News Headlines

Daily News
Health care news from around the state and nation

Headlines

News Headlines Article

Palm Drive affiliates with Marin General
North Bay Business Journal

The Palm Drive Healthcare District on Monday night unanimously approved an affiliation agreement with Marin General Hospital, a move that district officials hope will help Palm Drive Hospital achieve long-term financial stability.

The district board’s 5-0 action is aimed at firming up finances by aligning Palm Drive with an expanding network of district hospitals, all benefiting from shared and consolidated services, the officials said.

News Headlines Article

Hospital unveils new smart phone app
Mountain View VOICE

A new smart phone application, built from the ground up by El Camino Hospital, aims to help locals make informed medical decisions for themselves and their families, according to an official with the healthcare organization. The free app, Family Medical Officer, allows users to access personal and family health records, find doctor by location, specialty or last name and check up-to-the-minute emergency room wait times at both El Camino campuses.

News Headlines Article

Medicare penalties for readmissions are likely to hit hospitals serving the poor
Washington Post

James Breedin cannot keep track of how often he has been admitted to Howard University Hospital for heart problems. “It’s been so many,” said Breedin, a 75-year-old disabled former truck driver from Northeast Washington.

One reason for his frequent returns, he says, is that he often can’t afford the medications his doctor prescribes, “so I have to do without.” Another is that he fears exercising outside because of neighborhood violence.

News Headlines Article

Court schedules week of health care arguments
San Francisco Chronicle

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will use an unprecedented week’s worth of argument time in late March to decide the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul before the 2012 presidential elections. The high court scheduled arguments for March 26th, 27th and 28th over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide health insurance to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans.

News Headlines Article

Pioneer ACO Model Offers Participants More Flexibility
Health Leaders Media

The Department of Health & Human Services announced on Monday that 32 healthcare systems have been selected to participate as Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations. The initiative will encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other caregivers to provide better, more coordinated care for people with Medicare and could save up to $1.1 billion over five years.

News Headlines Article

Adventist Health picks new medical director
Sacramento Bee

Adventist Health has tapped medical executive Dag Jakobsen to oversee its physician services.Jakobsen was named vice president and chief operating officer of physician services for the Roseville-based health network.

News Headlines Article

Children’s Hospital Central California Awarded Cancer Research Grant
KSEE

It takes life-saving research and access to clinical trials to help children with cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, awarded an infrastructure grant of $50,534 to Children’s Hospital Central California.

News Headlines Article

Do you want to see what doctors write about you? Apparently, you do
Los Angeles Times

Have you ever wondered what’s in your doctor’s notes? I have, although I’m not quite sure if I want to see … what would be written there? “Malingerer“? “Noncompliant”? “Royal pain in the rump?” “Only has one kidney and likely to check out early”?

This week’s Annals of Internal Medicine took a look at the issue. Turns out, not surprisingly, that most people really want to see what’s in their doctor notes. And many doctors — also not surprisingly — are a little uncomfortable with the prospect.

News Headlines Article

California’s pre-existing health condition plan getting new funds
Sacramento Bee

California will receive $118 million in federal funds to bolster its 2012 coverage of adults with pre-existing medical conditions.The state-run, federally funded Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP, was created last year to insure the uninsurable – those who because of their medical conditions have been denied coverage by insurers or who have had to pay prohibitive insurance premiums to ensure they were covered.

News Headlines Article

Many Docs Negative on Healthcare Reform
Health Leaders Media

Many physicians believe healthcare reform won’t reduce costs or improve access to care, but it will mean less income and autonomy for them, a new survey finds.

“One surprise was the level of denial and mourning that seems to be prevalent among doctors as they look to the future,” says Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and lead author of Physician Perspectives about Health Care Reform and the Future of the Medical Profession.

News Headlines Article

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula gets $500,000 grant
The Californian - Salinas

The Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula has received a $534,450 grant from the Hospice Foundation.

Through its Hospice of the Central Coast, Community Hospital provides services to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and families who are facing issues of end-of-life care. Services include home nursing care, respite for caregivers, transportation to medical appointments, and loss and grief support.

News Headlines Article

Online access to notes on patients gets mixed reaction
USA Today

Patients and doctors have dramatically different visions about the value of access to physicians’ notes about their patients, a new survey from Harvard Medical School released Monday shows. The study, which will appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that 80% of doctors surveyed worried their patients aren’t educated enough to understand their notes freely available online, while 80% of patients say the information will empower them to take charge of their health.

News Headlines Article

A Window on Health Care Reform
U.C. Riverside

Health care issues have dominated national and local news since the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, so little wonder it was chosen as the inaugural topic for UC Riverside’s new series of free public forums designed to build more interactions between the university and the community while examining the pressing issues of our day.

News Headlines Article

Obama gives states control over healthcare benefit levels
Live Insurance News

The Obama administration has announced that it has shifted the power from the federal government to the states themselves in deciding the level of medical benefits that will be required for coverage by insurance companies beginning in 2014. The purpose of this move was to help to eliminate the chance that there would be a clash between the states and the federal government regarding a foundational element of the new healthcare overhaul.

News Headlines Article

Tri-City buys office building
San Diego Union-Tribune

Tri-City Healthcare District has purchased a one-story, 6,123-square-foot medical building in Oceanside from Rady Children’s Hospital for $1.4 million, officials announced Monday.

Located on Waring Road, the building is on 1.4 acres just north of Tri-City Medical Center. Hospital officials said that purchasing the building allows Tri-City to expand existing outpatient programs such as cardiac rehabilitation and occupational medicine, as well as offering more medical office space.

News Headlines Article

Children don’t outgrow specialized care
Red Bluff Daily News

When it comes to matters of the heart for children, growing up doesn’t necessarily mean a patient outgrows the need for specialized medical care.

National guidelines recommend about half the adult survivors of complex congenital heart disease receive lifelong care from a physician who specializes in heart defects that were present at birth. However, a study recently published in the national professional journal Pediatrics found many parents don’t realize the need for their children to get ongoing care from a specialist into adulthood.

News Headlines Article

House to vote Tuesday on measure that includes two-month freeze on doc pay
Modern Healthcare

After meeting for hours Monday evening, House GOP leaders said the lower chamber will vote Tuesday on a Senate-amended version of the House’s payroll tax bill that would freeze Medicare physician payments for two months and extend certain healthcare provisions that are set to expire. “Our members do not want to punt and do a two-month fix and come back and do this again,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a news conference. “We will appoint conferees and hope the Senate will appoint conferees.”

News Headlines Article

Feds give states power to define health benefits
Sacramento Business Journal

A surprise decision by the Obama administration to give states flexibility to define the minimum benefits health insurers must offer under federal health reform lobs a big decision about affordability to states, too. Business groups may lobby for minimum benefits to save money, while consumer advocates push for extensive coverage. The bulletin released by federal health officials on Friday requires states to include coverage in 10 areas but it offers scant details and lets states pick the model they choose to follow — including the largest HMO plan offered in the state’s commercial m

News Headlines Article

Obama Health Coverage Policy Passes ‘Hot Potato’ to States
San Francisco Chronicle

The Obama administration avoided a potentially brutal lobbying battle over the medical benefits insurers must cover under the U.S. health-care overhaul when it decided last week to hand the decision off to states. The Dec. 16 ruling, coming less than a year before the presidential elections, gives states the power to set coverage levels for the policies uninsured people will buy through regulated marketplaces, called exchanges, starting in 2014.

News Headlines Article

6,000 nurses plan one-day strike across the state
Los Angeles Times

Thousands of registered nurses across California will strike for one day this week over myriad issues they say include predatory cuts that affect patient care, unsuccessful contract negotiations and rising healthcare premium costs.

The strikes will take place Thursday and will involve 2,000 nurses from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital, and 4,000 nurses from eight Bay Area hospitals owned by Sutter Health, according to the California Nurses Assn. and National Nurses United.

News Headlines Article

San Diego Sharp Will Participate In National Medicare Experiment
KPBS

Sharp HealthCare has been selected to take part in a pilot project designed to deliver better care to Medicare patients.

Sharp is one of 32 healthcare groups nationwide that will test out a new model.

The new project will provide care through what are called accountable care organizations, or ACOs. These are networks of doctors and hospitals that are charged with coordinating all aspects of a person’s care.

News Headlines Article

Was my doctor loyal to me, or to the drug companies?
Washington Post

Last year, four years after showing initial symptoms of multiple sclerosis, I walked out of one neurologist’s office and began searching for a different doctor. A series of events had gradually eroded my trust in the first doctor’s judgment, which I believe was colored by his financial relationships with drug companies.

I had started to see this neurologist not long after I experienced my first MS symptom: the sudden onset of visual distortion in my right eye.

News Headlines Article

CMS tells claims contractors to delay processing because of looming payment cut
Modern Healthcare

As it has before, the CMS is preparing to instruct its claims administration contractors to hold claims under the Medicare physician fee schedule because of a steep payment cut to physicians that is scheduled for Jan. 1. In a notice Monday, the CMS said it will guide contractors to hold claims containing 2012 services paid under the Medicare physician fee schedule from Jan. 1 until Jan. 17. Any services that were provided on or before Dec. 31 would be unaffected and processed under normal timeframes.

Opinion/Editorial

News Headlines Article

Reform Medicare before it’s too late
San Francisco Chronicle

The last time Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., worked across the aisle on health care, his Republican partner lost his job. Viewed as insufficiently conservative, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett became the rare incumbent to be ousted in a party primary in 2010. Last week Wyden appeared at the Bipartisan Policy Center with GOP budget hawk Paul Ryan to promote a joint proposal to reform Medicare. In April, to the delight of Democratic campaign consultants, Ryan introduced a plan that would have turned Medicare into a “premium support” – in a word: voucher – program.

Commands