Friday, February 23, 2018

State's flu-death toll of 147 includes woman who died two days after getting symptoms but didn't seek immediate treatment

The death toll from this year's flu season in Kentucky reached 147 as of Feb. 17, including a 34-year-old Grayson County woman who died of the disease Jan. 25, just two days after her symptoms began.

“Apparently she had a new strain of flu that medical professionals are having trouble treating,” Grayson County Coroner Joe Brad Hudson told Ken Howlett of WKHG-FM in Leitchfield, which did not name the woman.

"The state medical examiner’s office said the woman died from the A/H3N2 flu strain, according to Hudson," Howlett reports. "Hudson recommends seeking medical treatment as quickly as possible after first experiencing flu-like symptoms, something the Grayson County woman did not do."

In the week ended Feb. 17, the state confirmed 1,015 more cases of influenza, about the same as the week before, bringing the season total to 7,302. The weekly death toll dropped to 19 from 30 the week before, the season record.

Flu is heaviest in the Barren River district around Bowling Green, the Bluegrass Region and the Big Sandy district in Eastern Kentucky. Here's the report by region:

On Feb. 22, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported the death of Hope Hurst Lanham, 50, CEO of Hurst Office Suppliers, at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. "Steve Snowden, Hurst chief operating officer, said that Mrs. Lanham became ill in late January before being hospitalized first at Baptist Health Hospital before being moved to the UK intensive care unit," Janet Patton reports. The Herald-Leader placed with the story a video of the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Jeffrey Howard, discussing the flu epidemic:

Hepatitis A outbreak grows, mainly in Louisville, but cases have been reported in widely scattered counties

Kentucky's outbreak of hepatitis A is growing, as the state Department for Public Health reports 117 cases, 96 of them in the Louisville area. "Outbreak-associated cases were also found in Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Hopkins, Leslie, Marion, McCracken and Taylor counties," said a Cabinet for Health and Family Services news release.

In a typical year, Kentucky has about 20 cases of hepatitis A, the primary risk factors for which are illicit drug use and homelessness.

"A single source of infection has not been identified, and transmission is believed to be occurring through person-to-person contact," the release said. "People are at increased risk for hepatitis A if they have traveled to a country where the virus is common . . . lack access to adequate bathing and restroom facilities . . . are men who have sex with other men [or] have a clotting disorder such as hemophilia."

Other than vaccinations, the health department says the best way to avoid hepatitis A is washing hands with warm water and soap before touching or eating food, after using the toilet and after changing a diaper. Also, handle uncooked food appropriately, and fully cook food.

Symptoms of the disease include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), dark-colored urine, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever, and gray stools. "Persons with symptoms should seek medical care for prompt diagnosis and treatment," the health department says.

Advocates urge lawmakers to raise cigarette tax to raise revenue, cut cancer rates; 1/3 of Ky. cancer cases are caused by smoking

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- At a Feb. 22 rally in the state Capitol, more than 100 advocates from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network asked Kentucky lawmakers to implement a policy measure proven to decrease smoking rates -- raising the state's cigarette tax. The ask if for an increase of $1 per pack, to $1.60.

Dr. Jason Chesney, surrounded by seven Kentuckians
holding pictures of loved ones who died from smoking-
related cancers, says it's time for Kentucky to increase its
per-pack cigarette tax by $1 to save lives and raise revenue.
Dr. Jason Chesney, director of the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, told the advocates that Kentucky leads the nation in the number of people with cancer and deaths from it, and that one-third of all cancers in the state are caused by smoking.

"This is a health crisis in this state, like no other state in the country, and we have to stop this vicious cycle today." he said "This is the time."

Chesney pointed out that Kentucky has some of the highest smoking rates in the nation, with 25 percent of its adults and 16 percent of its teens smoking. The Cancer Society says that raising the cigarette tax by $1 would keep more than 23,000 Kentucky teens from ever smoking and would result in over 29,000 adults quitting.

Chesney said fewer teens smoking would eventually mean fewer adults smoking, making for a healthier Kentucky and huge savings to the state. He said smoking costs the state $1.9 billion in annual health-care costs, with more than $500 million of that in the federal-state Medicaid program. "On average, this means that a typical household has to pay an extra $1,100 in annual taxes per year," he said.

He added, "I strongly believe that this initiative will have a greater impact on the health and welfare of Kentuckians than anything that I can do in my lifetime and anything any of my colleagues at the University of Louisville or the University of Kentucky could do in their lifetimes." he said.

Dr. Mark Evers, director of UK's Markey Cancer Center, also said the "time is right" to pass this cigarette tax, noting that Kentucky has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation. "Right now in Kentucky, with the highest rates of lung cancer and smoking, our cigarette excise tax is 60 cents," he said. The national average is $1.72 per pack.

Angela Criswell, the senior manager of medical outreach for the Lung Cancer Alliance, said smoking causes at least 12 kinds of cancer, and that nearly one in five deaths is attributable to it.

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer death and cause of death in the U.S.," she said. She added that raising the cigarette tax by $1 in Kentucky would also help the 60 percent of adults who say they want to quit do so.

Sixth-graders from Corbin Intermediate School (L-R) Bailyn
Scent, who told advocates her great-grandfather had died
from lung cancer; Andrew Collins, and Grayson Maggard.
(Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky photo)
Roger Cline, a cancer society volunteer who lost his wife to lung cancer, though she never smoked in her 59 years, said that while it was too late to help his wife, he called on Kentucky legislators to raise the cigarette tax by $1 to keep 23,000 young Kentuckians from ever smoking. Students from Corbin Intermediate School were at the rally in support of the tax.

Pam Pilgrim, who is the cancer society's lead volunteer in Kentucky, noted the estimated $266 million in annual revenue from the higher tax and said, "The bottom line is plain and simple. We need to save more lives in Kentucky and the state needs more revenue. A tobacco tax increase could go a long way toward solving both of these problems."

The rally was the fifth in a series sponsored by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, which comprises nearly 150 organizations that support efforts to decrease smoking in the state, including the tax hike. The other rallies have focused on smoking and pregnancy, teenagers, behavioral health and heart health. The coalition is headed by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which funds Kentucky Health News but has no editorial control of it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lobbying on cigarette tax ramps up, with foundation's ads and tobacco firm's use of farmers, retailers and paid media report

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- If activity by lobbying interests is any indication, the idea of raising the state cigarette tax $1 a pack is an active idea among members of the Kentucky General Assembly.

The main group advocating the tax increase, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, reported spending more than any other lobby during the first month of the session. Its total of $100,240 was not far ahead of collective spending by tobacco companies that oppose the tax hike, which totaled $95,218.

The leading pro-tobacco spender, at $44,643, was Altria Client Services, a subsidiary of Altria Group, which includes Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest manufacturer of tobacco products.

This month, Altria spent an as-yet-undisclosed sum with Commonwealth Radio Reports of Louisville, which distributed a 45-second audio report to Kentucky radio stations about tobacco farmers and retailers lobbying legislators against the tax increase. The report did not say who sponsored or produced it.

Richard Farmer, the reporter and company owner, told Kentucky Health News that Altria brings tobacco farmers to Frankfort every session, but this year added retailers. That indicates the stakes are higher; in addition to the foundation's campaign, the state faces serious revenue problems.

The foundation is also using paid media. It has laid out more than $98,500 for an advertising campaign set to begin Monday, Feb. 26, Marcus Green reports for Louisville's WDRB. The foundation is staffing the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, comprising more than 150 groups and individuals.

“It will be a multimedia campaign,” Bonnie Hackbarth, spokeswoman for the foundation and the coalition, told Green. “We will be using billboards, cable TV, digital, and we will be focusing on the health benefits that can be achieved through a $1 or more increase on the tax on cigarettes.”

Hackbarth told Green that the campaign will focus on the health benefits of quitting smoking. Kentucky's smoking rate of 25 percent "trails only neighboring West Virginia," Green notes.

"Hackbarth said the coalition, whose members include health, business and other groups, does not expect that a standalone bill raising the cigarette tax will pass during the current session," Green reports. "But she said it’s possible the measure could be added during budget negotiations or approved in a special session on tax reform. Advocates estimate a $1-per-pack cigarette tax could generate more than $266 million for the state each year while also reducing smoking-related illnesses."

Hackbarth said of the ad buy, “This is the first wave and we will continue until we will be able to win.”

In his report, Farmer said, "Opponents say the tax hike would unfairly burden those least able to pay, the nearly 48 percent of low-income Kentuckians who smoke, and it would hurt the family farm, according to Christian County farmer Robert Gray," who said tobacco prices are stable, unlike those for other farm products.

Altria's allies also argue the hike would be "counterproductive," Farmer reported, because "60 percent of states recently increasing cigarette taxes failed to meet revenue projections. Growers pointed out that higher taxes would drive smokers across borders to buy cigarettes, harming Kentucky convenience stores, which derive more than a third of their sales from cigarettes."

Raising the tax $1 a pack would make it $1.60, the same as in Ohio but much higher than the 99.5 cents in Indiana, the other state that shares a major metropolitan area with Kentucky. The rates in other bordering states are $1.98 in Illinois, $1.20 in West Virginia, 62 cents in Tennessee, 30 cents in Virginia and 17 cents in Missouri; the last two are the lowest in the nation.

Foundation President and CEO Ben Chandler said in an email that tobacco manufacturers are “hiding behind farmers,” who “get about 3 cents per pack of cigarettes for their tobacco. Yet the health-related costs are about $35 per pack. And every household in Kentucky pays about $1,200 in extra taxes each year to cover those health costs. We’re grateful that lawmakers are beginning to understand this message, and will keep working until we can announce we’ve kept our promise to make Kentucky healthier by reducing smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fewer Kentuckians are worried about losing health insurance, though fewer say they are on employer-sponsored plans

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Nearly one in four Kentucky adults with health insurance worry that they could lose their health coverage -- less than last year, when almost one in five said they were concerned, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll.

The survey, taken by telephone Oct. 24 to Dec. 2, found that the share of Kentuckians with public insurance (such as Medicaid, Medicare or veterans' benefits) in 2017 moved back up to its 2015 rate of 35 percent. It had dropped to 29 percent in 2016.

The share of Kentuckians with employer-provided insurance dropped to 39 percent, continuing a bumpy decline that began in 2014, when the rate was 50 percent. About 11 percent of Kentucky adults reported they bought health insurance on their own or through a parental plan.

The decline in employer-sponsored insurance could be significant, because part of Gov. Matt Bevin's strategy in adding work rules to Medicaid is to encourage those on the program to find jobs that offer insurance. Most of those who will be affected by the work rules already work, but many at low-paying jobs that don't offer insurance.

In 2014, when then-Gov. Steve Beshear expanded Medicaid to those who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the share of Kentuckians without health insurance dropped from 25 percent to 12 percent. The rate rose to 15 percent in the latest poll, after two years at 13 percent, but those numbers were within the poll's error margin of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

The survey also found that an additional 6 percent of Kentucky adults who had health insurance at the time they were polled were without it at some time during the prior 12 months.

"Health insurance and good health go hand in hand," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which co-sponsors the poll with Interact for Health, a Cincinnati foundation. "Preventive care and wellness checks are as necessary as treatment for chronic illness, and too many Kentucky adults are still going without the care they need due to lack of insurance."

Catholic chain that owns hospitals in Paducah and Irvine plans to merge with one that owns Our Lady of Bellefonte near Ashland

Lourdes Hospital (West Kentucky Star photo)
Cincinnati-based Mercy Health, which owns Lourdes Hospital in Paducah and Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital in Irvine, is merging with Maryland-based Bon Secours Health System, which owns Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Greenup County, near Ashland.

The two Roman Catholic chains will "form a 43-hospital entity that serves seven states," and would be "the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country," Alex Kacik reports for Modern Healthcare. Executives of the chains said that would "leverage economies of scale to deliver better, more affordable care," Kacik reports, based on a joint press release. "They expect to complete the merger by the end of the year."

Photo by Kevin Goldy, Ashland Daily Independent
Kacik adds, "The combined system would have $8 billion in net operating revenue and $293 million in operating income. More than 57,000 associates and 2,100 employed physicians and advance practice clinicians would work in more than 1,000 locations across the East Coast, Ohio and Kentucky, including more than 50 home health agencies, hospices, skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities."

Mercy Health, the largest hospital chain in Ohio, operated a hospital in Owensboro until 1995, when it merged with Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital and was renamed Owensboro Mercy Health System. In 2003, the hospital and other facilities became Owensboro Medical Health System, which opened the new Owensboro Health hospital in 2013.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In county with 75% on Medicaid and 12.4% unemployed, Salyersville mayor ponders Medicaid's new work rules

Kentucky's new Medicaid plan requires some of its recipients to work or volunteer will be phased in, with poor areas last, but some are worried that finding work there won't be easy, and that enforcing the new requirement will cause some to lose their coverage.

"I would not be truthful if I didn't say it's a big challenge," Kristi Putnam, the Medicaid waiver program manager for the state, told Miranda Combs of Lexington's WKYT-TV.  "It's a big project. There are a lot of moving parts and lots of partnerships."

Kentucky was the first state the federal government allowed to require some of its Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer or get job training 80 hours a month to keep their health insurance. This requirement will largely affect those who gained coverage through the expansion of the program, under federal health reform, to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Combs compared unemployment and Medicaid numbers and found that "the latest unemployment rate numbers were above the state average in each of the 10 counties with the highest percentages of Medicaid recipients," making many wonder where these people are going to work.

Screenshot of WKYT interactive map with percentage of population on Medicaid 
The top 10 Medicaid counties have between 58 percent to 82 percent of their population on the program, and have unemployment ranging from 5.2 percent to 12.4 percent. The statewide unemployment rate is 4.4 percent.

Combs talked to Salyersville Mayor Pete Shepherd about how 75 percent of the people in Magoffin County ended up on Medicaid.

"We got here because the federal government decided in the 1960s to give food stamps and welfare to everybody that was under a certain threshold," Shepherd said, adding that the loss of coal jobs added others to the rolls.

"We had a lot of people that went off good-paying jobs to nothing," Shepherd said. "It's not their fault, and a lot of them would work if there were jobs available."

Shepherd, who said he needed more guidance from the state on the program, also voiced his concern about the new work rules, saying, " You can't make jobs if there's nothing there to have for jobs."

Putnam told Combs that the state will help people meet the  new requirements, which won't be rolled out in Magoffin County until November.

Putnam estimated that about 239,000 people in Kentucky will have the "community engagement requirement," and that half of them already meet it. "It's really intended to help connect people to resources so that they aren't in the multi-generational poverty situation where they depend on benefits," she said.

Opponents of the plan are concerned that the lock-out periods for failure to meet work requirements, pay premiums, or report changes or renew coverage in a timely manner will result in Kentuckians losing their health coverage. The Bevin administration recognizes that many will lose their coverage, estimating that there will be 95,000 fewer Kentuckians on Medicaid in five years than without the program, partly because of "non-compliance."

Three nonprofit groups representing 16 Kentuckians have sued the federal government to block Kentucky's Medicaid waiver. The Trump administration and Gov. Matt Bevin want the case to be heard in federal court in Frankfort.

Attorney general sues Cardinal Health for distributing large volumes of opioids to state, alleges wrongdoing

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit Feb. 19 against Ohio-based Cardinal Health, saying the company has practiced unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices while flooding the state with highly addictive opioid painkillers.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, alleges that Cardinal failed to report "suspiciously large volumes" of opioid shipments, particularly in Eastern Kentucky, to state and federal authorities.

“Kentucky has lost so much,” Beshear said. “But a better future is possible. The companies that made billions have a duty to help us create a future. They have a duty to fully fund treatment, prevention, recovery and enforcement efforts.”

Based on Cardinal's 20.7 percent share of the Kentucky market, Beshear's office attributes 63.6 million of the 307.2 million doses of prescription opioids filled by Kentucky pharmacies between 2016 through 2017 to the company, "which breaks down to 69 doses for every man, woman and child in Kentucky."

Further, Beshear's office says this breaks down to 302 doses for every citizen in Floyd County; 245 doses for each citizen in Clay County; and 222 doses per citizen in Bell County, but only 1.5 per citizen in Jefferson County.

Since November 2017, Beshear's office has also filed opioid lawsuits against two other drug companies, McKesson Corp., making similar claims as the Cardinal suit, and Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions for violating state law and directly contributing to opioid-related deaths and overdoses from the drug Opana.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bevin sues in federal court at Frankfort to get lawsuit over Medicaid changes heard in Kentucky, not Washington

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

The legal maneuvering over changes to Medicaid in Kentucky escalated Monday, as Gov. Matt Bevin sued the national groups and Kentuckians who had sued the Trump administration over its approval of the changes Bevin wanted.

The first suit was filed in federal court in Washington. It did not name Bevin or his subordinates as plaintiffs, apparently because he has said a court ruling against his changes would result in his ending the 2014 Medicaid expansion that covers 480,000 Kentuckians.

Bevin's suit was filed in federal court at Frankfort. He wants the case decided in Kentucky, and "seeks to ensure that, as the architect and administrator of the waiver, the Commonwealth's voice is heard," his office said in a press release, adding that the case would ensure that his administration's arguments "are fully considered."

The release noted that the Trump administration's Department for Health and Human Services "recently moved to transfer the case to Kentucky, further confirming the necessity of having a Kentucky court resolve this dispute."

"We cannot sit idly by while the Commonwealth’s plan is debated in an out-of-state courtroom,” Steve Pitt, Bevin's chief lawyer, said in the release. "A Kentucky court, with the full participation of the Commonwealth, should decide this vital issue."

The first suit was filed Jan. 24, 12 days after the Trump administration approved Bevin's proposal that many if not most people covered by the Medicaid expansion be required to work, volunteer or take job training. The plan also includes small, income-based premiums for Medicaid beneficiaries.

The suit, filed on behalf of 16 beneficiaries in Kentucky, alleges that the work rules violate federal law. Kentucky was the first state to win approval of such rules, and Indiana has followed suit; other states' requests are pending.

Bevin's suit seeks a declaratory judgment that his plan complies with the same laws that the first suit says the plan violates. The first suit also says the plan violates the Constitution, which requires that presidents "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bevin's suit seeks a judgment that the claim can't be decided by a court, or that the approval of Bevin's plan didn't violate the clause.

Claims made in filing a lawsuit give only one side of a case.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Anthem makes several exceptions to its controversial policy of denying payment for ER visits it deems non-emergency

Responding to complaints from legislators and health-care providers, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has added several exceptions to its recently established policy of not paying for emergency-room visits if it determines there was no emergency. The policy first took effect in Kentucky, Missouri and Georgia; "Ohio, Indiana and New Hampshire were added to the program in January, after the new exceptions were already in place," Leslie Small reports for FierceHealthcare.

The exceptions include patients who:
  • are sent to the ER by another provider, including an ambulance
  • visit an ER between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday, or on a major holiday
  • are younger than 15
  • live more than 15 miles from an urgent care center
  • are traveling out of state
  • receive any kind of surgery
  • get intravenous fluids or IV medications, or an MRI or CT scan
  • have an ER visit associated with an outpatient or inpatient admission
"Anthem said the changes went into effect Jan. 1," Shelby Livingston reports for Modern Healthcare. "It will apply the exceptions to any previously denied claims."

The company said in a prepared statement, “Anthem stands by our belief that emergency rooms are an expensive place to receive routine care. The costs of treating non-emergency ailments in the ER has an impact on the cost of healthcare for consumers, employers and the health care system as a whole.”

The changes did not satisfy the American College of Emergency Physicians. "This is still a fundamentally flawed policy,” Laura Wooster, the group's associate executive director of public affairs for the American College of Emergency Physicians, told Small. “Making fixes around the edges doesn’t end this dangerous policy that’s really going to scare patients away from going to the ER or even considering going to the ER.”

Wes Brewer, former president of ACEP's Kentucky chapter, told Lisa Gillespie of Louisville's WFPL, “We have hundreds of cases where people with conditions, where I don’t know in what universe you wouldn’t think they’re emergencies, have been denied.”

Small reports, "Anthem’s program was meant to deter members from using the emergency room for illnesses or injuries that aren’t life-threatening. But critics say patients shouldn’t be forced to self-diagnose, warning that the new policies will encourage people to avoid seeking care for serious medical conditions out of fear that their claim will be denied."

Shannon Muchmore reports for HealthcareDive, "Anthem has said its program denies a small percentage of claims, but the change in policy signals the payer may be worried about the backlash, including from patients who have gone public with denied claims.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Older people and those in poor health most likely to lose Medicaid due to work rules, study says; state's numbers differ

The Kentuckians most likely to lose their Medicaid coverage because of new work requirements "are older and in poor health while those most likely to keep their insurance are younger and in better condition," according to an Urban Institute analysis, reports Adam Beam of The Associated Press.

Based on census data, the institute figures that 357,000 Kentucky Medicaid beneficiaries won't qualify for one of the exemptions from the new rules, which will be phased in starting July 1. "Of those, 188,000 are not working and most at risk of losing coverage," Beam writes. "Their average age is 45, with 48 percent of them older than 50." He adds that 76 percent lack a car, household access to the internet or a high-school diploma; have serious health limitations; or live with someone who does.

State officials' estimates differ. They say 224,000 people will be covered by the work rules and 100,000 to 130,000 people will qualify for exemptions, such as being a full-time student or a primary caregiver. The study estimates the exempt number at 174,000 and says their average age is 34, and 85 percent are high-school graduates, reflecting those two major exemptions. "About 20 percent report one or more serious health limitations," Beam notes.

The different estimates may be driven by limitation of the study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "The rules for work requirements apply to full-time students, but the data does not distinguish between full-time and part-time, so the study counted all students as exempt. That's likely an overestimate," Beam writes, "The work requirements also exempt pregnant women, a population not counted in the data."

Also, the work rules exempt the 'medically frail,' which the study could not count. "Kentucky's application to the federal government said this could include people with active cancer, aplastic anemia, blood clotting disorders, chronic alcohol or drug abuse, and mental illness," Beam reports. "But it's unclear how those rules will be applied. It's possible a number of people the study identified as not exempt from the work requirement would fall into one of those categories."

Beam adds, "The study also identified another group: about 169,000 people who would not be exempt from the work requirements but who already have a job. It would be easier for them to meet the requirements and not lose coverage. Of those, 36 percent reported they worked less than the required 80 hours per month. But working isn't the only way to fulfill the requirements. People can also participate in community service, attend school or take job training classes.

All three groups are short of access to high-speed internet, Beam notes: "That could make it difficult to document their compliance with the work requirement, since state officials want people to use a mobile-friendly website to track that data. But people can also log their hours by mailing in printed forms or by visiting county offices of the Department of Community Based Services."

30 more Kentuckians die from flu, raising season total to 128

Thirty more people died from influenza in Kentucky during the week ended Feb. 10, the last one for which figures have been compiled. That was 10 more deaths than the previous week, and nine more than the highest weekly toll of 21, recorded in two consecutive weeks in January. The flu is now known to have killed 128 people in Kentucky during the current flu season, four of them children.

Kentucky had 1,023 new laboratory-confirmed flu cases from Feb. 4 through 10, a big increase from the 660 confirmed cases in the previous week. The total for the season is 6,287. Of that number, 5,125 have been Type A and 1,144 have been Type B.

All regions of the state except Lexington and Lake Cumberland reported increased flu activity during the week. Here is the state's detailed weekly report: