News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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Missteps in Covered California’s Marketing Campaign to Latinos
KQED Radio

It’s been decades since the advertising industry recognized the need to woo Hispanic consumers. Big companies saw the market potential and sank millions of dollars into ads. The most basic do’s and don’ts of marketing to Latinos in the U.S. have been understood for years. So when California officials started thinking about how to persuade the state’s Latino population to enroll in health care plans, they should have had a blueprint of what to do. Instead, they made a series of mistakes.

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Drug Shortages Exacerbated by Supply Chain Woes
Health Leaders Media

New rules and greater cooperation between major players appear to be leveling off a spike in medication shortages that began nearly a decade ago. But with at least 38 new drug shortfalls last year, providers are continuing to scramble to make sure the best treatments are available to their patients.

“We, on a routine basis, have to deal with shortages of medication that require mitigation,” said Dan Johnson, director of pharmacy services at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis. When shortages occur, the hospital’s pharmacists coordinate with the medical staff, wholesalers, and manufacturers to find alternate therapies or new sources for scarce medications.

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The Doctor’s Team Will See You Now
The Wall Street Journal

A visit to the doctor may mean seeing someone else instead.

An increasing number of practices are scrapping the traditional one-on-one doctor-patient relationship. Instead, patients are receiving care from a group of health professionals who divide up responsibilities that once would have largely been handled by the doctor in charge. While the supervising doctor still directly oversees patient care, other medical professionals—nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical pharmacists—are performing more functions. These include adjusting medication dosage, ensuring that patients receive tests and helping them to manage chronic diseases.

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Top 5 ED Procedures to Avoid
Health Leaders Media

Nearly 200 emergency clinicians at six Partners Healthcare hospitals near Boston have developed a list of five overused, low-value services—an alternative to the “Choosing Wisely” campaign’s list. The difference: Partners’ list was built with a consensus of doctors and mid-level practitioners on the front lines of emergency room care.

“The point was not so much to critique Choosing Wisely, which hadn’t started when we began this project,” explains Jeremiah Schuur, MD, Vice Chair of Patient Safety and Quality at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

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Obamacare Plans Gained More Young Adults in January, U.S. Says
San Francisco Chronicle

Obamacare health plans enrolled 3.3 million people through January, with young adult participants increasing 65 percent from a month earlier, the U.S. government said.

Private health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enrolled 807,515 people ages 18 to 34 as of Jan. 31, an increase of 318,055 since December, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said today in a report. The age group made up about 25 percent of those who had signed up for health coverage through January, the report showed.

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Latinos not flocking to Obamacare
CNN.Money

But they’re shying away from signing up for health insurance on the exchanges. At least one in three Latinos in the U.S. are uninsured, a far higher rate than whites or blacks. Yet, advocates say their Obamacare enrollment is lagging for a variety of reasons. “Some of these families have never had insurance in their lives,” said Xavier Morales, executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.

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Covered California meeting on application counselors
Sacramento Business Journal

The board at Covered California is scheduled to take action on proposed regulations for certified application counselors at a meeting Thursday in Sacramento. The meeting runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held in the Employment Development Department office at 722 Capitol Mall. The session open to the public is expected to begin around noon.

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Affordable Care Act: Officials court Coachella Valley students
The Desert Sun

Ignacio Aguilar, 21, was driving in a truck with his dad when the tires exploded and it rolled over. The car accident left the Thousand Palms resident more shaken up than pained, but he was bleeding and was taken to the hospital. The accident changed his life because of the huge pile of bills for a young adult that he was stuck with after the hospital visit.

Uninsured at the time, he would have had to pay $6,000 out-of-pocket. Instead, he signed up for Medi-Cal and was able to get the coverage on his own through a retroactive policy.

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How Much Is Health Care Worth?
The Health Care Blog

Higher education has a relative value problem. The product of higher education is widely embraced in the United States: 20 million students attend our 3000 schools of higher learning. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a college grad can expect to earn 1.7-2.7 times the lifetime income of a student who finished high school and entered the workforce.

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New evidence on how weight, diet and exercise can help reduce cancer risk
Washington Post

Cutting your risk of cancer is no longer just about shunning tobacco. Be lean. Eat healthfully. Get active. Common-sense lifestyle strategies for lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes are now being shown to help prevent many types of cancer.

Of course, there are few absolutes in cancer prevention. Cancer is still a riddle, with many factors, including genetics, playing a role. But growing evidence suggests that there are steps that we can take to lower our chances of getting the disease, experts say.

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Kaiser Permanente losing members to cheaper plans
Sacramento Business Journal

Kaiser Permanente’s statewide membership losses in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System this year also hold true for the Sacramento region. The dominant HMO in the CalPERS program, Kaiser was the big loser when members picked coverage for 2014. The health plan had a statewide net loss of almost 13,000 members, including almost 1,500 in the four-county Sacramento metropolitan area.

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New, modern hospital set for Glenn County
The Appeal-Democrat

Glenn Medical Center officials have unveiled their final plans for a new hospital to be built in Willows. Sam Ruma, hospital administrator, said the $18 million facility could be completed in less than three years. The hospital will be built at the same Sycamore Street location as the current facility, which serves the local community as the only hospital in Glenn County. “The new hospital is going to be state-of-the art,” said Ruma, who spoke recently at the Willows Rotary Club.

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Pioneers Memorial Hospital receives Women’s Choice Award for Best Hospitals in Emergency Care
Imperial Valley Press Online

Pioneers Memorial Hospital has recently received one of the Women’s Choice Awards for Best Hospitals in Emergency Care. The Women’s Choice Award believes in educating and empowering women to make smart choices, whether in healthcare or other life choices such as travel or auto services and dealerships. Of more than 3,000 hospitals considered throughout the country, only 241 of them were awarded for outstanding emergency care.

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El Centro Regional Medical Center moves forward to update facility, meet state seismic requirements
Imperial Valley Press Online

El Centro Regional Medical Center is working on updating its facility to meet seismic requirements put forth by the state. Funding for the upgrades is up in the air while an affiliation for the hospital is being sought. In the meantime, ECRMC staff is looking at hospital funds and alternative sources to fund the construction of a new 29,000 square foot, two-story building addition that would be built next to the current hospital.

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