Health Briefs, Nov. 12, 2013

Flu clinic set in New Castle

Garfield County Public Health will hold a community flu clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. The clinic takes place at the Public Works building in New Castle at 801 W. Main St. Vaccinations are $15 for children and $25 for adults. The clinic is open to children, adults, and seniors.

Notices to cancel must follow rules


Many Coloradans have been mailed notices regarding the cancellation of health insurance policies. Since carriers must notify the Colorado Division of Insurance about these cancellations, the division has been tracking the information, Commissioner of Insurance Marguerite Salazar said in a news release. 

Insurance companies remaining in the market are required to give consumers 90 days notice before ending a plan as well as the option to buy any other coverage being offered by the company to individuals. Companies leaving the market must provide 180 days notice. 

Insurance companies are cancelling plans for many reasons. Some do not meet new federal requirements for benefits coverage and premiums as outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Other carriers have made business decisions to discontinue plans, as part of normal business operations, Salazar said. 

In cancellation letters, companies are required to provide information about all the health insurance options available to consumers, including plans from the existing company, other companies and from Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online marketplace for health insurance. 

Consumers should take the time to shop around. The Division of Insurance approved 18 carriers and 541 plans for sale next year, many offered on Connect for Health Colorado.

For coverage beginning Jan. 1, coverage must be purchased by Dec. 15.

Community Hospital employs associates


Community Hospital has announced an agreement to employ the physicians and staff of an established Grand Junction medical practice.

The hospital will employ physicians and staff of Internal Medicine Associates under a contract signed last week, said Karen Martsolf, Community Hospital spokeswoman.

Martsolf compared the deal to other collaborations between the hospital and Mesa County, School District 51, Hanson International, Colorado Mesa University and the Grand Junction Rockies.

“This new collaboration with IMA will benefit residents by bringing together doctors and facilities to better serve a broader need in our community,” Martsolf said.

A grade for safety in Delta


Delta County Memorial Hospital, a 49-bed nonprofit hospital, was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

This is the third year in a row the hospital has received an A from The Leapfront Group, and Delta County Memorial was the only hospital in the region to receive an A.

The score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score. The A, B, C, D, or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals is based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The Hospital Safety Score was completed under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families, according to a news release.

“Delta County Memorial Hospital is very proud of being awarded an A from The Leapfrog Group for three years running. The safety score demonstrates our level of commitment and service to our patients and Delta County families,” CEO Jason Clecker said in a news release.

Korean acupuncture in Fruita


Serenity Acupuncture & Yoga Arts Centre in Fruita is now offering discounted acupuncture treatments bringing Korean Sujok hand and foot acupuncture to the Grand Valley for the first time.

The treatments are in addition to the center’s current services of traditional acupuncture, Chinese herbal pharmacy, weight loss nutrition, bioidentical hormone testing and food allergy testing.

Sujok acupuncture treats any condition that traditional acupuncture treats, including arthritis pain, hormonal imbalances, sports injuries, mental and emotional imbalances and addictions.

Treatments are scheduled weekdays except Wednesday between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and normally last about 30 minutes.

Five stars nine times for Valley View


Valley View Hospital received five-star ratings for the quality of its cardiac, orthopedic, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and critical care from Healthgrades, an online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.

Patients treated for heart attack in hospitals with five stars for in-hospital mortality have, on average, a 48 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals with one star for in-hospital mortality. 

“Our excellent results are attributable to a comprehensive team approach, which delivers a high level of service centered around each patient,” Valley View Hospital CEO Gary Brewer said in a news release. 

For 2014, the hospital was rated with five stars for:

• Coronary interventional procedure.

• Treatment of heart attack two years in a row.

• Total knee replacement.

• Hip fracture treatment for two years in a row.

• Spinal fusion surgery.

• Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

• Treatment of pneumonia for six years in a row.

• Treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding.

• Treatment of sepsis for four years in a row.

In addition, Valley View Hospital was among just 2 percent of hospitals in the country, and one of three in the state, to receive two honors: 

The 2013 Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the sixth year in a row and the 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award.


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