News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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The Health 202: Democrats are encouraging changes to vaccination laws as measles outbreak grows
The Washington Post

President Trump – who once suggested vaccines can cause autism – has lately been mute on the topic even as the country’s measles cases spike.

Twenty states have reported 555 cases of the highly infectious, potentially deadly disease – the second-greatest number of cases reported since 2000 when health officials declared measles eliminated in the United States, per the Post’s Lena H. Sun. Most of the cases are concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, leading New York City officials to declare a public health emergency and order mandatory measles vaccinations.

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Who gets covered under Sanders’ Medicare for All plan?
Modern Healthcare

One of—if not the—loudest advocate of Medicare for All, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week reintroduced his plan to establish a single-payer Medicare program that would largely eliminate the private payer sector. The presidential hopeful made it a focal point of his 2016 run for the White House and is doing so again as the 2020 campaign heats up. The broader concept of Medicare for All has gained traction within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Industry groups were quick to express their concern, saying it will throw Americans into untested waters and drive up costs. Instead, they argued, Congress should fix the current system.

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Will Undocumented Immigrants Avoid New State Health Benefits?
Capital Public Radio

More than anything else, Claudia Navarro wanted health insurance for her children when she arrived in the United States.

Navarro’s daughter has spina bifida — a congenital condition her doctors in Mexico said would kill the girl within a year. But Navarro didn’t give up on her baby. Instead, she brought her two young children to the U.S. to seek medical help. She obtained limited Medi-Cal benefits for her child, despite her immigration status, and arranged treatments that kept her daughter alive.

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High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment
National Public Radio

In 2017, Susan learned that she carries a genetic mutation that may elevate her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer to 72 percent.

Her doctor explained that individuals who have this mutation in the BRCA2 gene have choices in treatment. Some people opt for a preventive double mastectomy. But Susan could instead choose to undergo increased cancer screenings, which, for her, would mean an annual mammogram and annual MRI scan.

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CMS proposes small boost to inpatient rehab facility payments
Modern Healthcare

The CMS is proposing to raise the estimated payments per discharge for inpatient rehabilitation facilities in federal fiscal 2020 by 2.3%, or $195 million, compared to 2019.

The proposed rule also would boost payments in urban areas by 2.2% and rural areas by 4.3% compared to the year before.

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As Syphilis Invades Rural America, A Fraying Health Safety Net Is Failing To Stop It
Kaiser Health News

When Karolyn Schrage first heard about the “dominoes gang” in the health clinic she runs in Joplin, Mo., she assumed it had to do with pizza.

Turns out it was a group of men in their 60s and 70s who held a standing game night — which included sex with one another. They showed up at her clinic infected with syphilis.

That has become Schrage’s new normal. Pregnant women, young men and teens are all part of the rapidly growing number of syphilis patients coming to the Choices Medical Services clinic in the rural southwestern corner of the state. She can barely keep the antibiotic treatment for syphilis, penicillin G benzathine, stocked on her shelves.

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Prostate Drugs May Raise Diabetes Risk
New York Times

Two commonly used drugs for treating an enlarged prostate may increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Benign prostate hypertrophy, or B.P.H., may cause difficulty in urinating or increased frequency and urgency of urination. A study published in BMJ examined the use of two similar drugs often prescribed for the condition, finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), in 39,000 men. As controls, the 11-year study used 16,000 men taking tamsulosin (Flomax), a different type of drug for B.P.H.

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3 questions to ask before putting a healthcare application in the cloud
Healthcare IT News

Several years ago, many experts were indicating that by 2020 everything would be running in the cloud. The promises of economical on-demand computing and storage resources were appealing. Companies could look to reduce capital investments and begin to sunset expensive data centers by quickly spinning up cloud technology. Speed to market, costs savings, optimized processing environments, elasticity, agility — the hype was real. Organizations began to adopt Cloud First strategies.

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With digital health investments at an all-time high, entrepreneurs swarm the Bay Area
San Francisco Business Times

Last year, 40 percent of the total funding for U.S. digital health companies landed in the Bay Area, and about one-third of all deals, according to research by Rock Health.

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Judge approves $610 million sale of four California hospitals, including Seton Medical Center
The Mercury News

A bankruptcy judge Wednesday approved the $610 million sale of four hospitals, including two in San Mateo County, that are owned by the bankrupt nonprofit Verity Health System.

Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach, as well as the St. Francis and St. Vincent medical centers in Los Angeles County, will be sold to Southern California-based The KPC Group.

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