News Headlines

Daily News
Health care news from around the state and nation

Headlines

News Headlines Article

Gingrich think tank collected millions from health-care industry
Washington Post

A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.

The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials.

News Headlines Article

Report shows decline in teen births, prematurity, C-sections
USA Today

Rates of teen births, premature deliveries and cesareans all are going down, a new report says. “This is a positive picture,” says Jennifer Howse, president of the March of Dimes, which focuses on maternal and infant health. “Things are definitely heading in the right direction.” Overall birth rates also fell in 2010 for the third year in a row, according to the report, released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

News Headlines Article

CHW names Sacramento area chief
Sacramento Business Journal

Catholic Healthcare West has appointed a new executive to replace former Sacramento area president Tim Moran — and significantly broadened the job. Michael Taylor, 56, will become senior vice president of operations for the Greater Sacramento — San Joaquin Service Area, effective Dec. 6. The new position adds six more hospitals to the service area, making it the largest within CHW.

News Headlines Article

Cost-Shifting Blamed for Commercial Insurance Cost Growth
Health Leaders Media

The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance grew by 8.03% over the 12 months ending in September, while costs for Medicare healthcare services grew by only 1.97% for the same period, Standard & Poor’s Healthcare Economic Indices show.

The two cost growth indices have both grown in the last several months but at significantly different speeds, with commercial plans far outstripping Medicare, even with the federal healthcare program’s older, sicker population, which uses healthcare services more.

News Headlines Article

Pediatrics praised at Woodland Healthcare
Daily Democrat

The Woodland Healthcare Emergency Department received the designation of Excellence in Pediatric Care according to local hospital officials. The Emergency Department, which treats more than 2,500 children a year from Woodland and its surrounding communities, received this prestigious designation from Valley Emergency Physicians, the physician group providing emergency services at Woodland Healthcare and at more than 30 hospitals in California.

News Headlines Article

CMS Delays HIPAA 5010 Enforcement
Health Leaders Media

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) won’t enforce compliance with the HIPAA 5010 transaction set until March 31, 2012, the agency announced November 17. The 90-day delay will not affect the implementation date for the ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems, CMS said. That date remains October 1, 2013.

News Headlines Article

SVDH narrows search for next leader
Porterville Recorder

What started out with more than 150 applicants, the search for a new Chief Executive Officer for Sierra View District Hospital is down to two finalists.

Current CEO Dennis Coleman is retiring Jan. 31. Coleman has served as hospital CEO for the past 10 years. He announced his retirement plans in late July and the hospital board hired a recruiting firm in August to begin the search.

News Headlines Article

Medicare-Medicaid ‘dual eligibles’ under scrutiny
USA Today

Charles Barnum, 70, has heart problems, kidney issues and diabetes. But his health coverage through a managed-care plan seems about as solid as you can find: He’s covered by not only Medicare, but Medicaid as well. “They keep a close eye on him,” said his daughter, Mary. Every few weeks, a nurse comes to her father’s Odessa, Mo., house to check on him, and his weight is monitored daily and sent via an electronic uplink.

News Headlines Article

Hospital considers ClearSpot solar option
Hollister Free Lance

Hazel Hawkins Hospital is considering following the lead of local schools by adding solar panels to offset energy costs.

The hospital district’s board of directors was scheduled to hear a presentation Thursday from ClearSpot Energy Inc., which recently installed panels at eight Hollister School District sites as well as the district office over the summer. ClearSpot also installed solar panels at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

News Headlines Article

Adult Day Health Care-like services will continue under settlement
Sacramento Business Journal

A class action filed against the state by advocates for the disabled over elimination of Medi-Cal funding for Adult Day Health Care services was settled Thursday. The funding cut — adopted as part of the 2011-12 state budget — was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. The settlement provides for continued ADHC-like services for people at risk of institutionalization in a new program called Community-Based Adult Services.

News Headlines Article

Survey Reveals 78% of Healthcare Executives Prioritizing Perioperative Cost Reduction Efforts
Sacramento Bee

An annual survey of hospital executives highlights the increased importance of reducing costs in the perioperative department. Seventy-eight percent of the survey’s respondents are considering or planning projects to reduce perioperative costs in the next year, a 34% increase in OR cost reduction projects since 2010. Twenty-five percent of hospitals in 2010 cited maximizing reimbursements as their top financial concern. In 2011, that number dropped by 56%.

News Headlines Article

Calif. health centers for seniors to stay open
Sacramento Bee

The most medically fragile seniors in California will be able to continue receiving care from adult day health care centers while others will get help finding alternative services, according to an agreement announced Thursday.

Adult day health care centers throughout the state have wavered on the brink of extinction in recent months, as the state budget for the optional Medi-Cal program was repeatedly slashed and a legislative attempt to save it was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

News Headlines Article

Med Center opens new ICU for children
Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s UC Davis Medical Center and Children’s Hospital opened a new intensive care unit Thursday specializing in treating critically ill and injured children.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital is on the 10th floor of the medical center’s Davis Tower and opened to patients at 2 a.m. Thursday.

News Headlines Article

Santa Monica-UCLA hospital goes smoke free
Santa Monica Daily Press

For years, expecting fathers at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center & Orthopaedic Hospital have been forced to chomp on cigars made of bubble gum or chocolate instead of lighting up those made with tobacco.

Smoking inside the hospital has been off limits for at least a decade, hospital officials said. On Thursday, that ban was expanded to cover the entire UCLA health system.

News Headlines Article

Study: STD complication may double infertility risk
USA Today

Repeated bouts of pelvic inflammatory disease increase a woman’s risk of chronic pelvic pain and infertility, a new study says. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) — a complication of sexually transmitted diseases — is marked by inflammation of the reproductive organs. The condition affects more than 800,000 women in the United States each year and one in 10 of them becomes infertile, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

News Headlines Article

Workers’ Health Premiums Rose 63% in Seven Years, Study Shows
San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. workers’ health insurance premiums rose 63 percent from 2003 to 2010 as employers shifted more of the burden of rising medical costs to individuals and families, a study showed. The total cost of insuring a family through employer- sponsored health plans rose 50 percent over the same period, reaching an average of $13,871 a year by 2010, according to the Commonwealth Fund study, based on annual government surveys of companies.

Opinion/Editorial

News Headlines Article

Medi-Cal cuts pose a danger to all of us, not just the poor
Bakersfield Californian

The Medi-Cal program (called “Medicaid” in the other 49 states) encourages physicians to join their network, to make health care available to California’s indigent citizens. However, the program is gutted whenever government budgets come under strain. This is our current system. We must reverse course in order to avert a national disaster. To anyone who might someday need to utilize an emergency room, and that includes you and me, the following issues should be of great concern:

News Headlines Article

Why can’t we have universal health care here?
The Union

I was with a group of women the other day hearing about a friend’s recent trip to Europe.

“And,” she added emphatically, “They have universal health care there! Why is it we can’t have it here?”

Some of us knew exactly why, as we’d followed the health care reform debate of 2009.

Why hadn’t our government looked at how European nations, Japan and Taiwan have operated universal health care for decades now?

Commands