Author: Bryan

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Families complain about COVID testing for nursing home visits

As COVID-19 cases rise again in nursing homes, a few states have begun requiring visitors to present proof that they’re not infected before entering facilities, stoking frustration and dismay among family members.

Officials in California, New York, and Rhode Island say new COVID testing requirements are necessary to protect residents — an enormously vulnerable population — from exposure to the highly contagious omicron variant. But many family members say they can’t secure tests amid enormous demand and scarce supplies, leaving them unable to see loved ones. And being shut out of facilities feels unbearable, like a nightmare recurring without end.

Severe staff shortages are complicating the effort to ensure safety while keeping facilities open; these shortages also jeopardize care at long-term care facilities — a concern of many family members.

Andrea DuBrow’s 75-year-old mother, who has severe Alzheimer’s disease, has lived for almost four years in a nursing home in

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Nomogram may help predict survival in primary intestinal non-Hodgkin lymphoma

(HealthDay)—A nomogram can assist clinicians in predicting cancer-specific survival in patients with primary intestinal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (PINHL), according to a study published online Dec. 20 in Cancer Management and Research.

Cuifen Zhang, from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, and colleagues developed and verified a novel nomogram to predict long-term cancer-specific survival in patients with PINHL. Data for a training cohort of 2,372 PINHL patients obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database were analyzed. The nomogram was validated internally and externally in a SEER cohort with 1,014 patients and a First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine cohort with 37 patients.

The researchers identified five independent predictors: age, , Ann Arbor Stage, B symptoms, and histologic type. Good performance was seen in discrimination and calibration; in the training, internal validation, and external validation cohorts, the C-indices were 0.772, 0.763, and 0.851, respectively.

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Biden to give away 400 million N95 masks starting next week

The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings.

The White House announced Wednesday that the masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly protective masks on hand. The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country. They will begin shipping this week for distribution starting late next week, the White House said.

This will be the largest distribution of free masks by the federal government to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In early 2020, then-President Donald Trump’s administration considered and then shelved plans to send masks to all American at their homes. President Joe Biden embraced the initiative after facing mounting criticism

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Prior infection, vaccines provide best protection from COVID

A 62-year-old nursing home resident receives a COVID-19 booster shot in New York on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. A study released on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination in New York and California concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19. Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.

The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection.

But with a prior were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren’t yet widespread, those people had lower diagnoses than vaccinated

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ONC, Sequoia Project issue TEFCA requirements

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has unveiled the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, an interoperability project mandated as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

A document ONC and interoperability not-for-profit organization Sequoia Project published Tuesday outlines the legal and technical principles for a network enabling state, regional and national health information networks to share data.

Health information networks will be able to apply to become participating organizations that facilitate data exchange throughout the TEFCA network later this year, possibly as soon as this quarter, ONC previously indicated.

TEFCA is “critical to realizing the 21st Century Cures Act’s goal of a secure, nationwide health information exchange infrastructure,” ONC chief Micky Tripathi said in a news release. “Simplified nationwide connectivity for providers, health plans, individuals and public health is finally within reach.”

TEFCA, a voluntary program, establishes federally recognized data-sharing standards for

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Health News

White House soft-launches COVID-19 test request website

Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out during a distribution event, Dec. 30, 2021, in Youngstown, Ohio. The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to launch.The website,, now includes a link for Americans to an order form run by the U.S. Postal Service where Americans can request four at-home tests per residential address. Credit: AP Photo/David Dermer, File

The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially go online.

The website,, now includes a link for Americans to order four at-home tests per residential address, to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. It marks the latest step by President Joe Biden to

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