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Health Care Week In Review: New ONC Chief, U.N.'s Role in Haiti Cholera Outbreak, Aetna's ACA Exchange Exit, Spread of Zika in Miami

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• Dr. Karen DeSalvo officially stepped down as National Coordinator of the ONC (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) as of last Friday. Her predecessor, Dr. Vindell Washington, has been with the ONC since January 2016 and is a longtime proponent of health IT and information exchange. Read More

• The U.N. admits to playing a role in the Haiti cholera outbreak that began in the fall of 2010, just months after the devasting earthquake had struck Haiti. The strain found in Haiti was a perfect match for a strain found in Nepal. The source was believed to have come from Nepalese peacekeepers who were staying at the U.N. camp in Haiti. Coupled with poor sanitation, the infectious disease spread into local waterways from the camp's sewage. Cholera is spread through contaminated water and causes dehydration and can lead to death if left untreated. Read More

• Aetna is pulling back its Affordable Care Act exchange presence in 11 states, which leaves some counties with zero insurers offering plans in the 2017 open enrollment period starting November. This exit, combined with that of United and Humana's, will impact approximately 1 million to 1.5 million of the 13 million people who signed up during the 2016 open enrollment period. Read More

• Within the past three weeks, the number of confirmed Zika infections have increased to 35 in the greater Miami area. While public health officials do not expect the virus to spread as rapidly as it has in other countries, pregnant women are still worried. Expectant mothers are taking precautions by confining themselves indoors, spraying exposed limbs with insect repellent, wearing long clothing in 90-degree weather and even going so far as to stay with family and friends far outside of the Zika zone until they've given birth. Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.
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