Press Release, Public Health, Results, Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced several additional steps the commonwealth is taking to help combat the opioid addiction crisis. These steps will help tighten the rules under which medication such as buprenorphine can be prescribed under the Medicaid program.“Success in the fight against opioid crisis requires that we address the issue from all angles,” said Governor Wolf. “Not only must we make sure that quality treatment options are available from Pennsylvanians suffering from an opioid use disorder, we must also make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure treatment is appropriate and that we keep unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of those who are fighting the disease of addiction.”In order to help make sure that medication is used appropriately, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will take the following actions for Medicaid providers:Require all ordering, prescribing or referring providers who are identified on claims be enrolled in the Medicaid program. This will prevent current cash providers who are not enrolled in the Medicaid program from having their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy;Work with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to cease allowing providers to accept cash payments from Medicaid recipients;Audit and potentially un-enroll providers who prescribe medication such as buprenorphine without an office visit;Encourage Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to terminate poor providers that do not meet certain quality metrics;Implement standardized prior authorization guidelines similar to those most recently implemented for the Medicaid Fee-For-Service Program; andRefer high-volume providers with poor quality records to DHS Bureau of Program Integrity for review and action.“We are tightening the medication rules to ensure that the Medicaid providers writing these prescriptions are thoroughly treating the individual, coordinating care, and getting folks the counseling services they need while going through this treatment,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “Our physical health, behavioral health, and pharmaceutical providers need to work together to provide the best care possible.”“If you, or someone you love, is receiving treatment from an Medicaid-enrolled provider, you should not pay out of pocket for that treatment. We ask that you refer the provider to DHS’ tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS,” said Governor Wolf.In addition to the latest actions, the commonwealth has:Strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids;Developed nine new prescribing guidelines to help doctors who provide opioid prescriptions to their patients;Created the warm handoff clinical pathway to facilitate referrals from the emergency department to substance abuse treatment;Established a new law limiting the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor to seven days; andDesignated 45 Centers of Excellence, central hubs that provide navigators to assist those with opioid use disorders with behavioral and physical health care, along with medication-assisted treatment, as needed.New investments in battling the opioid epidemic in the 2017-2018 budget include:$10 million to expand access to naloxone for first responders through competitive grant funds will be awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).$3.4 million to expand specialty drug courts in PCCD to expand treatment strategies to divert offenders into more meaningful treatment and recovery.$26.5 million in federal Cures Act funds beginning in 2017-18 that will be used to expand access to treatment services, particularly for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.Continued investments in battling the opioid epidemic in the 2017-2018 budget include:$20.4 to continue the 45 Centers of Excellence throughout Pennsylvania which will help coordinate holistic treatment for people suffering from substance use disorder.$45 million to continue to fund services to address heroin and opioid addition through the Single County Authorities.Over $3 million for PDMP, which allows medical practitioners to see what their patients are being prescribed, and to make sure that, what they are prescribing is not at odds with that person’s health. It will also allow a medical practitioner help a person get into treatment if they believe they have identified a patient suffering from a substance use disorder.If an individual needs treatment for substance use disorder, and they are on Medicaid, they should call their MCO to determine a provider that is in their network. If the person is in the fee-for-service program, they can call DHS at 800-692-7462 for assistance in locating a provider.For more information, visit www.pa.gov. Pennsylvania Tightens Medication Rules to Help Combat Opioid Crisis March 06, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Defending champs Trafalgar in pole position to retain titleTHIS Saturday at the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling in Berbice, the curtain will close on this year’s Berbice Zone of the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ tournament with the semi-finals and final.Reigning champions Trafalgar will face Lichfield in the first semi-final, while New Amsterdam Kings tackle East Bank Gunners in the other semi-final.The champs have so far moved through the tournament unscathed and are expected to prevail over Lichfield.The likes of Kevin Layne, Olvis Mitchell and Delwyn Fraser will be integral for Trafalgar, while Lichfield’s chances will rest squarely on Allan Garnett, Shelton George and Carlos Grant.In the feature clash, NA Kings are tipped to advance, especially with the likes of Quinn Hazel and Jamal Butts in their ranks.Meanwhile, East Bank Gunners’ pursuit of a place in the championship game will depend on how well Sherwin Nicholson and Joseph Giddings perform.The winning team will pocket $300 000 and the championship trophy, while second-, third- and fourth-place finishers will walk away $150 000, $100 000 and $75 000 respectively.It is expected that a number of Banks DIH officials, along with media representatives, will be on hand to witness the final of this year’s tournament.The other sponsor on board is Colours Boutique of Robb Street.
A man standing just 3 feet 9 inches tall says he believes he was discriminated against after staff at Busch Gardens told him that he could not ride a kiddie ride with his friends daughter.The incident occurred Sunday.According to the report, Shane Moore says his friend’s daughter was afraid to ride the Gwazi Gliders by herself so meeting the height guidelines of being under 56 inches, and having ridden the ride in the past, Moore believed he could go on the ride with the child. When the attendant did their final check of the ride, however, Moore was kicked off of the ride for being too old.Moore stating that the guideline said nothing about the age of the rider, then reported the incident to another staff member who told him that he should have been able to go on the ride.Busch Gardens has since released a statement regarding the incident:“There is nothing more important than the safety of our guests and employees. Rides, like Gwazi Gliders, are designed and operated according to industry standards and safety guidelines as well as manufacturer specifications. For this particular ride, there are restrictions that deal with both height and age. Children must be 56” or less in order to ride, and no adults are allowed. We apologize for any confusion, and continue to remain committed to providing excellent guest service for all our visitors.”
12 Apr 2017 Cheshire’s Ruth Whitehead receives Micklem Award Cheshire’s Ruth Whitehead, who has played a prominent role in unifying men’s and women’s golf, has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the amateur game with England Golf’s Gerald Micklem Award. Ruth is the first woman to receive the award, which was presented today by England Golf’s outgoing President, Marian Rae, at the organisation’s annual meeting. Ruth was a key figure in national women’s golf for many years and was closely involved with the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) which created England Golf. She has been a member at Delamere Forest Golf Club for almost 40 years, becoming its first woman director and is now is its first female chairman. Alongside Ruth’s club and national roles she has been a staunch supporter of her county, both as a player and an official, most recently as President in 2015/16. Ruth’s motivation has always been her pleasure in the game and she said of her award: “I’m overwhelmed, this is absolutely unbelievable. I have had such fun and enjoyment from golf, I’ve worked with wonderful people and made lovely friends. You don’t think of getting honours, you do it because you love the game.” Ruth started golf as a 14-year-old at Sandbach, Cheshire, and, during a membership which spanned 45 years, she was ladies’ captain in the club’s golden jubilee celebrations. She was also a member at a third Cheshire club, Sandiway, for more than 35 years and has been ladies’ captain at Royal St David’s, Harlech. Ruth’s active involvement with county, regional and national golf flourished when she retired as deputy head teacher of a large, successful comprehensive school in Nantwich. After joining the executive of the former English Ladies’ Golf Association she helped to modernise the organisation and transform it into EWGA. Ruth was the first chairman of the new operational board, looking after the association’s golfing activities. She was always hands-on, as busy on the course as in the committee room. Ruth ran many championships – with a particular soft spot for the English U13 and U15 girls – and officiated as an R&A-qualified referee. As a player, Ruth held a single figure handicap for over 40 years and still plays off 11. She was a Cheshire county player and was county senior champion in 1999. She has been county captain, senior captain and the captain of the Northern vets. Image © Leaderboard Photography
Facebook1.4kTweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston CountyToday, Thurston County Health Officer, Dr. Diana Yu, issued a masking directive indicating that all individuals must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths, except when eating or drinking, when they will be at indoor public settings, or outdoor public locations where they cannot maintain distancing of approximately six feet from another individual who does not share their household.People can use fabric coverings, such as cloth face masks, scarves, and bandana coverings or other material as recommended by CDC. N95 masks are still reserved for health care providers.Individuals must wear cloth face masks properly to avoid contaminating their hands or face. Before putting on a mask and after removing a mask, individuals should clean their hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, change masks when moist, and wash after use. Remember to avoid touching the mask while in use. Worn masks may be contaminated with infectious agents.People should continue washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoid touching their faces, avoid gatherings of more than 5 people, and continue staying at least 6 feet away from one another.“I’m exercising my authority as Health Officer for Thurston County to require that people wear cloth face coverings in particular circumstances,” said Thurston County Health Officer, Dr. Diana Yu. “With our approval to begin Phase 2 of Safe Start Recovery, it’s more important than ever that people be cautious, responsible, and considerate of others. We want to continue moving forward as a county. Without extra caution, we risk back-sliding.”Certain people are exempt from this directive:Any child aged three years or less;Any child aged 4-12 years unless parents and caregivers supervise the use of face coverings by children to avoid misuse;Any individual who has any type of disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering;Any individual who is deaf and uses facial and mouth movements as part of communication;Any individual who has been advised by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional that wearing a face covering may pose a risk to that individual;Any individual who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.Using a face covering does not replace the need to practice physical distancing (staying away from ill people, staying home when ill, and avoiding all non-essential activities and contact with others), frequent handwashing, and avoiding touching of the face.The directive applies to any indoor public setting or outdoor public location where a person will be in within six feet of another individual, who does not share the same household, and includes, but is not limited to, the following sectors:Groceries, pharmacies, and other retail that sells food and beverage products, including but not limited to grocery stores, corner stores and convenience stores (including liquor stores), farmers’ markets, food banks, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, big box stores that sell groceries, and essentials and similar food retailCommercial retail stores that supply essential sectors, including convenience stores, pet supply stores, auto supplies and repair, hardware and home improvement, garden stores and nurseries that support food cultivation and production, office supply stores that support working-from-home, and home applianceAll commercial establishments in Thurston County are directed to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises. Signage will be available for download at Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.A violation of the directive does not create grounds for residents or law enforcement to stop, detain, issue a citation, arrest, intimidate, or harass individuals who are not in compliance. Instead, the directive should be used to educate, encourage, and persuade individuals to wear face coverings.Yu said, “I strongly urge all people in Thurston County to support the health and well-being of the community by complying with this directive without delay.”The Face Covering Directive is available in its entirety at: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/phssdocuments/HOFaceCovering-directive-order%20FINAL.pdf