Public Health

Overdose Rates Continue to Climb: Two Actions for Physicians

The opioid epidemic in Montgomery County and across the region has intensified since the start of the COVID-19  pandemic, with overdoses and deaths spiking. In Maryland, overdose deaths increased 18% from 2019 to 2020. Provisional data from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) projects another year-over-year increase of 4% in Maryland. In D.C., overdose…

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NIH Spotlights Maternal Health Resources

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a special focus on maternal health during women’s history month, acknowledging the historical drivers of health inequity, and providing resources for physicians and health care organizations to continue the work of reducing disparities. Diverse Voices Virtual Talk: Environmental Exposures and Disparities in Pregnancy on March 31, 2 PM…

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Physician Member Perspective on National HIV/AIDs and Aging Awareness Day

National HIV/AIDs and Aging Awareness Day is September 18 and is one of fourteen nationally declared awareness days for HIV/AIDs. MCMS thanks physician member and past president Carolyn B. O’Conor, M.D. for sharing her perspective on this important topic of public health concern and patient care.   Author: Carolyn O’Conor, M.D. Family Medicine – Comprehensive…

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Get Patients Back on Track with Routine Vaccinations

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of physicians to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. Throughout August, MCMS will share resources to support these efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including patients’ ability to attend important appointments and receive…

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Smoking Cessation during COVID-19: Use Trends and Opportunities

Tobacco cessation has long been a key public health aim. It can only be considered more critical now during the pandemic, as smoking has long been known to hamper immune system responses, especially with regards to pulmonary diseases and infections. With calls to quitlines down 27% in 2020, we must ask: How has COVID-19 impacted rates…

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3 Ways to Help Patients Understand the Thanksgiving Guidance Gobbledygook

There has been much public discussion of safety practices and precautions for the upcoming holiday. Because the rate of COVID-19 transmission varies significantly by location, some nationally promulgated guidance may seem to contradict local recommendations to patients. Here are a few ways physicians and their practices can help patients to navigate the holidays safely. 1.…

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Addressing Food Insecurity as Part of the Clinical Workflow: CRISP and Meals on Wheels

Food Insecurity in Maryland Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 600,000 Marylanders were served by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to the Maryland Department of Human Services. This number included seniors, children, people with disabilities, low-income families, and unemployed workers. COVID-19 subsequently caused hundreds of thousands of Marylanders lost jobs and income. Montgomery…

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Maryland Private Payors Banned from Cancelling Individual Policies for Nonpayment for 60 Days

On behalf of the Hogan Administration, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane has used her emergency powers to prevent health insurance companies from cancelling or refusing to renew individual health benefit plan policies for nonpayment of premiums for the next sixty days. Individual health benefit plan policies that were scheduled to terminate because of unpaid…

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Encouraging Vaccine Compliance During COVID-19

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of physicians to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. Participating in NIAM and promoting immunizations is more important than ever during COVID-19. This article will provide an overview of NIAM resources for medical practices, a summary of…

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#CallYourPhysician: Encouraging Patients to Seek Medical Care during COVID-19

MCMS has heard from our physician members that a significant cohort of their patient population has expressed reticence about seeking medical care during the pandemic. Physicians know better than anyone how dangerous putting off routine medical care can be, let alone care management for chronic conditions or a new developing condition. These challenges were reflected…

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