JANUARY 2, 2020
Flu activity picks up in Georgia as death toll rises
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The 2019-20 flu season got off to a fast start, and the number of cases has been steadily rising over the past several weeks. Health officials say flu activity is widespread, and many are are concerned that there could be even more of an uptick after the holiday break, when kids return to school. READ MORE
Piedmont affiliate expands its reach in urgent care field
Georgia Health News
A Piedmont Healthcare joint venture has acquired nine more urgent care centers, expanding its network to 26, with another set to open this week. | READ MORE
For Georgia patients, medical marijuana is legal but not for sale
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Like all of Georgia’s nearly 14,000 registered medical marijuana patients, Cindy Dawson is allowed to use the oil but there’s no way to legally buy it. Patients rely on an underground network to provide it. Others lack access to the oil. Those barriers to cannabis oil are now slowly being lifted, almost five years after Georgia authorized the drug for doctor-approved patients. | READ MORE
Georgia State Supreme Court rules Athens medical clinic can be sued
Clayton News-Daily
In what may be the first large data-breach case to reach the Georgia Supreme Court, the high court has ruled that patients of a Clarke County medical clinic whose computer databases were hacked may proceed with a lawsuit against the clinic. | READ MORE
Battle over maintenance of certification continues in the courts
MedPage Today
Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit involving maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements officially filed a notice of appeal in Philadelphia Monday following a district judge's September decision to dismiss the suit. | READ MORE
Few consequences from state when seniors harmed in care facilities
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thousands of vulnerable Georgians like Lucile Brown live in private-pay senior care homes that the state of Georgia licenses and inspects. But those elderly residents can’t count on the state to carefully monitor the homes or to crack down on those that break the rules, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found. | READ MORE
Study finds Google system could improve breast cancer detection
A Google artificial intelligence system proved as good as expert radiologists at detecting which women had breast cancer based on screening mammograms and showed promise at reducing errors, researchers in the United States and Britain reported. | READ MORE
A reality check on AI: Are health care claims overblown?
Kaiser Health News
Health products powered by artificial intelligence, or AI, are streaming into our lives, from virtual doctor apps to wearable sensors and drugstore chatbots. Yet many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype. Many doctors and consumer advocates fear that the tech industry, which lives by the mantra “fail fast and fix it later,” is putting patients at risk ― and that regulators aren’t doing enough to keep consumers safe. | READ MORE
Century-old TB vaccine may work better if given in a new way
Associated Press
Scientists think they’ve figured out how to make a century-old tuberculosis vaccine far more protective: Simply give the shot a different way. | READ MORE
Birth control pill use is declining as women question mental health side effects
Medical Xpress
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 6 million women in the United States use oral contraceptives, making it one of the most popular birth control methods. But oral contraceptive use among women ages 15-44 dropped from 15.9% between 2011 and 2015 to 13.9% between 2015 and 2017. | READ MORE
Hospital group mum as members pursue patients with lawsuits and debt collectors
Kaiser Health News
The American Hospital Association, the biggest hospital trade group, says it promotes “best practices” among medical systems to treat patients more effectively and improve community health. But the powerful association has stayed largely silent about hospitals suing thousands of patients for overdue bills, seizing homes or wages and even forcing families into bankruptcy. | READ MORE
For healthy New Year’s habits, learn from the world's longest-lived peoples
If you haven't heard about them, Blue Zones are the places in the world where people both have the healthiest and longest lives. | READ MORE
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