CHIBE in the News

Philadelphia Magazine: This New Collaboration Aims to Improve Philly’s Health Inequities

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From Philadelphia Magazine: Erica Dixon, director of Accelerate Health Equity and project director at Penn Medicine, says that in the summer of 2020, healthcare systems and health-focused organizations across the region came together in conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and the impact all were having on Philadelphians. “The idea of collaborating, breaking down silos, working together — that was a concurrent evolution between many forces, including 13 Southeastern PA health systems declaring that racism is a public health crisis, plus the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s pledge to make meaningful…

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EHR Intelligence: EHR Optimization Doubles HCV Screening, Cuts Clinician Burden

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From EHR Intelligence: An EHR optimization doubled completion rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening while cutting down on clinician burden, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. HCV attacks the liver and is a leading cause of cirrhosis, cancer, and the need for liver transplants. While national guidelines recommend HCV screening for all adults, screening rates remain low. A University of Pennsylvania research team made HCV screening a default order for patients who met guidelines at two different hospitals. They then compared screening rates to a pre-existing alert system that required doctors to respond to a pop-up to make a…

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly Hospitals and Key Insurers Plan Novel Effort With the City To Improve Health Equity

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From the Philadelphia Inquirer: For the first time, the region’s largest health systems and its largest insurer are banding together to improve racial equity in health care in Philadelphia. The collaboration, called Accelerate Health Equity, will use pilot programs to try out different approaches and share what is learned. The project will focus on 16 areas, ranging from substance abuse, maternal and infant mortality, obesity/diabetes, and racism in medical settings to food access, housing and community violence. A steering committee with representatives from the 11 participating organizations is expected to meet every six weeks to coordinate and share lessons learned….

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The Atlantic: America’s Flu-Shot Problem Is Also Its Next COVID-Shot Problem

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The Atlantic: About 18 years ago, while delivering a talk at a CDC conference, Gregory Poland punked 2,000 of his fellow scientists. Ten minutes into his lecture, a member of the audience, under Poland’s instruction, raced up to the podium with a slip of paper. Poland skimmed the note and looked up, stony-faced. “Colleagues, I am unsure of what to say,” he said. “We have just been notified of a virus that’s been detected in the U.S. that will take somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 lives this year.” The room erupted in a horrified, cinematic gasp. Poland paused, then leaned…

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Freakonomics MD: How to Save a Stranger’s Heart

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From Freakonomics MD: There are a lot of stories about cardiac arrest, and each one can help us learn something. Sometimes because the patient also happens to be a researcher. Dr. Kevin Volpp is a doctor and economist at the University of Pennsylvania. You heard him recently on an episode of Freakonomics, M.D., on whether we can pay people to be healthier. Kevin VOLPP: It happened on July 9th of 2021. I had been training for a half Ironman triathlon with one of my daughters. I was probably in the best shape I’d been in since I was 25 years…

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NPR: CDC’s new COVID metrics can leave individuals struggling to understand their risk

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From NPR: Some experts do see the new CDC metrics as a sensible shift toward living with the virus – recognizing that many Americans have no tolerance left for mandates and restrictions. “This is a transition that happens for all public health conditions in some way, a balance between collective responsibility and individual responsibility,” argues Dr. Jay Varma, who directs the Weill Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response and has advised former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Ultimately, he says, public health decisions are made at the local level, not by federal agencies, he says, so the…

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NPR: Americans Are Stuck in Unhealthy Pandemic Habits. Here’s How To Reboot

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From NPR: The early days of lockdown restrictions had a profound effect on people’s daily lives. Alcohol sales skyrocketed, physical activity dropped off sharply, and “comfort eating” led to weight gain, too. So, what’s happened since March of 2020? After two years of pandemic life, many of these effects persist. The strategies we used to adapt and cope have cemented into habits for many of us. And this is not a surprise to scientists who study behavior change. “We know when a shock arises and forces a change in our behavior for an extended period of time, there tend to…

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Colonoscopy isn’t the only way to screen for colon cancer. Here are your options

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From The Philadelphia Inquirer: In a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine last year, Shivan Mehta, a gastroenterologist and associate chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine, and his colleagues found that mailing at-home test kits to patients increased screening compliance tenfold. Through a text message “opt-out” system, patients were notified that they’d be receiving a test kit — unless they said they didn’t want one. The two most popular types of at-home tests are: Fecal immunochemical tests (FIT), which require the user to collect a stool sample and send it to a lab, where it is tested…

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The Philadelphia Inquirer: Colonoscopies save lives, but many Americans don’t get one. Home tests could help change that

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From The Philadelphia Inquirer: For numerous reasons, Black people have a higher risk of developing colon cancer and higher death rates from the condition compared with white or Latino people. Compared with white men and women, colon cancer rates were 24% higher among Black men and 19% higher among Black women in 2019, according to a report by the American Cancer Society. All three groups get screened at about the same rate. Research shows that the more glaring gaps in colon cancer screening rates fall along income and insurance divisions, rather than racial lines. … “Historically, in this country, the…

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STAT: Florida’s Decision on COVID Vaccines for Healthy Kids Adds to Confusion and Distrust

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From STAT: Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced Monday that the state will recommend that healthy children not be vaccinated against Covid-19, further muddying already roiling waters over Covid-19 vaccination for kids. Ladapo’s decision is unlikely to interfere with the efforts of parents who want to have their children vaccinated, experts told STAT. But they added it will likely dissuade some parents who have been on the fence. “There are obviously a lot of pediatricians and pediatric care providers in Florida who are very eager to vaccinate kids over 5. And hopefully that signal is loud — louder than this,”…

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