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A 'perfect storm' superbug: How an invasive fungus got health officials' attention Print E-mail
Written by Helen Branswell | STAT   
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:18

Try as they might, the infection control specialists at Royal Brompton Hospital could not eradicate the invasive fungus that was attacking already gravely ill patients in the intensive care unit.

Enhanced cleaning didn't stop the dangerous bug from spreading from one patient to the next in the 296-bed hospital. Neither did segregating infected patients, to keep them from spreading the fungus.

Eventually, officials who run the Royal Brompton, located a couple of miles from Buckingham Palace in London's tony Chelsea neighborhood, resorted to a last-ditch move no hospital ever wants to have to take. They temporarily shut their ICU. That appears to have put a stop to the more than year-long outbreak, which ended last year and involved at least 50 patients.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:28
'Living Drug' That Fights Cancer By Harnessing Immune System Clears Key Hurdle Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 17 July 2017 00:00

Rob Stein reports for Health News Florida on 7/12/17:
A new kind of cancer treatment that uses genetically engineered cells from a patient's immune system to attack their cancer easily cleared a crucial hurdle Wednesday...The treatment takes cells from a patient's body, modifies the genes, and then re-infuses those modified cells back into the person who has cancer. If the agency approves, it would mark the first time the FDA has approved anything considered to be a gene therapy product...The treatment is part of one of the most important developments in cancer research in decades - finding ways to harness the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 11:58
First Financial Expands Their Professional Team Print E-mail
Written by FHI News   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:04

First Financial Leasing and Finance has expanded the firm's equipment leasing and healthcare sector focus. The firm was seeking someone with experience in both industries and found that combination in Hank Koche. Hank joined the company in May and is the National Sales Director of Healthcare Financing and Equipment Leasing. His extensive experience in healthcare equipment leasing and as a healthcare facility owner and operator will be critical assets for the business going forward. When it comes to hiring the right person for a specific position within the company, First Financial's goal is to always employ only the top producers with the experience to keep them on top of their competitors.

“There is a mistaken idea that with all the consolidation in healthcare, there is no place for small businesses or individual physician practices," states Mr. Koche. “This sort of transition does create opportunities for growth. Hospitals must keep current with technology as well as independent physicians who will need to expand their services to compete and therefore can benefit from the financing of tangible assets and low rate working capital loans." In Mr. Koche's view, now is a great time for medical practices to take advantage of First Financial's excellent rates and programs during this changing healthcare landscape. For example, the firm is currently offering an application only lending program of up to $150k for physician start-ups and up to $250k for physicians in practice over 3 years for essential use tangible equipment. "First Financial is here to deliver those financial services that these bold changes require," he states.

Based in Lauderdale By The Sea, First Financial launched their business over 20 years ago specializing in all areas of SBA financing, equipment leasing, merchant services, commercial mortgages and more. After extensive research, they realized that larger banks often turned away from small business loans which prompted First Financial to grow in this field. The firm has become one of the most successful small business specialists lending nationwide with influential contacts in their field throughout the country. This continued success is built on a sincere commitment to integrity and customer service and explains why their customers come back frequently for additional financing.

The company's devotion to old-fashioned values does not prevent the firm from embracing progress. First Financial is on top of today’s ever-changing developments in the tech world and continues to make the loan process as simple as possible when submitting documents and/or closing on a business loan.

Contact Hank Koche at (800) 956-7313 at or visit the website ( View Medical Brochure HERE>>

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 11:56
CDC: Despite recent declines, opioid prescribing is still high and inconsistent across the US Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

The Centers for Disease Control, in a July 6, 2017 Vital Signs post, reports:
  • Providers in the highest prescribing counties prescribed 6 times more opioids per person than the lowest prescribing counties in 2015.
  • Half of US counties had a decrease in the amount of opioids (morphine milligram equivalents aka MME) prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015.
  • The MME prescribed per person in 2015 was about 3 times as high as in 1999.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 17:13
Digital Apps Gaining Traction As Chronic Condition Management Tool Print E-mail
Written by WSJ   
Friday, 30 June 2017 17:06

Laura Landro
 reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

Technology is offering a new fix for one of the most confounding health-care challenges: getting patients with chronic disease to take better care of themselves.

About half of all adults suffer from one or more chronic diseases, which account for seven of 10 deaths and 86% of U.S. health-care costs. But preventing and treating such ailments requires time that doctors don't have in brief office visits, and a degree of daily self-management that many patients have been unable to handle. They often become overwhelmed by the demands of their daily regimens, slip back into poor health habits, fail to take their medications correctly-and end up in the emergency room.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 June 2017 17:13
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