News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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Hospitals Put Pharmacists In The ER To Cut Medication Errors
capital public radio

In the emergency department at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, pharmacists who specialize in emergency medicine review each medication to make sure it’s the right one in the right dose.

It’s part of the hospital’s efforts to cut down on medication errors and dangerous drug interactions, which contribute to more than 7,000 deaths across the country each year.

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Presidents, CEOs, and the New Healthcare Leadership Model
Health Leaders Media

It may not be obvious to the casual observer, but the responsibilities and roles of many local hospital leaders are changing drastically. That’s at least partly because many hospital systems are acquiring formerly independent hospitals and, rather than allowing them to operate largely independently in a holding company model, the controlling systems are moving toward an operating company model.

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Healthcare, Embedded and Connected
Health Leaders Media

Technology is now in the process of not only tracking many everyday objects in healthcare, but also allowing those objects to sense and report things in a connected way to unprecedented degrees.

This technology is informing applications such as patient wayfinding, robotic transfer of supplies, interactive or informational displays throughout hospitals, and badges that employees or patients can carry or wear to optimize patient care and patient experience.

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Obamacare No Help to Undocumented Immigrants
KQED Radio

California may lead the nation in numbers of people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but there are still millions in the state without health insurance. Some of the people most likely to remain uninsured are undocumented Californians. While they can buy health insurance with their own money, they are specifically excluded from receiving any benefits under the ACA. Community groups and non-profits in cities and towns across California work to fill in the gaps. One of them is Graton, a small town in Sonoma County, about 20 miles west of Santa Rosa.

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Obamacare boosts ER patients, wait times
Orange County Register

Five hours, 26 minutes. That’s the average length of time, according to the California Healthcare Foundation, that emergency room patients in this state must wait before being admitted to a hospital as an inpatient. One of the promised benefits of the Affordable Care Act was that it would reduce such agonizingly long emergency room waits by expanding the federal-state Medicaid program – known in this state as MediCal – and providing the low-income uninsured access to primary care.

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Insurers Fill Gaps in Health-Law Plans
The Wall Street Journal

Health insurers in several states are adding to the choices of doctors and hospitals in their health-law plans amid concerns among some consumers and state officials about access to care. In states including New York, Connecticut and Ohio, insurers have bolstered their health-care provider networks in recent months. In California, three of the biggest insurers—WellPoint Inc.’s Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net Inc.—have all added substantially to their lists.

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Rural clinics increasingly turn to telemedicine
Modern Healthcare

Fifty years in farming had given Tom Soukup a few brushes with his own mortality, but after a cow pinned him against a wall, death felt closer than ever. He lay on the muddy ground and began to pray, every gasp feeling like a stab to the chest.

Although the nearest clinic was just a 10-minute drive from Soukup’s South Dakota ranch, the doctor on duty did not have much experience treating such injuries. He had rarely inserted chest tubes and wanted guidance from another physician without having to consult a medical reference book.

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KineMed cuts IPO target to $41 million in new filing
Silicon Valley Business Journal

KineMed, which develops biomarkers used by pharmaceutical companies in drug development, cut its IPO targets to raise up to $41 million in a filing made on Monday. Much has changed since the Emeryville company led by CEO David Fineman first disclosed plans to raise up to $51 million back in early January. While the first quarter was the hottest for IPOs since the end of the dotcom bubble, particularly for health and biotech offerings, recent weeks have been rockier.

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ApolloMed to Provide Hospitalist Services for Blue Shield of California Members
The Wall Street Journal

Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. an integrated, physician-centric healthcare delivery company, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to provide comprehensive hospitalist services for Blue Shield of California PPO members at hospitals at which ApolloMed is present. Additionally under the agreement, ApolloMed has extended its inpatient care to Cedars-Sinai(R) Medical Center for Blue Shield PPO, Exchange, Out of Network, and some HMO member patients. The agreement became effective May 12, 2014.

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Obesity-related disease trigger found, says UCSD team
San Diego Union-Tribune

Obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are triggered by a lack of oxygen in adipose cells, according to a study led by UC San Diego researchers.

An excess of fatty acids causes an increase in oxygen consumption, which outstrips the supply, triggering hypoxia, the study found. This leads to inflammation in the adipose cells, which in turn leads to insulin resistance, obesity and related diseases.

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UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to open pediatric clinic in San Ramon’s Bishop Ranch
San Francisco Business Times

The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has extended its reach as far east as Bishop Ranch, the enormous office park in San Ramon.

Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland recently affliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. The Oakland hospital plans to open a 5,000 square foot pediatric clinic later this summer.

The clinic, which will offer a variety of types of medical care for children, including surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, endocrinology and other specialities, will be part of the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland brand.

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How a UCLA program is training foreign, immigrant doctors to work in the U.S.
Long Beach Press-Telegram

As a resident physician in Havana, Hamlet Garcia Peña was trained to heal and even perform delicate eye surgery if needed.

But after he came to the United States, Garcia Peña worked with his hands to remove lead and asbestos from old rooftops and pack boxes into trucks, as well as assisting nurses in a home for people with mental illness. At one point, he even sold cars in the San Gabriel Valley.

“I came here to be a doctor. I always had that on my mind,” Garcia Peña, 33, said recently. “But I didn’t have the time to study or the money to buy the books.”

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County supervisors cheer KMC-KHS merger
Bakersfield Californian

Nobody is throwing up roadblocks to the creation of the Kern County Health System Authority.

Yet. Kern County supervisors — on a 3-0 vote — approved a plan to merge Kern Medical Center with Kern Health Systems Monday, linking the county-owned hospital with the 150,000-member Medi-Cal insurance manager.

Supervisors cheered the concept.

Unions hailed the idea as a “smart move” that will lower costs and improve patient care.

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Palm Drive district hires executive director
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The Palm Drive Health Care District hired a new executive director Monday mere hours before the Palm Drive foundation kicked off a fundraising effort of their own that they said would reopen the shuttered Sebastopol hospital without losing critical services.

The district board unanimously voted to appoint Kenwood resident Daymon Doss, a veteran health care administrator who was a registered nurse at Palm Drive in the ’70s and has specialized in helping health care districts in transition.

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Palm Drive foundation kicks off campaign to reopen hospital
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

About 400 people packed the Sebastopol Community Church auditorium Monday night for the Palm Drive Foundation’s kickoff of its “Open Our Hospital” campaign, which it hopes will begin the process of raising money to re-open the shuttered hospital.

The featured speaker in the town hall setting was Terry Newmyer, a health care consultant described by the Foundation as a “hospital turnaround specialist.”

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Palm Drive – Open Our Hospital campaign
Sonoma County Gazette

The meeting on the evening of June 9th was a full house and that means a lot considering the size of the room at Sebastopol Community Church. It was filled to capacity. When the audience was asked – how many people have gone to Palm Drive Hospital and used the facility – almost every hand went up. How many people have used the Emergency Room – hands across the room. How many people want to see the hospital open again – almost every hand went up and waved. Like they said – preaching to the choir here – so how about everyone else? You up for this journey?