News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Engineers construct model hospital for quake test
San Francisco Chronicle

What happens when a series of massive earthquakes hits a five-story medical facility with an intensive care unit, operating room and elevator? Structural engineers at UC San Diego began tests Tuesday to find out. Over the next two weeks, they will repeatedly rock an 80-foot-high building erected on a giant shake table as part of a $5 million experiment funded by government agencies, foundations and others.

News Headlines Article

Interpreters in ER may help limit medical errors
Reuters

Having professional translators in the emergency room for non-English-speaking patients might help limit potentially dangerous miscommunication, a new study suggests. The study, done at two pediatric ERs, found that when Spanish-speaking families had access to a professional interpreter, 12 percent of translation slips — such as adding or omitting certain words and phrases — could have had “clinical consequences,” like giving a wrong medication dose.

News Headlines Article

State Wins Case to Cut Adult Day Provider Rates
California Healthline

After four similar cases went against the state in the past few months, the Department of Health Care Services won in court late Friday, when a federal judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction against Medi-Cal cutbacks. The lawsuit, brought by the Adult Day Health Care Association, challenged the department’s plan to cut Medi-Cal provider rates by 10%. Judges in four other cases issued preliminary injunctions halting those cuts, including suits brought by the California Medical Association and the California Hospital Association.

News Headlines Article

Comparative Effectiveness Studies Explore Cancer, Trauma Care
Health Leaders Media

To highlight the importance of comparative effectiveness research, the Journal of the American Medical Association partnered with the $3.5 billion Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute on Tuesday to explain three studies in this week’s themed issue and discuss the need for more research.

The studies’ conclusions help “physicians, other clinicians, policymakers, and patients make informed decisions” about the benefits and harms of the choices available to “prevent, diagnose, treat, or monitor a clinical condition,” said Phil Fontanarosa, MD, the JAMA’s executive editor.

News Headlines Article

Medical Helicopters: Worth the Cost, Risk?
ABC News

It was an ordinary work day at the trucking company last July for Donnie Smothers, 39, of Camden, Tenn. — until an 18-wheeler came crashing down off a jack, crushing his head and chest.

The accident occurred 95 miles from the nearest level 1 trauma center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, a distance that could take almost two hours to cover on the ground. An ambulance arrived on scene to find Smothers losing blood quickly.

News Headlines Article

Kaiser launches tool to support healthier employees
Sacramento Business Journal

Kaiser Permanente has launched a new wellness toolkit aimed at helping employers maintain a healthier workforce. It’s available to all employers, whether they offer Kaiser Permanente as a health plan or not. Using a variety of ideas, tips and materials, the free, do-it-yourself resource shows employers and employees how to create a wellness committee at the workplace.

News Headlines Article

United Healthcare agrees to cover autism therapy in settlement
Los Angeles Business Journal

The California Department of Insurance has reached an agreement with United Healthcare Insurance Co. to provide immediate coverage of behavioral therapy for autism, Commissioner Dave Jones announced Monday. The settlement follows similar agreements with Blue Shield, Health Net and Cigna.

News Headlines Article

Insurance Department Announces Agreement to Cover Treatment for Autism
San Fernando Valley Business Journal

The California Department of Insurance announced an agreement with United Healthcare Insurance Co. to provide coverage for behavioral therapy for autism, a costly treatment that was the subject of heated debates and a fight in the state legislature last year.

The agreement follows similar deals earlier this year with Blue Shield, Cigna and Woodland Hills based Health Net. Anthem Blue Cross has been providing coverage since a settlement in 2009.

News Headlines Article

Weight-loss surgery may stem diabetes in some
USA Today

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that by 2050, people who have diabetes will comprise a third of the nation’s population. Right now, 1 in 12 Americans has the disease. Several factors impact the sharp rise in diabetes, one of which is the nationwide obesity epidemic, leading more people to develop Type 2 diabetes than ever before. A new term has been coined: “diabesity,” for Type 2 diabetes that develops as a result of obesity.

News Headlines Article

Sacramento debates health insurance reform
ABC News

The federal healthcare reform act provides the frame work for what the new health care system is supposed to be like. It is now up to states to implement the laws, if they so choose. Tuesday, California took a major step towards insuring those with pre-existing conditions. Caroline Cunningham of Studio City has lupus and glaucoma. She could never buy health insurance on the individual market because of her pre-existing conditions.

News Headlines Article

Medicare Monthly- How Medicare covers hospice care
Ukiah Daily Journal

Coping with terminal illness can be very difficult, both for the patient and his or her loved ones. That’s why I wanted to tell you about Medicare’s coverage for hospice care and how it works. Hospice is a program of care and support for people who are terminally ill. The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness. Hospice is intended to help people who are terminally ill live comfortably. If you qualify for Medicare’s hospice benefit, you’ll have a specially trained team and support staff available to help you and your family deal with your illness.

News Headlines Article

Community health centers under pressure to improve care
USA Today

Hundreds of the nation’s nearly 1,200 community health centers, which serve millions of mostly poor people, fall short on key measures such as vaccinating children and helping diabetics control blood sugar, federal data show. More than 20 million sought care at the non-profit, mostly privately run centers last year — double the number a decade ago. The centers are poised to take an even more central role in the U.S. health system if President Obama’s health law is upheld, because it would give 30 million people health coverage starting in 2014.

News Headlines Article

State Supreme Court denies review of San Leandro Hospital’s purchase by Sutter Health
The Mercury News

The state’s highest court has refused to intervene in an ownership dispute over San Leandro Hospital, all but ending the legal battle over the facility’s purchase by Sutter Health. Still, hospital supporters say they’re not giving up yet. The Eden Township Healthcare District board Wednesday night will discuss the hospital’s future after the state Supreme Court denied a petition to review an appeals court decision allowing Sutter to take ownership of the hospital.

News Headlines Article

Despite Transparency Law, California Hospitals Still Muddle Prices for Consumers
Becker's Hospital Review

A 2006 California law requires hospitals to publish the average prices of their most common procedures on a state website, but healthcare experts say few list prices on their respective hospital websites — a loophole that is making price transparency difficult— according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The report details one consumer’s experience when he tried to get prices of blood tests from three different hospitals and lab companies.

News Headlines Article

Hospital Union Proposes Increase In Amount of Revenue Used For Charity Care
KERO

Torrie Satterfield has been a caregiver for several years. One of her clients is David Mensch, who recently wheeled himself from Bakersfield to Sacramento to bring awareness to people with disabilities. But when 27-year-old Satterfield discovered she needed emergency heart surgery, she was the one who needed to be taken care of.

News Headlines Article

Sutter Davis named to top hospitals list
Sacramento Business Journal

Sutter Davis Hospital has been named in the Thomson Reuters 2012 Top 100 Hospitals list. The only local hospital ranked on the list, Sutter Davis qualified in the small community hospital category, according to rankings released Tuesday. Hospitals do not apply and winners do not pay to market the honor. The annual study evaluates hospitals on overall performance, including patient care, operational efficiency and financial stability.

News Headlines Article

Consumer-Driven Medicine’s Fatal Flaw
The Health Care Blog

The possibility that the Supreme Court will strike down all or part of the Affordable Care Act has given new life to Republican calls to put market mechanisms to work in holding down health care costs. The public is certain to hear lots more about it on the campaign trail later this year. There’s one big problem, though. Markets cannot work when consumers and patients have almost no information about the prices they pay for health care.

Commands