News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Repealing Obama’s health care law won’t be easy
San Francisco Chronicle

Yes, if Mitt Romney wins the White House and his Republican allies retake the Senate, he could shred most of President Barack Obama’s health care law without having to overpower a Democratic filibuster. But it won’t be as easy as some Republicans portend, and it certainly won’t be quick. Why?

News Headlines Article

Hospital groups rip regulation efforts, urge better guidance
Modern Healthcare

As the scrutiny of healthcare provider payments grows, hospital leaders say regulators are increasingly undercutting physicians’ medical judgment and resorting to overly punitive corrective actions using redundant and overlapping investigations. The sometimes-harsh criticisms of government efforts to collect money from hospitals came in response to a call from the Senate Finance Committee for provider groups to submit feedback on the best ways to cut down on fraud and abuse in Medicare and other healthcare programs.

News Headlines Article

To cut costs, focus on avoidable admissions: researchers
Modern Healthcare

To maximize cost savings, hospitals and health systems should focus on reducing avoidable patient admissions to the hospital from the emergency department rather than on preventing nonurgent emergency department visits, a group of Massachusetts researchers says. In a commentary posted on the Annals of Emergency Medicine website, researchers with Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School argue that more money can be saved by reducing the number of patients admitted to the hospital from the ED because there are no other good care options for them at the time or because a patient’s complex chronic conditions were not treated properly.

News Headlines Article

CDC Links Injection Practices to Hospitalizations
Health Leaders Media

Despite aggressive federal campaigns to educate providers about proper needle and syringe use practices, incidents in two states involving 10 patients required hospitalization for treatment of invasive bacterial infections because clinics injected multiple patients with fluids from single-dose vials. The report was published in the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

News Headlines Article

UC Riverside makes rare second attempt to add medical school
Los Angeles Times

UC Riverside’s long-held dream to have a full medical school was badly battered last year when the state refused to pay for it and then national accreditors wouldn’t allow it to open. Those denials were a blow to the UC system’s proud tradition of adding campuses and programs to serve a growing state. Now, UC Riverside is making what national experts say is a rare second attempt to gain approval for a medical school.

News Headlines Article

The Effort expands its clinics to prepare for federal health care changes
Sacramento Bee

Well before President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul comes of age in 2014, the region’s largest health clinic operator is mapping out an expanded network to serve thousands of soon-to-be-insured, low-income patients.

The nonprofit health firm, The Effort, is nearly doubling its capacity by adding three new full-scope health clinics – paid for with a $2.8 million investment from Dignity Health, the operator of Mercy Hospitals in Sacramento.

News Headlines Article

Health task force challenges conventions, faces condemnation
USA Today

And it seems nobody these days loves the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Few Americans had even heard of it until three years ago, when the advisory board with the 10-syllable name challenged convention by saying women under 50 might not benefit from mammograms, just as the debate over health care was coming to a boil. The task force was accused of trying to ration care, even though its members never consider cost, says group chairwoman Virginia Moyer, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

News Headlines Article

Health care options for young, healthy and broke
USA Today

They’re young, healthy and flat broke — and now the government says they have to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of medical insurance. What should tapped-out twenty-somethings do? Well, some may just do nothing. The annual fine for shrugging off the new federal insurance requirement, which is to begin in 2014, starts out at a relatively low $95, depending on income. That would be far cheaper than paying premiums.

News Headlines Article

Health care reform seminar scheduled
Ventura County Star

Beneflex Insurance Services Inc. and law firm Mullen & Henzell of Santa Barbara will offer employers a free seminar on health care reform from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday at the Ventura Beach Marriott, 2055 E. Harbor Blvd. in Ventura.

The seminar is intended to prepare employers for health care reform following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that upheld the reform.

News Headlines Article

Governors divided over Medicaid expansion
Los Angeles Times

America’s governors have long used their semiannual gatherings to lock arms in opposition to dreaded unfunded federal mandates and emphasize a pragmatic approach to problem-solving in stark contrast to a hyperpartisan, even dysfunctional Washington.

But the makings of a real divide loomed over the summer meeting of the National Governors Assn. here, as state leaders grappled with the fallout of the Supreme Court ruling that granted unexpected leeway with regard to a key component of President Obama’s landmark health law:

News Headlines Article

UCLA Mobile Clinic Project benefits both sides of the clipboards
Los Angeles Times

As a warm summer evening takes hold, a white delivery truck rolls to a stop at a West Hollywood corner and is joined by a throng of T-shirt clad students. Within minutes a street scene springs to life, full of pop-up canopies, tables, folding chairs and young faces in motion.

This is college night — of a different kind.

Every Wednesday, UCLA students studying medicine, law and public health transform a nondescript section of sidewalk near Romaine Street and North Sycamore Avenue into an open-air health clinic and help center for the homeless.

News Headlines Article

Battling obesity, diabetes
Sacramento Bee

Just as America’s diabetes epidemic began almost two decades ago, Georgia Richardson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the potentially life-threatening illness that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar. “To be honest, I was in denial about my diabetes for a while,” she said. “It’s as if I thought, ‘Maybe it will go away,’ even though I knew it wouldn’t.”

News Headlines Article

FDA issues draft guidance on device pre-submission program
Modern Healthcare

The Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance aimed at helping medical device companies address regulatory requirements before they submit an application. The agency said the draft guidance builds on its existing pre-investigational device exemption program and will provide researchers and manufacturers with feedback prior to a submission of a product or research application.

News Headlines Article

Dental-care program gives veterans something to smile about
Sacramento Bee

Two dentists and two Navy dental corpsmen are working on the mouth of John Gardinier, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico, near the clinic where he can get methadone for his drug addiction. “It’s no good to have teeth that are rotten,” Gardinier, 64, had said as he waited to be treated at the dental services area at the 25th annual Stand Down in San Diego for homeless and hard-luck military veterans.

News Headlines Article

Many Governors Are Still Unsure About Medicaid Expansion
New York Times

How well the new health care law succeeds in covering millions of the poorest Americans will depend largely on undecided governors of both parties, who gathered here this weekend and spoke of the challenges of weighing the law’s costs and benefits in a highly charged political atmosphere and a time of fiscal uncertainty. The Supreme Court’s ruling last month that the states should have the choice of whether to expand their Medicaid programs has set the stage for a frenzied year and a half in which governors will have to analyze their options, devise plans, negotiate with the federal

News Headlines Article

Health Care Forever, and for Free, at Scripps Chula Vista
San Diego Union-Tribune

Every year I get the email. It’s a notice of how much our employees’ health care premiums are going to rise. This year, our chief financial officer came with a suggestion that we switch. Our health care costs were going up 15 percent if we didn’t find another option. We did. Thankfully. Not long after the switch, I had lunch with Chris Van Gorder, the CEO of Scripps Health, which runs hospitals across the county.

News Headlines Article

S.F. mental health project a good start
San Francisco Chronicle

The problem of how to handle the large population of severely mentally ill people who roam San Francisco’s streets has stumped civic officials for decades. A succession of different mayors has tried different solutions to help the mentally ill and improve the quality of life on the streets for the public – and each has been defeated by the complexity of the issue and the thorniness of the politics.

News Headlines Article

GOP moves to repeal, and then what?
Sacramento Bee

Next time the more bombastic in Washington rail against government waste, let them include every cent lost to Wednesday’s dog and pony show in the House of Representatives, where time that might have been used constructively was frittered away with yet another attack on health care reform. For those who might have accidentally tuned into C-Span shortly before 1:30 p.m., that was not a repeat but an actual live telecast.

News Headlines Article

Discussion of health care should focus on lowering prices
Sacramento Bee

The clock is ticking for health care reform, but not for the reason that you may think. It is quite unlikely that the law will be overturned next year even if Mitt Romney is elected president. But the Affordable Care Act must make good on the promise of its name and deliver affordable health care for consumers and businesses. Otherwise, the whole political conflict will be moot, and we’ll have to do something truly radical.

News Headlines Article

How Big Is 50.7 Million Uninsured?
New York Times

Some numbers are so big, they are meaningless. So when we hear public officials talk about the 50.7 million uninsured, most of us lack perspective on just how many people that really is. But how big is 50.7 million uninsured? That’s the question The Washington Post recently asked in devising a chart to give some perspective on the problem of the uninsured. They found that having 50.7 million people uninsured is equal to:

Commands