News Headlines

Daily News
Health care news from around the state and nation

Headlines

News Headlines Article

As CHW splits from Catholic Church, patients will notice little change
Sacramento Bee

Catholic Healthcare West, which operates six hospitals in the Sacramento region, is changing its name to Dignity Health and cutting its affiliation to the Catholic Church. The changes will mean little to Dignity’s patients and approximately 7,000 employees in the Sacramento region. Mercy General, Mercy San Juan and Mercy Folsom hospitals will remain Catholic. The system also operates Methodist Hospital in Sacramento, Woodland Healthcare hospital and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley.

News Headlines Article

Catholic Healthcare West changes name to Dignity Health, ends church affiliation
Sacramento Business Journal

Catholic Healthcare West — parent company to local Mercy hospitals — has changed its name to Dignity Health and ended its formal affiliation with the Catholic Church. The change reflects a new strategy for growth that will allow partnerships with non-Catholic hospitals with shared values but fewer restrictions over reproductive health care and other services.

News Headlines Article

Kaiser Permanente mulls deals with 3 hospitals
The Desert Sun

Kaiser Permanente soon will renegotiate its contracts with the three Coachella Valley hospitals, and Eisenhower Medical Center, which lost its contract with the HMO about three years ago, is back in the competition.

The health maintenance organization, which does not have a hospital of its own in the valley, has had an exclusive contract for three years with Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio.

News Headlines Article

Prognosis: Biggs-Gridley hospital is making things work
Chico Enterprise Record

David Yarbrough won’t say the path is free of rocks, but he sounds confident Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital is making tracks in the right direction. “We’ve been working really hard,” said Yarbrough, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “The bottom line is we’re on our own, and right now we’re making it.” Financially, it is a tough time for hospitals, and Yarbrough said Biggs-Gridley remains “fragile.” However, he said, “we’re eking out a small profit line.”

News Headlines Article

CMS offers guidance on EHR incentive appeals
Modern Healthcare

Hospitals and clinicians that have failed to obtain payments through the government’s Medicare electronic health-record system incentive program and those seeking to challenge a payment amount now can look to the CMS for guidance on the appeals process.

Administrative-appeals information is available for download from the CMS’ website for hospitals and healthcare professionals that have been deemed ineligible to participate in the program or denied meaningful-user status. Information also is available about payment calculation appeals.

News Headlines Article

Chemicals Used During Medical Imaging Tests May Damage Thyroid
San Francisco Chronicle

Chemicals used to enhance pictures obtained from medical imaging tests may lead to overactive or underactive thyroid glands, a study showed. Patients injected with contrast material were about twice as likely as those who didn’t get the chemical to develop hyperthyroidism, when the gland produces too much thyroid hormone and can cause rapid or irregular heart rates, according to a study today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Results also showed an increased risk for hypothyroidism.

News Headlines Article

Getting Medicare-covered health services at home
Times-Standard

Medicare covers a variety of heath care services that you can receive in the comfort and privacy of your home. These include intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy. Such services used to be available only at a hospital or doctor’s office. But they’re just as effective, more convenient and usually less expensive when you get them in your home.

News Headlines Article

Stanford Hospital names Margaret Vosburgh to fill vacant COO slot
San Francisco Business Times

Stanford Hospital & Clinics has named Margaret Vosburgh as its new chief operating officer, effective Feb. 13, the academic medical center said Monday. Vosburgh will be responsible for overall operations at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, which last summer began a $3.5 billion expansion and seismic upgrade project with the adjacent Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

News Headlines Article

Autism linked to other disorders
USA Today

Many children with autism also have other developmental or psychiatric conditions, including learning disabilities, speech delays, attention or seizure disorders and anxiety. According to new research, some of those co-occurring conditions may explain why autism diagnoses often change as children get older. In a survey by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, more than one-third of parents with children between 6 and 17 years old reported that their child’s diagnosis of autism had changed over time.

News Headlines Article

Local hospital attempting to improve emergent service
The Union

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital will go with a new contracting group for its hospitalists.

A hospitalist — an emergent position in the health-care industry — treats individuals admitted to the hospital in lieu of their primary care physicians, said Debbie Plass, spokeswoman for SNMH.

Often, a person who is admitted to the hospital for a non-emergency medical condition, such as a chronic disease as opposed to a broken arm, will want to see their primary care physician.

News Headlines Article

Stanford to hire Margaret Vosburgh as COO
San Jose Business Journal

Stanford Hospital & Clinics said Monday it has hired Margaret Vosburgh as its COO, effective Feb. 13. She will be in charge of its overall operations in her new role, reporting to CEO Amir Dan Rubin. She takes over the post from Daniel Ginsburg, who left the position in February 2011 and has since remained vacant. “Margaret brings a world of talent and energy, along with an impressive track record in academic medical centers and health systems,” Rubin said in a prepared statement.

News Headlines Article

Little research on overuse of healthcare in U.S., study says
Modern Healthcare

Despite concerns about the high cost and inefficiency associated with the overuse of healthcare, research is limited and often addresses only a few medical interventions, according to an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Most studies measure overuse of antibiotics for upper respiratory infections, coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary angiography and carotid endarterectomy, said the authors, who reviewed data from more than 170 articles on the use of tests, procedures and medications.

News Headlines Article

Santorum says Obama pushes doctors from Medicare
San Francisco Chronicle

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Monday warned Florida’s seniors that the Democrats’ health law would limit their access to doctors and dollars and criticized his main rivals for backing its requirement that younger Americans buy health insurance. Santorum tried to draw a connection between Medicare and a key provision of the health care law, the so-called individual mandate, which doesn’t affect older Americans because virtually all of them are already covered through the government program.

News Headlines Article

Too many tests? Routine checks getting second look
San Francisco Chronicle

Recent headlines offered a fresh example of how the health care system subjects people to too many medical tests — this time research showing millions of older women don’t need their bones checked for osteoporosis nearly so often. Chances are you’ve heard that many expert groups say cancer screening is overused, too, from mammograms given too early or too often to prostate cancer tests that may not save lives.

News Headlines Article

Long-term-care insurance offers protection, but it’s not right for everyone
Washington Post

In the last years of Martin Privot’s life, his family had to start selling his assets to pay for his nursing home costs. “He needed 24-hour care and couldn’t be left alone,” recalls his daughter Toni Footer. “My biggest fear was we would run [through his money] and wouldn’t be able to provide the care that he needed.” Privot died in 2008, from post-surgical complications and other ailments, before all his assets were depleted.

News Headlines Article

Hospitals offer patients free parking, discount shopping, seminars and screenings
Washington Post

Credit card companies, airlines and hotels all have customer loyalty programs. Maybe it was only a matter of time before hospitals got in on the act.

A growing number of hospitals are seeking to attract new patients and keep existing ones by offering them an array of perks, from free parking and gift-shop discounts to wellness seminars and health screenings. Some of the most popular programs are social mixers that have nothing to do with health care. Field trip to a casino, anyone?

News Headlines Article

Salinas hospital to train indigenous-language interpreters
HealthyCal.org

A new training program for medical interpreters is giving low-income women the skills needed for a hard-to-fill job – working as medical interpreters in indigenous languages. Six medical interpreters will be taught to work with patients who speak indigenous languages from the Oaxacan region of Mexico, including the languages of Triqui, Mixteco and Zapotec, by the staff of the Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.

News Headlines Article

New insurance provides concussion testing for student-athletes
Sacramento Bee

As awareness grows of the grave dangers of concussions, coaches and parents across the nation are searching for ways to better manage these brain injuries in young athletes.

Now, Sacramento may become a proving ground for a potential solution.

Wells Fargo’s Student Insurance Division, based in Rancho Cordova, has crafted a new insurance package that provides concussion testing and medical care for high school athletes.

News Headlines Article

In State-of-the-State Speeches, Governors Present Healthcare Priorities
Health Leaders Media

As President Obama puts his final touches the State of the Union speech, governors across the country are wrapping up their own annual assessments. This is State of the State speech season.

Across the country, governors are opening legislative sessions with a look back at their accomplishments and a look forward to their goals for the upcoming year. We’ve rounded up several and taken a look at how healthcare has fared in these speeches. It’s definitely a mixed bag.

Commands