News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Officials confirm first 2014 California cases of enterovirus D68
Los Angeles Times

Four cases of a virus that can cause severe respiratory illness in infants and young children — especially those with asthma — have been found in California, state health officials announced Thursday.

Officials confirmed three cases of enterovirus D68 in San Diego County and one in Ventura County.

The illnesses marked California’s first 2014 cases of a virus known to have infected 153 people in 18 U.S. states, according to statistics posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Thursday.

News Headlines Article

Health law enrollment now 7.3M
San Francisco Chronicle

The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law — down from 8 million reported earlier this year.

Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (TAV’-eh-nur) updated the numbers at a hearing Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As expected, the latest figures showed slippage. Insurers had said that about 10 percent of their new policyholders failed to seal the deal by paying their first month’s premium.

News Headlines Article

Health exchange addresses dropped policies
KCRA

The leader of California’s health exchange said Thursday that the state is trying to improve notifications to consumers whose policies are shifted from private insurance to Medi-Cal during income checks and eligibility updates.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee told board members that an unknown number of individuals were taken off their private health plans, then switched with no or inadequate notice to the state’s version of Medicaid, which serves those who are poor, have lower-incomes or are disabled. Lee said it’s an important issue that he takes seriously.

News Headlines Article

CalPERS, Covered California gear up for fall open enrollment
Los Angeles Business Journal

CalPERS traditionally is the health-insurance trendsetter at open-enrollment time. With nearly 1.4 million members, it sets the standard for health-care purchasing. Now another agency is stealing the limelight. Covered California has signed up nearly as many people for health insurance. About 1.2 million now get coverage under the new state health exchange. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System administers health benefits for state, local government and public school employees.

News Headlines Article

Patient safety, malpractice costs at issue in Proposition 46
San Francisco Chronicle

A years-long battle between doctors and trial lawyers is coming down to Proposition 46 on the November ballot, leaving voters to sift through a mass of conflicting claims in an effort to pick the winner in what will be the most expensive race of the fall. That’s not the way the two sides describe it, though.

News Headlines Article

Few Winners Among MSSP Participants
Health Leaders Media

The secret sauce in Memorial Hermann ACO success in besting 219 other physician groups in the federal shared savings sweepstakes announced Tuesday may be the fact that they’re based in Houston.

“The benchmarks are high in this market,” acknowledges Christopher Lloyd, CEO of the physician ACO, meaning there was a lot of low hanging fruit to pick.

News Headlines Article

Technology Lights Up Health Innovation Forum
Health Leaders Media

A tsunami of healthcare innovation is sweeping the globe, according to three dozen experts who gathered this week in Boston for a forum organized by The Economist.

“We are in an amazing time. The transformation that is going on in the United States and around the world is unprecedented,” Walter Capone, president of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, told forum attendees.

News Headlines Article

Campos wants money to promote use of drug to prevent HIV
San Francisco Chronicle

Supervisor David Campos wants the city of San Francisco to set aside more than $800,000 to pay for public education and subsidies for the first drug that can prevent HIV infection.

Campos said he will introduce the supplemental budget appropriation at Tuesday’s board meeting. The request comes one week after he successfully lobbied his colleagues to support unanimously another midyear spending bill – that one to help pay for legal assistance for undocumented minors.

News Headlines Article

John Muir Health donates $35,000 to help fight Ebola outbreak
San Francisco Business Times

John Muir Health appears to be the first large health system in the Bay Area to make a donation of its own to aid efforts to contain and control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has killed thousands in recent months.

In a Sept. 18 memo to the Walnut Creek-based health system’s physicians, staff and volunteers, CEO Cal Knight said John Muir is making a $10,000 donation to Doctors Without Borders and $25,000 to MedShare, a nonprofit that transports supplies and equipment to overseas health facilities, “to assist their efforts in the countries hardest hit by the deadly virus, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.”

News Headlines Article

UC Davis startup gets National Science Foundation grant to make high-tech surgical blades
Sacramento Business Journal

A startup company at the University of California Davis has won a $200,000 award from the National Science Foundation to move its silicon blades to commercial development. Atocera Inc. is working to fine-tune the manufacturing and packaging of its silicon blades for the surgical market and shaving uses, said Saif Islam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis.

Commands