to reinvigorate the church.

Learn more at: https://www.dialapriest.com/

*PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/20-0406s2p-Rev-Lebrija-300dpi.jpg
*Photo caption: The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija director of the TryTank Experimental Lab.

Related link: https://www.dialapriest.com/

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Business, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing

OverSightMD activates self-quarantine support service for vulnerable seniors and employees on quarantine

MILPITAS, Calif. -- OverSightMD Inc., headquartered in Milpitas, California, has activated a self-quarantine support service through its existing Push Button Care division. The purpose is to apply our Push Button Care senior health monitoring program to meet the health monitoring needs of the medically vulnerable or others who may need to self-quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have adapted the Push Button Care health monitoring service to offer self-quarantine support at $29.95 a month. Push Button Care provides tracking of symptoms, vitals, and health concerns. Complex health conditions can be tracked: pain level, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, respiratory rate, weight, and glucose, as well as symptoms associated with the Coronavirus including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Push Button Care keeps the communication line open with the client's entire care team so that healthcare providers can monitor without bringing vulnerable patients into offices, emergency departments, and clinics unnecessarily. Through a simple mobile application, key health metrics can be tracked and shared with anyone authorized by the client.

The Push Button Care personal assistant team coordinates non-emergency support with primary care physicians, licensed home health nurses, and caregivers.

4 Simple Steps to Report Symptoms, Vitals and Concerns:
1. Log in to the Push Button Care online platform
2. Enter vitals, symptoms, and concerns and Press Submit
3. Information is sent and analyzed by the Push Button Care platform and shared with healthcare providers authorized by the client
4. Appropriate levels of medical response and assistance are tracked by the Push Button Care team to make sure each client receives timely care and attention

OverSightMD's website at https://oversightmd.com/ contains full information about Push Button Care services and our mission to support seniors and others while keeping them safe at home.

"When I saw the coronavirus outbreak developing, I realized we could adapt our senior independence support product to create a self-quarantine support service as a monitoring and response solution for our most vulnerable citizens," says Mark Godwin, CEO of OverSightMD. "We also encourage hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies among others, to contact us to see if we can partner on a solution for them to monitor vulnerable patients and staff at home."

About OverSightMD:

OverSightMD Inc. (https://oversightmd.com/) is a care management organization that provides comprehensive aging in place solutions through its Push Button Care division. Healthcare plans and non-affiliated hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and home care companies can function as a unified healthcare delivery system through the Push Button Care network. OverSightMD maintains the Push Button Care integrated healthcare network and care management platform to actively coordinate care and information to improve aging in place while reducing ER visits and hospitalizations.

Follow on social media:
Main: https://www.facebook.com/OverSightMD
Push Button Care: https://www.facebook.com/PushButtonCare/

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Related link: https://oversightmd.com

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Business, Construction and Building, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, HVAC Heating and Cooling

Bernhard and ProStar announce national agreement with HealthTrust for Energy-as-a-Service solutions

DALLAS, Texas -- Bernhard and ProStar Energy Solutions (ProStar) announced today an agreement with HealthTrust to offer Energy-as-a-Service solutions to member hospitals and health systems nationwide. The agreement offers HealthTrust members a comprehensive choice of services including engineering design, construction, operations & maintenance and financing that are designed to reduce energy consumption.

"The Bernhard ProStar team has an innovative and valuable service offering that aligns perfectly with HealthTrust's mission of improving operational excellence through total spend efficiency," said Ed Jones, HealthTrust President and CEO. "We are excited to welcome them and look forward to the benefits that their Energy-as-a-Service solutions will bring to our membership."

Bernhard currently works with nearly 1,400 hospitals nationwide, with healthcare facilities making up more than half of its Energy-as-a-Service operations. This agreement marks a decisive expansion in this space. Already, the firm calculates savings of $50 million in operating expenses every year for the healthcare facilities it serves.

"I am certain this first-of-a-kind agreement will prove beneficial to countless healthcare providers and the communities they serve," said Bernhard CEO Ed Tinsley. "The unique capabilities of the Bernhard ProStar team are proven to reduce operating costs, enhance resiliency and reliability, transfer risk, and improve the bottom line."

ProStar has more than 30 years of experience and has completed over 10,000 projects focused on energy optimization and sustainability, through lighting and solar solutions. ProStar is currently one of three LED vendors to provide lighting audit and design services, lighting product procurement, labor and installation services, and energy rebate administration to the members of HealthTrust. ProStar and Bernhard are currently delivering an Energy-as-a-Service project for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"We have a long history with Bernhard and are excited about this new opportunity to share our turnkey solutions in the healthcare sector with HealthTrust's diverse membership," said Jerry Jones Jr, ProStar Chairman.

To learn more, visit Bernhard.com, ProStarEnergy.com, and HealthTrustPG.com.

About Bernhard

Bernhard is one of the largest privately-owned engineering, mechanical and electrical contractors in America with 100+ years of energy and infrastructure project experience servicing higher education, healthcare, commercial and specialty markets. Bernhard combines development, financing, design, construction and operations to deliver turnkey Energy-as-a-Service solutions that reduce energy use, risk and cost so that our clients can focus on their everyday work. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Bernhard has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 office locations across the country. Information: https://bernhard.com/.

About ProStar Energy Solutions

ProStar is dedicated to helping businesses save money by providing the best turnkey energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions available. ProStar's portfolio of solutions includes LED lighting, automated controls, solar, HVAC, mechanical systems, utility bill auditing and energy procurement services. ProStar is headquartered at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Information: https://prostarenergy.com/.

About HealthTrust

HealthTrust (HealthTrust Purchasing Group, L.P.) is committed to strengthening provider performance and clinical excellence through an aligned membership model and the delivery of total spend management advisory solutions that leverage operator experience, scale and innovation. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., HealthTrust serves more than 1,600 hospitals and health systems, and more than 43,000 other member locations including ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, long-term care and alternate care sites. Information: https://healthtrustpg.com/.

Related link: https://prostarenergy.com/

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Business, Free News Articles, Funding and Investment, Hospitals and Nursing, NonProfit and Charities, Product Launches

CALNOC Announces the CALNOC Nightingale Research Fund: Raising Nursing’s Voice in Health Services Research

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- CALNOC is pleased to introduce The CALNOC Nightingale Research Fund, an innovative and opportune resource in health services research focused on and administrated by nursing. "We are excited to announce the Research Fund today in honor of Florence Nightingale and in celebration of the Year of the Nurse 2020. This fund will stimulate and support new research and clinical inquiry with emphasis on nursing's contribution," said Dr. Mary E. Foley PhD, RN, FAAN and Chairperson of CALNOC.

"This Fund will provide awards and matching funds to qualified individuals and non-profit institutions in support of clinical inquiry on nursing's contributions to improving clinical care of patients, population health management, staff engagement and satisfaction, and health care operations," added Tony Sung, Chief Executive Officer of CALNOC.

Each year CALNOC will commit substantial support to the fund and announce its research priorities for the current year. Individuals and non-profit institutions are encouraged to apply.

For more information, priorities for funding as well as application process, please go to our website at https://calnoc.org/.

About CALNOC:

Since 1996, CALNOC has been at the forefront of supporting inter professional, nursing focused patient care excellence, creating the first database registry of nursing sensitive quality indicators. As a health services research organization, CALNOC conducts and supports research and clinical inquiry with a focus on nursing's contribution to improving healthcare. Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, CALNOC is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation.

For more information, call 833-225-6621 or visit https://calnoc.org/

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Business, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Hospitals and Nursing, Long Term Care

OverSightMD Saves Precious Time for Family Caregivers Nationwide with Push Button Care Service

MILPITAS, Calif. -- OverSightMD is expanding its Push Button Care service with two new exciting products for Family Caregivers. A family caregiver support package and a family caregiver assistant are now part of the Push Button Care lineup of aging in place support solutions.

The Complexity of Aging in Place for Older Adults
Millions of families and friends make sacrifices daily to support an aging in place decision for their loved ones. 87% of older adults aged 65 and over want to stay in their own home and avoid moving into a senior community. The average cost of assisted living facilities across the country is around $4,000 per month, a cost that is too high for most Americans and their families.

Supporting Family Caregivers
There is currently 40.4 million family caregivers across the country and Push Button Care is designed to help them reduce the stress of caring for a loved one. The number of tasks family caregivers do on a daily basis is immense. As a result it can quickly consume an entire day before they even notice. It is common for family caregivers to suffer from depression, burn out, anxiety, and heightened levels of stress due to the demands. Our support team is standing by to help coordinate care, schedule doctor's appointments, hunt down prescription refills, track down a home health care nurse, investigate a medical equipment order or talk to you about any of your other caregiving concerns.

"We understand the need and importance of aging in place for older adults," says Mark Godwin, CEO of OverSightMD, "so we have designed a suite of services at a price point every family can afford."

The Push Button Care family caregiver support package includes access to our cloud-based caregiver platform which includes several tools designed specifically to manage the daily care of a loved one. Our integrated personal health record keeps track of important contacts, tracks vital signs and symptoms, and is perfect for note taking for future visits with care professionals. Also, share real-time wellness updates through an online family dashboard to keep all family members informed to save time.

The Push Button Care family caregiver support service is comprehensive and accessible anytime and anywhere through a small lightweight cellular pendant. The pendant is equipped with automatic fall detection, GPS tracking, a two-way speaker and access to a 24/7 medical alert team. If a family caregiver is having trouble with accessing care and needs to switch a care provider. They can reach out to the Push Button Care support team to receive options for well vetted and highly recommended providers. The Push Button Care aging in place network includes physicians, home health agencies, home care companies, and other local service providers that specialize in supporting seniors aging in place.

Push Button Care Benefits for Family Caregivers

* Aging in Place Advisor
Access an aging in place advisor for local service providers and home safety product recommendations. Stay connected with local senior community resources to avoid isolation and loneliness.

* Automatic Fall Detection
The Push Button Care cellular pendant has automatic fall detection built-in to provide added protection if a fall happens when a caregiver needs to step away.

* Care Coordination Support Team
The Push Button Care support team can lighten the daily workload with setting up appointments and other time consuming tasks related to managing care.

* 24/7 Mobile Medical Alert
A highly trained operators will determine and coordinate the appropriate care - be it a family member, caregiver, emergency medical, fire, or police.

* Symptoms & Vital Signs Tracking
Common symptoms to track are: pain, headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, inflammation, memory problems and insomnia. Family caregivers can also track important vital signs like blood pressure, oxygen levels, and weight on a regular basis to share with care providers through our mobile app.

* Personal Health Record and Family Dashboard
The personal health record is an easy to use online health record for storing and sharing of important health information with physicians or family members. All data is stored in a safe and secure HIPAA compliant cloud infrastructure.

* Wellness Reviews
Our support teams will call and conduct routine wellness reviews to discuss current health or wellness concerns and provide education and recommendations if needed.

* Preventive Care Reminders
Never miss an important annual check up, recommended test or screening again. Our support team keeps family caregivers updated year-round to help reduce the stress of preventive care management.

Learn more: https://pushbutton.care/product/family-caregiver-assistant-kit/

About OverSightMD:
OverSightMD Inc. (https://oversightmd.com/) is a care management organization that provides comprehensive aging in place solutions through its Push Button Care division. Healthcare plans and non-affiliated hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and home care companies can function as a unified healthcare delivery system through the Push Button Care network. OverSightMD maintains the Push Button Care integrated healthcare network and care management platform to actively coordinate care and information to improve aging in place while reducing ER visits and hospitalizations.

MEDIA ONLY CONTACT
Mark Godwin
OverSightMD Inc.
media@oversightmd.com
408-509-2500

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Business, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Hospitals and Nursing, NonProfit and Charities

November Is C. diff. Awareness Month

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- The C Diff Foundation reemphasizes that the month of November is "C. diff. awareness month" and is being recognized with its partners around the globe again in 2019.

Nancy Caralla, Founding President, Executive Director of the C Diff Foundation, and three-time C. diff. Survivor said, "The month of November was chosen for two reasons. On November 1, 2012 the C Diff Foundation came to fruition. Also, after suffering through the second newly diagnosed CDI with nine-recurrences over a year's time, the month of November was chosen because it was the first month that I received a negative CDI test result without further recurrences."

Caralla further explained that over the past seven years other organizations and survivors, with their families, have joined the C Diff Foundation in "Raising C. diff. Awareness," especially in the month of November originally coined by the C Diff Foundation worldwide.

At the 7th Annual International C. diff. Awareness Conference and Health EXPO held in St. Louis, Missouri on November 6-7, the conference program included Government Agency healthcare professionals and representatives who delivered presentations focused on, but not limited to, Clostridioides difficile. Global organization health care professionals in attendance also recognize November is C. diff. Awareness Month through their presentations, posters, and by introducing products and/or services preventing, treating, diagnosing a CDI and maintaining safer environments in the healthcare community.

C Diff Foundation expresses their gratitude to the numerous state Governors who have recognized C. diff. infections as a leading Healthcare-associated infection by raising awareness during the month of November in their respected states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Clostridioides difficile infection (aka C. diff., C. difficile, CDI, CDAD) "has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone."

Statistics provided by the CDC suggest that C. difficile infections cause nearly 500,000 infections in patients in the U.S. annually. In one study noted by the CDC, among infected patients, nearly 29,000 died within 30 days of being diagnosed, and more than half of those deaths (15,000) were directly attributable to a C. difficile infection.

Learn more at: https://cdifffoundation.org/

About The C Diff Foundation:

C Diff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established 2012, comprised of 100% volunteering professionals is dedicated at supporting public health through education and advocating for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) prevention, treatments, clinical trials, AMR, and environmental safety worldwide. Listen to "C.diff. Spores and More" Tuesdays at 1 p.m. EST (http://www.cdiffradio.com/), sponsored by Rebiotix, a Ferring Pharmaceuticals company.

Follow C Diff Foundation on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Twitter @cdiffFoundation #Cdiff2019

Media Contact:
Kathy Bischoff
C Diff Foundation
kathy@cdifffoundation.org
Office: (727) 205-3922

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Business, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, NonProfit and Charities, Product Launches

C Diff Foundation’s Junior Infection Fighters Program Takes Action against Harmful Germs One Community at a Time Worldwide

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- C Diff Foundation announced today that the inaugural C Diff Foundation Junior Infection Fighter Program was introduced to families and their children/teens in Chester County, Pennsylvania on October 12, 2019.

Dayle Skelly, Director of the Junior Infection Fighter Program and C. diff. Survivor said, "There shouldn't be an age limit for raising awareness of infection prevention. Children are our future and take forth the torch of knowledge to be shared with everyone in each community."

The volunteer program has been developed for children/teens with the participation and support of their parents/legal guardian and supervision of C Diff Foundation adult volunteers. C Diff Foundation's Junior Infection Fighters Program mission: "To educate and advocate for infection prevention with the children and teens and to inspire their social, academic, personal, and health care knowledge and partner with parents who share the same mission to prepare them to be members of ever changing global health care in societies worldwide."

C Diff Foundation's Junior Infection Fighter guidelines have been brought to fruition, under the direction of a leading infection preventionist, Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed., CIC.

Ms. Spencer who has been an Infection Preventionist for over 30 years and board certified in infection control (CIC). As one of the early pioneers in infection control, she was awarded the APIC National Carole DeMille Award in 1990 and was selected as one of the APIC Heroes of Infection Prevention in 2007 for her work in establishing a MRSA and Staph aureus Elimination Program at New England Baptist Hospital, an Orthopedic Center of Excellence in Boston. The ground breaking work was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

All volunteer attendees enjoyed spending time learning more about practicing healthy habits combined with infection prevention information during the inaugural community event.

"We work together to carve new paths in the multi-faceted patient and family programs offered by C Diff Foundation. Together we build awareness and advocate for C. diff. infection prevention, treatments, clinical trials, antibiotic-resistance, and environmental safety worldwide. We are truly grateful to the dedicated members taking the C Diff Foundation's mission to greater levels changing lives, and saving lives across the globe," said Nancy C. Caralla, Founding President, C Diff Foundation.

About The C Diff Foundation:

C Diff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established 2012, comprised of 100% volunteering professionals is dedicated at supporting public health through education and advocating for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) prevention, treatments, clinical trials, AMR, and environmental safety worldwide. Listen to "C.diff. Spores and More" Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET (www.cdiffradio.com), sponsored by Rebiotix, a Ferring Pharmaceuticals company.

Learn more at: http://cdifffoundation.org

Follow C Diff Foundation on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Twitter @cdiffFoundation @Cdiff2019

Media Contact:
Dayle Skelly
Director Junior Infection Fighters Program
C Diff Foundation
info@cdifffoundation.org
Office: (727) 205-3922

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Costs associated with dissemination of this news announcement were donated to the C Diff Foundation by NEOTROPE®, a California-based marketing company.

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Business, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, NonProfit and Charities

C Diff Foundation Raises Clostridioides difficile Awareness in St. Louis on Nov. 6-7 at 7th Annual International Conference and Health EXPO

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- C Diff Foundation announced today that the 7th Annual International C. diff. Conference and Health EXPO is honored to welcome over 30 international topic-experts dedicated in disciplines of healthcare, pharma, biotech, academia, and Government agencies.

Presenters will deliver data and discuss critical information on a leading Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI), Clostridioides difficile with global healthcare-associated issues on November 6 - 7, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Westport Hotel, 1973 Craigshire Road, St. Louis, MO 63146; Telephone: +1 (314) 434-0100.

To learn more about this extraordinary conference, guest speakers, and the diverse topics being presented visit: https://cdifffoundation.org/2019-guest-speakers/

All attendees will have the highest levels of peer networking and learning opportunity at the Conference and Health EXPO.

C Diff Foundation expresses their gratitude to Pfizer for being the conference Diamond Sponsor. Pfizer is appreciated for their continued support and partnering with the C Diff Foundation in promoting C. diff. Awareness worldwide. This activity has been supported by an independent patient advocacy Grant from Merck & Co., Inc., and the members of the C Diff Foundation are truly grateful.

Attendee Paul Feuerstadt MD, FACG, AGAF stated, "The annual C Diff Foundation conference and health expo is an essential conference for me to attend, given the comprehensive presentations about epidemiology, disease state, patient experience, infection control and innovations with treatment of C. difficile. The level of detail and data presented has a wonderful balance that is understandable for someone casually interested in the infection but also exceeds the expectations for those who are experts in the field wanting to share and exchange ideas with other thought leaders."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Clostridioides difficile infection (aka C. diff., C. difficile, CDI, CDAD) "has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone."

Statistics provided by the CDC suggest that C. difficile infections cause nearly 500,000 infections in patients in the U.S. annually. In one study noted by the CDC, among infected patients, nearly 29,000 died within 30 days of being diagnosed, and more than half of those deaths (15,000) were directly attributable to a C. difficile infection.

About The C Diff Foundation:

C Diff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established 2012, comprised of 100% volunteering professionals is dedicated at supporting public health through education and advocating for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) prevention, treatments, clinical trials, AMR, and environmental safety worldwide. Listen to "C.diff. Spores and More" Tuesday's at 1 p.m. EST (www.cdiffradio.com) sponsored by Rebiotix, a Ferring Pharmaceuticals company.

Learn more at: https://cdifffoundation.org/.

Follow C Diff Foundation on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Twitter @cdiffFoundation #Cdiff2019

Media Contact:
Angelo Ortiz
C Diff Foundation
angelo.ortiz@cdifffoundation.org
Office: (727) 205-3922

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Business, Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, Insurance, Private Practice and Medical Groups

How Intermountain Healthcare Is Making Care More Affordable

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Making healthcare more affordable for the people it serves is a top priority for Intermountain Healthcare. That's what Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison, MD, said at meetings held this summer with managers from across the Salt Lake City-based health system.

Harrison told managers that Intermountain is well-positioned to lead the nation in providing the best care at an affordable cost, and, with the help of each caregiver, it's a goal that can be achieved.

"We have a crisis in American healthcare right now," Dr. Harrison said. "Healthcare is unaffordable. The existing healthcare system is oriented toward driving volume. As an industry we do too many things to too many people that they really don't need, which hurts them economically, and sometimes physically. But Intermountain has a great history of innovation and together we can drive change."

Dr. Harrison shared some alarming national statistics about the cost of healthcare:
* One in four people will forego medical care this year because it's too expensive.
* One in three Americans ration their prescription drugs because they can't afford them.
* About half of Americans worry an unexpected healthcare expense will bankrupt them.
* Healthcare expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Dr. Harrison says the statistics are better in Utah and Intermountain's charity care program is helping those who can't afford care, but he says more needs to be done. Last year, Intermountain provided more than $246 million in charity care to patients in need of financial assistance.

"We're doing a great job with the cost of healthcare and Intermountain is as competitive and cost-effective as any large system in the United States," he said. "But we have a long way to go and we're going to drive this forward together. How are we going to get there? By keeping people well, by providing the most accessible and affordable care, and by creating a sustainable model."

Examples of innovative solutions at Intermountain that are reducing costs and improving care, which Dr. Harrison shared with managers:

* Civica Rx, the not-for-profit generic drug company banded together by Intermountain and other healthcare systems and philanthropists to fight the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by providing low-cost generic drugs to participating hospitals.
* Reimagined Primary Care, the team-based care model that focuses on preventive care to keep patients well. The model already has about 25,000 patient members enrolled and has seen impressive results, such as a 60 percent decrease in hospital admissions, 35 percent decrease in emergency department admissions, and a 20 percent decrease in per member per month costs.
* Addressing social determinants of health such as stable housing, food, transportation, and employment.
* Reducing opioid misuse. Intermountain has reduced the number of opioid tablets prescribed for acute care by more than 30 percent in the last year and is working hard to make further reductions.
* Integrating mental health care into clinics as part of each patient's primary care experience.
* Finding and implementing caregiver ideas. Intermountain caregivers implemented nearly 49,000 continuous improvement ideas in 2018 - more than 130 ideas each day. Many of these ideas both improved quality and reduced expenses.

"We didn't do these things for our self-aggrandizement," Dr. Harrison said. "We did them for our neighbors. And we're in just the right position to continue to be an innovator."

Dr. Harrison added that although helping people stay well and out of the hospital is a key part of Intermountain's strategy moving forward, that doesn't mean we won't continue to provide the best possible hospital care when our patients need it.

"We'll still focus on helping people when they're in a car accident, have a heart attack, or get cancer," he added. "But we have the opportunity to do that in conjunction with a 'keep people well' system. We're still going to have great trauma programs, great heart surgery programs, great cancer care programs, and great neuro ICUs, but won't it be terrific if we can actually keep people out of some of those places? And have them stay as close to home as possible in the least restrictive environment?"

Dr. Harrison emphasized that Intermountain is making changes from a position of strength.

"Intermountain, in a really tough environment, is really doing well. Our quality and safety have never been better. Our patient experience is on the rise. At a time when a lot of other health systems are struggling economically, we're strong. But we need to continually innovate and change to remain a model healthcare system. If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Other things Intermountain and SelectHealth (Intermountain's insurance arm) are doing to reduce costs and return money to its patients and members:

• Lower annual rate increases. Intermountain reduced annual price increases in 2019 by $15 million.
• Lower-cost care settings. Intermountain is reducing unnecessary ER visits by increasing access to appropriate care in lower-cost settings such as InstaCares (urgent care clinics), physician offices, and Connect Care virtual visits.
• Lower individual premiums. SelectHealth reduced individual plan premiums by an average of 2.7 percent in 2019.
• Affordable SelectHealth Share premiums. Intermountain guarantees a premium rate increase for new clients of SelectHealth Share of only 2.5 percent in years two and three of their three-year contract. For current clients, the guaranteed premium rate increase is only 2 percent for all three years. This compares to an industry-wide premium increase of more than 5 percent.
• Stork Savers. Intermountain's Stork Savers program offers a lower-cost cash price to patients without health insurance for mom and baby care associated with uncomplicated births.
• Supply initiatives. Intermountain has a set ratio between what it pays and what it charges patients for supplies and drugs. When Intermountain reduces its costs, it can directly lower charges to patients for those items. Intermountain negotiated better prices on supplies in 2018 that resulted in more than $32 million in cost savings.
• Financial assistance. Intermountain expanded its financial assistance program to cover needed health services for families with income levels up to 200 percent of the national poverty level. The 2019 national poverty level for a family of four is $25,750.

About Intermountain Healthcare:
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.

For more information, visit: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/

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