Hospitals meeting cardiac care standards
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Holston Valley Medical Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center have signed on as participating partners and are already meeting benchmark standards for emergency cardiac intervention aimed at reducing damage to the heart, or even saving the life, of patients who suffer a sudden heart attack. A list of participating hospitals in an initiative called D2B: An Alliance for Quality was highlighted last week by the American College of Cardiology, and Bristol Regional and Holston Valley are included as partners in this nationwide push for better, quicker emergency heart care. D2B stands for "door-to-balloon," or the common term for emergency angioplasty in heart attack cases. The American College of Cardiology, in partnering with the American Heart Association and other health care organizations, set a door-to-balloon guideline of 90 minutes or less as the time hospitals should strive toward for medical intervention - oftentimes rapid angioplasty to clear a blocked artery. The ACC and the American Heart Association formed the 90-minute D2B initiative in November of 2006, based largely on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that said many hospitals needed to streamline operations for emergency door-to-balloon care. Holston Valley and Bristol Regional began moving toward the new door-to-balloon guidelines months ago, according to a news release from Wellmont Health System, the nonprofit group that owns both hospitals.
IRS warns of phony phishing e-mails
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NASHVILLE - The Internal Revenue Service has alerted taxpayers about Internet scams in which fraudulent e-mails are sent that appear to be from the IRS. The e-mails direct the consumer to a Web link that requests personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers. The practice of tricking victims into revealing private personal and financial information over the Internet is known as "phishing" for information. The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts. The information fraudulently obtained by scammers is used to steal the taxpayer's identity and then his or her financial assets. Generally, identity thieves use someone's personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns to obtain refunds rightfully belonging to the victim. "The IRS doesn't ever send unsolicited e-mail," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.