Rapid Diagnostic Tests, or RDTs, allow patients to be diagnosed at the point-of-care (POC). Every year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with the strep and flu by their GP using RDTs. These extraordinarily useful tools are also used to diagnose HIV, mono, malaria, and more!
The mention of STIs (sexually transmitted infections, also called STDs or sexually transmitted diseases) may make some flashback to junior high health class. Good news—this isn’t the 8th grade anymore! You’re not stuck in a windowless classroom with 20 of your blushing peers and a teacher who, quite frankly, would rather be anywhere else. Now, you know the reality which is that STIs are a significant global public health issue. (more…)
Diabetes. The flu. Stroke. These diseases and ailments are in our common lexicon—there’s a certain degree of public awareness on causes and treatment. But how many really understand why it is so important to test for vitamin D deficiencies? (more…)
Flu season is almost upon us. By now, you and your customers may have an idea of what’s to come, based on how the flu season has already played out in other parts of the world. Last year, however, despite forewarning that a vicious flu season was likely headed our way, the United States and European countries were caught off guard with a “Perfect Storm” of challenges for the influenza season. Flu test and antiviral medication shortages combined with limited effectiveness of the vaccine and a the aggressive H3N2 strain made for challenging times for both physicians and patients. Now, physician offices are getting ready to stock flu tests and other supplies in preparation for this year’s flu season. What do they need to know before they choose a flu test? (more…)
A record-breaking season! The perfect storm! No, we’re not talking about the movie that garners a mediocre 47% Rotten Tomatoes rating. If you recall, last month we discussed the perfect storm of a flu season that the U.S. experienced in 2017-2018. A particularly vicious strain, combined with other factors such as a flu test shortage and a less effective vaccine, which resulted in 30,429 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in the U.S. Other parts of the world saw staggering numbers as well: North Korea reported more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the influenza strain H1N1 between December 1, 2017 and January 16, 2018; Japan saw almost three million cases by January 2018; and Britain experienced a severe season with a sharp increase in hospitalizations. (more…)
Hopefully you have the basics of MACRA mastered by now. As a refresher, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act changes how Medicare pays for physician services and repeals the Medicare physician sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and instead provides predictable payment increases. If you need an additional review of the program, read last month’s blog. (more…)