News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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Healthcare Cost Growth Steamrolls CPI
Health Leaders Media

The average per capita cost of healthcare services grew at more than three times the rate of overall inflation for the 12-month period that ended in June, with the cost of services covered by commercial health plans growing four times faster than those of Medicare, new data shows. Standard & Poor’s Healthcare Economic Indices show that per capita cost growth covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.78% over the 12-months ending June.

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UC Riverside: Med School Funding Bill Stalls
The Press-Enterprise

The latest Capitol attempt to secure state funding for UC Riverside’s school of medicine is all but dead after a key Senate committee blocked a bill to allocate $15 million from an expected legal settlement. Underlying Thursday’s events was the fall campaign in Riverside County’s 31st Senate District, where Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller is running against Democrat Richard Roth in what is expected to be one of the state’s most competitive races.

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Doctors play key role in ACO leadership: Commonwealth Fund
Modern Healthcare

Not many hospitals were participating or planning to participate in an accountable care organization last year, but among those that were, physicians were front and center in governance of the ACO, according to a new issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund. The Commonwealth Fund reported that only about 13% of hospitals surveyed were participating or planning to participate in an ACO; 12% were unsure; and 75% said they were not exploring the model at all.

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Judith Berg named as new head of California Institute for Nursing and Health Care
San Francisco Business Times

The California Institute for Nursing and Health Care, an Oakland-based nonprofit that helps RNs meet the state’s health care workforce needs, has named a successor to longtime Executive Director Deloras Jones. The nonprofit’s board of directors said Thursday that Judith Berg, a treasurer and founding board member of CINHC, will take the reins starting Sept. 24.

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Costs, Medicare top healthcare issues for voters: poll
Modern Healthcare

The cost of both healthcare and health insurance, followed by Medicare, are the top healthcare concerns on the minds of voters in all political parties, according to an August tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. When asked about the top healthcare policy issues in this campaign season, 78% of Democrats, 73% of Independents and 67% of Republicans listed the cost of healthcare and health insurance as either extremely or very important to their vote for president.

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Medicare costs too much, but how to rein it in?
San Francisco Chronicle

President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney agree there has to be a limit to how much seniors pay for Medicare, but they’re worlds apart on how to make that happen. You wouldn’t know it from the accusations they hurl on the campaign trail, but that is the real heart of the argument between the two leaders and their political parties. There will be consequences for seniors and the nation’s health care industry no matter which way the debate is decided, because both sides agree Medicare spending must be controlled.

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Providers see rise in insurer, Medicare revenue: S&P
Modern Healthcare

Medicare and commercial insurer revenue for hospitals and healthcare professionals grew 5.78% during the year that ended in June, according to Standard & Poor’s Healthcare Economic Indices. Medicare revenue for hospitals and healthcare professionals rose 2.27% during the 12 months that ended in June, according to Standard & Poor’s. Hospital revenue from Medicare increased 1.96% during the period.

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EHR vendors dig deeper for customers
Modern Healthcare

The market for electronic health-record systems is slowing for hospitals of 200 or more beds as two developers, Epic Systems and Cerner, consolidate their positions atop the heap, according to health IT market watcher KLAS Enterprises, Orem, Utah. Stage 1 of the federal government’s electronic health record incentive payment program has been extended, giving EHR vendors and their customers some breathing room before jumping to the next, presumably higher, level of “meaningful use” performance criteria in Stage 2, the final version which has yet to be released, pending review by the Office of Management and Budget.

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Should lack of exercise be considered a medical condition?
Southern California Public Radio

“You’ve got a bad case of deconditioning,” the doctor says.

Actually, it would be the rare doctor who would say that to anyone. And though it might sound like something to do with hair, in fact, deconditioning is a familiar and more profound problem: the decidedly unnatural state of being physically inactive.

At some point in the last few decades, the human race went from being a species that is active most of the time to one that is increasingly sedentary.

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CDC Urges Hepatitis C Testing for All Baby Boomers
Health Leaders Media

Hospitals and physician practices should perform one-time testing on all “baby-boomers,” patients born after 1944 and before 1966, for life-threatening hepatitis C virus because surveillance samples indicate 45% to 85% of infected people in this age bracket don’t know it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

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In Medicine, Don’t Believe Everything You Know
KQED Radio

How do you know your doctor is right? Ideally you and your doctor have a relationship based on trust. That is, you believe she knows the best options to recommend to you. You may think your doctor is right, but — how does your doctor know she’s right? We’d like to think physicians are relying on the latest evidence of medical practice. But not all physicians do that.

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Autism task force gets leaders
Sacramento Business Journal

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, has been appointed by Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to co-chair a task force to investigate equitable distribution of autism services to diverse communities in California. The other co-chair is Areva Martin, an autism advocate and cofounder of the nonprofit Special Needs Network in Los Angeles.

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More positive strokes for Woodland hospital’s program
Daily Democrat

For the third year in a row, Woodland Healthcare was recognized as a Gold Plus Performance Achievement award recipient by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” stroke program Monday. The award recognizes Woodland Healthcare’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.

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2012 Health Care Summit video on YouTube
San Jose Business Journal

If you missed the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s fourth annual Health Care Summit on July 31, you can now see the panel discussion from it on YouTube. Participating in the panel were: Diana S. Dooley, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency; Paul Markovich, president and COO, Blue Shield of California; Chris Boyd, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center; President and CEO Amir Dan Rubin on behalf of private research behemoth Stanford Hospital & Clinics; and CEO Dr.

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Why the Electronic Medical Record Needs to be Viewed as a Medical Device
The Health Care Blog

In our rush to establish a national electronic medical record (EMR) system as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, powerful silos of independent EMR systems have sprung up nationwide. While most systems are being developed responsibly, like the Wild, Wild West, many have been developed without an objective eye toward quality and the potential harm they may be causing our patients.

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