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Overestimating Consumer Demand for Health Care Technology
The Health Care Blog

More people with higher levels of concern about their health feel they are in good health, see their doctors regularly for check-ups, take prescription meds “exactly” as instructed, feel they eat right, and prefer lifestyle changes over using medicines. And 40% of these highly-health-concerned people have also used a health technology in the past year.

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Is Incentive-Driven Healthcare the Holy Grail of Engagement?
The Health Care Blog

Industry studies confirm the strong connection between healthcare costs and the ingrained behavior of consumers and providers. Ironically, consumers and providers have access to more health information, tools, programs and support than ever before; yet healthcare costs continue to increase and chronic diseases continue to affect a larger portion of the population.

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Herman Cain’s (Mostly) Conventional Plan for Health Care Reform
The Health Care Blog

It’s easy to forget, but Herman Cain first became famous in political circles for his wonky takedown of President Bill Clinton at a town hall meeting where the President was touting his universal health-care plan. (Herman Cain walked President Clinton through the math of why Clinton’s plan would drive Godfather’s Pizza out of business.) Today, Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain spent half an hour with the GOP Congressional Health Care Caucus, where he outlined his proposals for health reform.

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Nurses join Occupy SF to march for tax
San Francisco Chronicle

About 200 nurses joined Occupy San Francisco protesters Thursday and marched from the Federal Reserve building up California Street to Wells Fargo Bank’s main branch, promoting a tax on financial transactions. The lunchtime march, organized by the California Nurses Association, was loud but orderly and free of violence, vandalism or even confrontation.

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Palm Drive Hospital district fills two board seats
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Palm Drive Health Care District directors on Wednesday appointed businessman Mark Inman and Dr. John Canova, a family physician, to fill two vacant seats on the five-member board. Inman, 43, is the former president of Taylor Maid Farms, Inc., a start-up coffee company that is now a major corporation. Canova, 63, has been a family practice doctor in Sebastopol since 1985, is former manager of the Sebastopol Free Clinic and is on the board of the Sonoma County Primary Care IPA.

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Northern Sonoma County health care leader to resign
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Rick Ventura, head of a foundation that has raised millions of dollars to support medical care in northern Sonoma County, is resigning effective Dec. 1.

Ventura, executive director of the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Sonoma County, is taking a position at a non-profit organization in Southern California.

A search for his replacement is underway.

News Headlines Article

Court sides with health district
San Mateo Daily Journal

The California Court of Appeals has sided with the Peninsula Health Care District over a watchdog group that challenged the use of taxpayer money to promote a ballot measure that allowed for the construction of a new hospital in Burlingame. The Peninsula Hospital Guardians, a nonprofit group, filed suit in 2006 against the district after area voters approved Measure V with 92 percent support.

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Too many meds may be more problem than cure
USA Today

Barely a week goes by, it seems, without some company announcing a new pill designed to help you live a longer, healthier life. Medication can, indeed, do a lot toward curing, preventing or easing many ills. But taking a fistful of pills each day creates its own set of medical risks, prompting concern among a growing number of physicians and pharmacists that people are simply taking too many medications for their own good.

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Medi-Cal cuts will rattle nursing homes
San Francisco Business Times

The government giveth, and the government taketh away, as Bay Area hospitals and nursing homes are discovering. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late last week OK’d Gov. Jerry Brown’s request to allow the Golden State to slash Medi-Cal payments to nursing homes and sub-acute hospital units by an average of 10 percent off their 2008 rates, although cuts are even steeper in some cases.

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Rx for heart patients: healthier living, medication
USA Today

A healthy lifestyle and appropriate medications can help people with heart disease live longer and avoid a heart attack or stroke, according to new guidelines from the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. Following the updated recommendations can also improve quality of life, reduce the need for surgical procedures to open blocked arteries and lower the likelihood of a repeat heart attack or stroke if you’ve suffered one already, the authors said.

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Stanford Hospital First with New Aneurysm Treatment
NBC Bay Area

Every year 15 percent of all patients diagnosed with brain aneurysms learn even more devastating news than the diagnosis itself. They have aneurysms that are so large and wide they cannot be reliably treated using conventional methods of treatment.

Now those patients have new hope.

This week Stanford Hospital became the first hospital in Northern California qualified to offer the new Pipeline treatment to patients without restrictions.

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New drug targets underlying cause of cystic fibrosis
USA Today

A new drug that targets a faulty protein that causes cystic fibrosis led to improved lung function and fewer symptoms in people with the lung disease, researchers report. The drug — ivacaftor — is the first to halt the underlying processes that cause the inherited disease, which causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and the pancreas and can lead to life-threatening infections, experts said.

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Hanford, two other hospitals receive $1 million grant
Hanford Sentinel

Hanford and two other California Adventist Health hospitals will share a $1 million grant from Blue Shield of California to help improve patient care through electronic medical records. Adventist Medical Center in Hanford, San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield and St. Helena Hospital and St. Helena-Clear Lake in Napa Valley will use the grant money to integrate the rural hospitals and physicians with an electronic medical record system to streamline the process of transferring records.

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Prolonged sitting linked to breast cancer, colon cancer
USA Today

More than 90,000 new cancer cases a year in the United States may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting, a new analysis shows. The analysis, being presented today at the annual conference of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, D.C., cites about 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 of colon cancer. “This gives us some idea of the cancers we could prevent by getting people to be more active,” says epidemiologist Christine Friedenreich of Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Canada.

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Tulare hospital board approves lease of equipment for robot surgery
Visialia Times-Delta

The Tulare Regional Medical Center board of directors approved a lease/purchase of a daVinci robotic surgery machine that will cost up to $2.4 million over five years at its meeting on a vote of 4-1 Wednesday.

Dr. Prem Kamboj voted against leasing the robotic surgery tool.

The daVinci-SI single console robotic surgery machine lease coincides with Tulare Regional’s agreement with the University of Southern California Institute of Urology for its surgeons to perform surgeries using the daVinci in Tulare.

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F.D.A. Officials, Hoping to Stave Off Critics, Point to Increased Drug Approvals
New York Times

Federal drug officials on Thursday claimed credit for an increase in the approval of new drugs and argued that the results demonstrated the need for legislation to continue financing the current drug approval system. The Food and Drug Administration approved 35 new drugs in the year that ended in September, a number that was surpassed only once in the past decade.

The agency approved 24 of the drugs before they were approved in any other country.

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Stanford, Lucile Packard hospitals reach a deal with Anthem Blue Cross
The Mercury News

Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have resolved a dispute with Anthem Blue Cross over reimbursement rates that had left some patients uncertain about their health coverage. The contract between the hospitals and insurer expired on Sept. 1. The new three-year agreement, announced Wednesday, is retroactive to Sept. 1, which means patients won’t be charged higher “out-of-network” prices for treatment received at the hospitals since that date.

News Headlines Article

Commenters Knock HHS Rules on Health Insurance Exchanges
Health Leaders Media

Proposed rules don’t give states enough time to establish health information exchanges and limit their flexibility and control over operating them, said roughly 30 organizations, including state governments, business groups, lobbyists, and special interest groups, in public comments.

The Department of Health and Human Services proposed three rules to govern the creation and operation of state-based health insurance exchanges, as well as the employer standards and Medicaid eligibility related to them.

News Headlines Article

Local hospitals honored
Chico News and Review

HealthGrades, a website that collects data on physician and hospital quality, has released its 2012 Hospital Quality Ratings Report, ranking all three local hospitals among others across the nation. Oroville Hospital received HealthGrades’ Pulmonary Care Excellence Award and ranked in the top 5 percent in the nation for overall pulmonary services, according to a hospital press release.

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