In less than eight hours last June, Yale New Haven’s emergency department treated 12 patients who had overdosed on opioids. Three died; nine were saved. With opioids in wide circulation, Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, chief of emergency medicine at the hospital and chair of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine, isn’t sure that one-day spike will stand as a record. “To be honest, no, I don’t expect the numbers to get better,” D’Onofrio said. “We’re going to have more treatment options in Connecticut, I think, more safe prescribing — but I don’t know that we’ll see improvements in the numbers of people using.”
D’Onofrio’s concerns are borne out in a recent report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that ranks Connecticut the 5th highest among 30 states in the rate of opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits — 254.6 per 100,000 population in 2014, well above national rate of 177.7.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed state budget for FY 2015 includes $1.5 million to add 28 child care inspectors, so that the frequency of licensing inspections of day care facilities can be increased to once a year. The budget also includes funding to launch a statewide quality-rating system for child care centers, and to improve the way background checks of child care staff are conducted. The proposals come after a December story by C-HIT revealed lapses in child care oversight, including infrequent inspections by the state Department of Public Health and a lack of strong enforcement actions against providers found with health and safety violations. Also, a state audit in October found DPH was not verifying that the required criminal background checks were being done on all child care employees – posing a risk that children were coming into contact with “unsuitable individuals,” the auditors said. Connecticut ranked 48th in oversight of child care centers – with the third highest caseload per inspector in the country – in a 2013 national report by Child Care Aware of America.