News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Classes teach what to do if a gunman opens fire at work
Los Angeles Times

Gunfire echoed through the building as office workers pushed a heavy table across the doorway and turned out the lights. They flattened themselves against the wall. One woman hoisted a chair high over her head. Another stood ready to hurl a juice bottle.

All eyes were on the door, the only thing separating them from a man with a gun. When he pushed his way into the room, they pounced. One woman used her hand to force the gun’s muzzle downward.

News Headlines Article

Pioneer ACOs face July 15 decision deadline
Modern Healthcare

Medicare Pioneer accountable care organizations have until the end of the business day July 15 to inform CMS officials whether they plan to remain in the program for a second year. Also next week, the CMS is supposed to offer results of the program’s first year, details about year two, and the names of those Pioneer participants that won’t continue.

As many as nine of the 32 Pioneers may opt out of the program, as the CMS has indicated that four of those participants want to switch to a different, less demanding Medicare ACO program, the Shared Savings Program, while another five have sent letters of intent for the next year of the Shared Savings Program, allowing them to keep their options open.

News Headlines Article

Workforce Training, Stop-Loss Bills OK’d
California Healthline

The Assembly Committee on Health last week passed SB 20 by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), a bill that proposes to repay physician-training loans for doctors who choose to practice in medically underserved areas. “This bill is a modest attempt at [addressing] one of our biggest dilemmas — not enough staff to care for the existing patients,” Hernandez said. “Much has been [said] about the physician shortage in this state,” said Eduardo Martinez, staff coordinator of the medical school section for the California Medical Association.

News Headlines Article

Proposed Medicare Physician Fees’ Winners and Losers
Health Leaders Media

The proposed rule governing next year’s physician fee schedules released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clearly show the winners and losers in primary care and specialty physician paychecks starting Jan. 1. Anesthesiologists, emergency room physicians, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, critical care specialists, geriatricians, infectious disease specialists, and thoracic surgeons seem to be the winners, with upgrades in code payments that average 2% or 3%.

News Headlines Article

As the Debate Over Obamacare Implementation Rages, a Success on the IT Front
The Health Care Blog

Just a little over four years ago, President Obama, in his inaugural address, challenged us as a nation to “wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its costs.” This was an awe-inspiring, “we will go to the moon” moment for the healthcare delivery system. But the next thought that ran through the minds of so many of us who work on health IT issues was this: how were we going to get there?

News Headlines Article

Obamacare Struggles To Meet Make-Or-Break Deadline
The Huffington Post

With time running out, U.S. officials are struggling to cope with the task of launching the new online health insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama’s signature health reforms by an Oct. 1 deadline. The White House, and federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), must ensure that working marketplaces open for enrollment in all 50 states in less than 80 days, and are responding to mounting pressure by concentrating on three essential areas that will determine whether the most critical phase of Obamacare succeeds or fails.

News Headlines Article

GOP to Obama: Delay healthcare reform law indefinitely
FierceHealthPayer

Now that the Obama administration has postponed the reform law’s employer mandate for a year, Republican lawmakers are emboldened to use the delay as political gain, hoping to postpone the entire healthcare overhaul. A House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing held Thursday raised concerns about the administration’s readiness to implement the individual mandate, NPR Shots reported.

News Headlines Article

Obamacare’s missing mandate
POLITICO

The massive coast-to-coast campaign to get people to sign up for Obamacare is light on mentions of one central element: the widely disliked individual mandate. Poll after poll has found that Americans don’t like being told they have to get insurance or face a penalty. So the groups doing outreach don’t plan to draw much attention to it. The massive coast-to-coast campaign to get people to sign up for Obamacare is light on mentions of one central element: the widely disliked individual mandate. Poll after poll has found that Americans don’t like being told they have to get insurance or face a penalty. So the groups doing outreach don’t plan to draw much attention to it.

News Headlines Article

The Affordable Care Act and the Death of Personal Responsibility
The Health Care Blog

I was a chubby kid, which brought with it all manner of slights, both real and imagined. My predicament was worsened because I came from an immigrant family, and my father was tormented by unrelenting and untreated bipolar disease. When he was lucid, however, he taught essential lessons that neither he nor I knew at the time would become my life’s cornerstone: don’t trust the professions too much; advance your own cause through limitless learning; and, use exercise — all forms of it — as an irreplaceable lever for personal betterment.

News Headlines Article

Scams feed on health care law
Sacramento Bee

If a stranger claiming to be from the government calls to offer you an “Obamacare card” or threatens to throw you in jail unless you buy insurance, hang up the phone. It’s a scam. Fraudsters are poised to take advantage of widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – to steal Americans’ credit cards, Social Security numbers and other personal information, consumer advocates and government officials say. “This is the huge, new government program. There’s no doubt in my mind that the fraudsters view it as an opportunity to rip people off,” said Lois Greisman, associate director for the Federal Trade Commission’s division of marketing practices.

News Headlines Article

How SVMH Gears Up For Healthcare Reform
KION

Even though it’s the middle of July and healthcare sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act don’t start till October—many Central Coast hospitals are already taking steps to get ready for the potential patient increase. Much like Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.

“In our county there is about 90,000 folks that are uninsured – half of those individuals will qualify for insurance,” said new President and CEO Pete Delgado.

News Headlines Article

Demographic change amplifying racial inequities in health, education
Modern Healthcare

One-year-old Ka’Lani is so fascinated by a round plastic toy that she doesn’t see her mother, Ke’sha Scrivner, walk into the Martha’s Table day care in Washington, chanting her name while softly clapping out a beat that Ka’Lani keeps with a few bounces on her bottom.

Once on welfare, Scrivner worked her way off by studying early childhood education and landing a full-time job for the District of Columbia’s education superintendent.

News Headlines Article

Battle flares over 38-year-old medical malpractice law
Los Angeles Times

A long-dormant conflict over medical malpractice is heating up again at the state Capitol.

A coalition of consumer advocates, trial lawyers and the nurses union is preparing to gather signatures for a state ballot initiative to raise the state’s cap on certain medical malpractice damages.

The campaign wants voters to change a 38-year-old California law that puts a $250,000 cap on the amount of money that juries can award for non-economic “pain and suffering” damages.

News Headlines Article

Fraud fear raised in California’s health exchange
Daily Democrat

As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll. The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

News Headlines Article

Cedars-Sinai fires six over patient privacy breaches after Kardashian gives birth
Modern Healthcare

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, has fired five workers and a student research assistant for peeping on patients’ private medical records in the days after reality television star Kim Kardashian gave birth to her daughter there. The hospital declined to identify the patients involved to the Los Angeles Times, but a spokeswoman said all were notified of the breach. The records were inappropriately accessed between June 18 and June 24. Kardashian gave birth June 15.

News Headlines Article

Kaiser helps fund Sacramento-area nonprofits promoting healthful food
Sacramento Bee

The region’s healthy-food movement got a boost last week when Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefits Program granted more than $200,000 to nine programs.

The distribution was part of a larger batch of $1.4 million in grants that Kaiser made to 56 Sacramento-area nonprofits working to improve community health.

“The impact of their work on our community is tremendous,” said Patricia Rodriguez, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, South Sacramento.

News Headlines Article

Patients Seek A Different Approach To Hip Replacement Surgery
capital public radio

Every year more than a quarter of a million Americans have total hip replacement surgery. It’s almost always a successful operation that frees patients from what’s often described as disabling pain. But in recent years, there’s been lots of discussion on the Internet about “anterior approach” hip replacement, a surgical technique that’s different than the standard procedure. It’s one that proponents say can lead to quicker recovery, three to four weeks compared to six to eight weeks for typical surgery.

News Headlines Article

San Bernardino County gearing up for health care reform
San Bernardino Sun

With health-care reform less than six months away, San Bernardino County public health officials are stepping up discussions on how to attract more physicians to the area to meet the potential influx of patients who will become eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. Improving access to health care and the overall wellness of county residents are key components of the Countywide Vision, implemented in 2010, which is a strategic initiative bringing county officials and community stakeholders together to formulate action plans to significantly improve the quality of life of county residents by 2020.

Commands