Zika Virus Outbreak Update #6

On September 21, the NH DHHS issued their sixth health alert update regarding the Zika Virus Outbreak, with updated guidance relative to local transmission in Florida.

Key Points and Recommendations:

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) will be hosting a healthcare provider webinar on Friday September 30th from 12:00–1:00 to review the most updated Zika virus outbreak information and recommendations. Register for the webinar.

Arboviral Illness Update: West Nile in Nashua

The NH DHHS issued a health alert update on September 16, regarding the identification of West Nile Virus in Nashua, New Hampshire.

NH Division of Public Health Services health alert networkKey Points and Recommendations:

1. The first detection of West Nile Virus (WNV) in New Hampshire for 2016 has occurred in a mosquito batch from Nashua, NH.

2. Healthcare providers should not rely on the presence or absence of positive mosquito or veterinary testing as a criterion for whether or not to test a patient for WNV or EEE. o Healthcare providers should consider mosquito-borne diseases, including WNV and EEE, in patients with compatible clinical syndromes.

Medicare Revalidation Deadlines Approaching

September 9,2016

If you participate in Medicare Part B, you must complete a revalidation application (CMS) every 5 years. 

Not sure if you have to revalidate now? Use the Medicare Revalidation Look Up Tool to find out if and when your revalidation is needed. It's easy (and fast). Just enter your name and/or NPI, plus your state, then hit "search."

Opioid Misuse Response in NH

The NH DHHS issued a health alert update on September 2, regarding the opioid misuse response in New Hampshire.

Key Points and Recommendations:

  • New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the United States, which is largely driven by opioids, including prescription pain relievers and illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

Board Approved Opioid CME Requirement Effective Sept. 1

September 1, 2016

Effective September 1, 2016, physicians will need to include 3 hours of Board approved opioid CME or pass a test, as part of the regular every-other year CME reporting cycle that coincides with license renewal.* Below is the Board approved list as of September 1, 2016.

**Please note that those physicians whose licenses expire on June 30, 2017, will not need to meet this requirement until their 2017-2018 reporting cycle.

US Surgeon General Launches Turn the Tide Rx

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General took historic action by sending a personal letter to more than 2.3 million health care practitioners and public health leaders. He is seeking our help to address the prescription opioid crisis. Please take a moment to read the letter (copied below). Then go to www.TurnTheTideRx.org/join to join with clinicians from across the country in a simple but powerful movement to end this epidemic.

Read the letter. Take the pledge. And spread the word.

Recommendations for Accurate Diagnosis of HIV Infection

The NH DHHS issued a health alert on August 26, regarding HIV testing.

Key Points and Recommendations:

  1. HIV screening and testing technology continues to improve, which may present challenges with interpretation and reporting of results. DPHS has become aware of several recent cases in which clinicians’ interpreted testing and informed patients incorrectly.

Zika Virus Outbreak Update #5

The NH DHHS issued a health alert on August 22, regarding a new area of local transmission in Florida.

Key Points and Recommendations:

  • The Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Zika is spreading locally by mosquitos in two areas of Miami-Dade County, Florida (the Wynwood neighborhood and Miami Beach). Please review the attached CDC HAN for updated guidance.

Improving Flu Vaccination Rates in Pregnancy

August 22, 2016

The New Hampshire Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (NH PRAMS) has completed its first topic brief, based on 2013 flu vaccination data.

This brief is targeted specifically toward healthcare providers. Pregnant women who were offered the flu vaccine or had it recommended to them were more than 2.5 times more likely to receive the vaccine than those whose healthcare providers did not mention flu vaccination.

67% Increase of Gonorrhea Case Reports in NH

The NH DHHS issued a health alert on August 19, regarding a 67% increase of gonorrhea case reports in New Hampshire.