What We're Reading: US Ebola Help; E-Cigarettes and Smoking Cessation; Calif. Hospital Quality Targets
US Pledges Help to Prevent Spread of Ebola
As the Congo grapples with a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, HHS Secretary Alex Azar has promised to provide aid if the outbreak spreads. According to The Associated Press
, the US will commit an additional $7 million to the Ebola response. Azar and his counterparts from other nations are meeting this week in Geneva for the World Health Assembly, where the Ebola response will be discussed. The current Ebola outbreak is believed to have killed at least 27 people. Recently, 3 patients escaped quarantine in Congo, which has fueled fears the virus may spread, The Washington Post reported
Wellness Study Finds E-Cigarettes Don’t Help Smokers Quit
Providing workers with free e-cigarettes did not help them quit smoking any more than the usual smoking cessation methods, according to a study. While financial rewards were found to be more effective, none of the 5 smoking cessation strategies worked very well, reported Los Angeles Times
. The study had a success rate of just 1.3%—only 80 of the 6006 smokers who enrolled in the trial could prove they had quit smoking 6 months after their quit dates.
Covered California to Impose Safety, Quality Targets for Hospitals
By the end of 2019, hospitals in California that haven’t met targets for safety and quality could be excluded from the state’s insurance exchanges health plans. California Healthline reported
that hospitals will be measured based on performance in problem areas, such as performing fewer unnecessary cesarean sections, prescribing fewer opioids, and reducing the use of imaging to diagnose and treat back pain. Health plans can request an exemption to keep a noncomplying hospital in network, but the reasoning must be documented.