Health Notes: Former Superior mayor praises Wisconsin drug-monitoring programAn effort to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands has proven to be “an empowering tool” in Wisconsin, former Superior Mayor Dave Ross said.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
An effort to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands has proven to be “an empowering tool” in Wisconsin, former Superior Mayor Dave Ross said.
Ross, who serves in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration as secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, was speaking about the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which began more than six months ago.
The idea of the program is to track certain controlled substances and store the information in a central database. Health care professionals can access the information “to improve patient care and reduce the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs in Wisconsin.”
Pharmacists and dispensing practitioners began collecting data last January, and users began creating accounts on June 1. After an account is created, health care professionals can query the database to gain immediate access to prescription histories for patients in care. The idea is to prevent individuals from “doctor shopping” to obtain drugs illegitimately.
A West Virginia study from 2005 to 2007 blamed 25 percent of drug-
related deaths in that state on doctor or pharmacy shopping, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
As of the beginning of this month, Wisconsin had about
10.3 million records from dispensers in its prescription database, and 6,200 health care users had created more than 325,000 queries about their patient’s prescription histories.
Minnesota launched a similar program in 2010, and all but two states now have prescription drug monitoring.
Help for a new heart
A benefit in West Duluth on Saturday will help with the expenses of a Superior woman who received a new heart in November.
Mara Krysiak, 21, was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart condition that has spanned three generations of her family. Her mother received a heart transplant on Aug. 1. Krysiak received a new heart on Nov. 24, 2012, but went through rejection three times. Last Nov. 11, she became just the second person to receive a total artificial heart transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
The event will take place from 1-5 p.m. at the Kom-On-Inn, 332 N. 57th Ave. W., followed by raffle drawings at 5:30 p.m. The dinner of spaghetti, meatballs and garlic breadsticks is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-11 and free for kids 5 and younger.
For more information, call Pam at (218) 390-8630 or Linda at (715) 919-1295. Direct donations can be made at YouCaring.com under Mara Krysiak.
Health group called accountable
Duluth-based Integrity Health Network has been selected as one of 123 new Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The organizations, established as part of the Affordable Care Act, are set up to provide coordinated care to their patients and slow the growth of health care costs. Since the act was established, more than 360 Accountable Care Organizations have been established, serving more than 5.3 million Americans with Medicare.
Integrity Health Network is a regional consortium of independent clinics.
Health on TV
“Doctors on Call” will take on a weighty issue this evening.
The half-hour call-in program on PBS North, Channels 8.1 and 31.1, will inaugurate the new year with the program “Tackling Weight Problems,” hosted by Dr. Ray Christensen. It airs at 7 p.m.
That’s followed at 7:30 p.m. with “Speak Your Mind,” with this week’s panel discussing “Coping with the Aftermath of Suicide.”