Health Insurance Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1; You Can Window Shop Starting Today

Consumers will have the shortest open enrollment period yet to shop for 2019 health insurance plans – 45 days — but they can “window shop” and compare plans beginning today. Open enrollment for health plans effective Jan. 1, 2019, will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, giving consumers the least amount of time to enroll in or renew plans since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law.

State Disciplines LPN For Mistreatment Of York Inmate, Disciplines 7 Others

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing this week disciplined eight nurses, including reprimanding a York Correctional Institution nurse for failing to properly care for an inmate who suffered a serious brain injury in the prison medical unit in 2014. Licensed practical nurse Shanequa Moore of New Haven also had her license placed on probation for two years after the board found that Moore failed to practice nursing with empathy, compassion and care in the inmate’s case, a consent order she agreed to said. While not admitting any wrongdoing, Moore chose not to contest the allegations. She has completed courses in medical documentation, ethics, professional accountability, mindfulness and empathy, the order said. Moore is the second nurse disciplined by the board in connection with the injury at the Niantic prison.

State Places Yale Doctor On Probation For Alcohol Abuse

The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday placed a Yale Cancer Center doctor’s license on probation for five years, saying his excessive abuse of alcohol affects his ability to practice as a physician. The board accepted a consent order that said Dr. Harris E. Foster Jr. abused alcohol to excess at various times between 2012 and May of this year. Last week, the cancer center’s website listed Foster as a professor of urology at the Yale School of Medicine and as the director of female urology and neuro-urology at the center in New Haven. After a reporter inquired about his status, the cancer center’s website on Tuesday only listed him as a urology professor. Mark D’Antonio, a spokesman for Yale New Haven Hospital, said Tuesday that Foster is still affiliated with the cancer center, but he cannot comment further because Yale does not comment on personnel matters.

Hospital Inspection Reports Available On C-HIT; Bridgeport, Hartford Among Facilities Cited

Various violations that jeopardized patient safety, including two that preceded patient deaths and several involving the improper use of restraints, have taken place at Connecticut hospitals, according to the most recent hospital inspection reports released by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine section, cover inspections that took place at hospitals between 2016 and this year. Some of the violations resulted in injuries to patients, while others showed lapses in protocols and procedures. Bridgeport Hospital was cited for 26 violations, including an incident in which a patient with a diagnosis of an ovarian mass suffered a burn during surgery. Hartford Hospital was cited for 60 violations, including two violations that preceded patient deaths.

State Disciplines Three Nurses, Two For Substance Abuse Violations

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing this week disciplined three nurses, including suspending the license of a Stamford Hospital nurse accused of stealing Dilaudid meant for 21 patients. The registered nurse, Kerrisha Stacy-Ann Hurd of Elmont, New York, took the painkillers meant for the patients but did not administer the doses to them between January and March while she worked in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit of the hospital, state records show. In March, she fainted while on the job, and a syringe with a bloody needle was found in her uniform pocket, records show. Then on April 26, she admitted that she gave herself a shot of Dilaudid while working, records show. She was taken to the emergency room and tested positive for opiates, records show.

HPV-Related Cancer Rates Outpace Vaccine Rates

Cancers linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV) rose dramatically in a 15-year period, even as the rates of young people being vaccinated climbed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. The 43,371 new cases of HPV-associated cancers reported nationwide in 2015 marked a 44 percent jump from the 30,115 cases reported in 1999, according to a CDC analysis. HPV vaccination rates have improved over the years, but not fast enough to stem the rise in cancers, the CDC said. Oropharyngeal (throat) cancer was the most common HPV-associated cancer in 2015; accounting for 15,479 cases among males and 3,438 among females, the CDC data show. HPV infects about 14 million people each year and between 1999 and 2015 rates of oropharyngeal (throat) and vulvar cancer increased, vaginal and cervical cancer rates declined, and penile cancer rates were stable, according to the CDC.

Farmington Nursing Home Fined $9,060; Four Others Cited

Five Connecticut nursing homes have been fined for violations that jeopardized residents’ safety. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) fined Amberwoods of Farmington $9,060 following an incident in which a resident threatened to slit another resident’s throat with a butter knife. On Feb. 6, a resident with dementia and depression entered another resident’s room with a knife and made a threatening gesture to cut the resident’s neck with a butter knife and drink the blood, according to the DPH citation. A nurse aide in the room tried to take the knife but the resident put the knife under a cushion.

State Suspends Licenses Of 2 Nurses; Disciplines A Third

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined three nurses on Wednesday, including suspending the license of an East Hartford nurse who tested positive for alcohol just two months after being placed on probation for alcohol abuse. The board suspended the license of the licensed practical nurse, Nicole Miller, because her positive test in June violated her four-year probation, state records show. State Department of Public Health officials said her continued practice as a nurse presents a danger to the public. In April, the board imposed the four-year probation on Miller and required her to undergo random drug and alcohol testing because, state records show, she had abused alcohol and/or opiates to excess in 2016 and 2017. The board also suspended the registered nurse license of Kimberly Eldridge of Coventry for testing positive for alcohol in April, in violation of an agreement she had with an alternative program for health professionals called the Health Assistance InterVention Education program, or HAVEN.

State Medical Board Disciplines 3 Doctors

The state Medical Examining Board disciplined three doctors on Tuesday, including fining a Norwich doctor $7,500 for failing to keep his prescription pad secure. The board also reprimanded the doctor, John Paggioli, who specializes in pain management. In addition to not providing adequate security of his prescription pad, Paggioli had pre-signed a blank prescription for a patient and held controlled substances in his office for various patients, a consent order he agreed to said. Though he denied any wrongdoing, Paggioli chose not to contest the allegations, the order said. “He absolutely learned from this,” the doctor’s lawyer, Hilary Fisher Nelson of Hartford, told the board.