News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation


News Headlines Article

Crunch time at small businesses as healthcare demands loom
Modern Healthcare

It’s crunch time for thousands of small business owners who must comply with requirements of the Affordable Care Act for the first time.

Companies with 50 to 99 full-time employees must offer affordable insurance to employees and their dependents starting Jan. 1. They must also file tax forms with the government by Jan. 31 detailing the cost of their coverage and the names and Social Security numbers of employees and their dependents. While companies of all sizes are subject to the law must file the forms, smaller businesses without big staffs to handle the paperwork may have to hire someone to do it — at a cost of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

News Headlines Article

Digital healthcare startup Amino launches its doctor-finding platform after $19.4M in funding
Silicon Valley Business Journal

Digital healthcare startup Amino launched its platform Tuesday and revealed it raised $19.4 million in pre-launch funding to help consumers locate a doctor or specialist. Accel, Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Rock Health participated in the fund along with more than a dozen individual investors. Brian O’Malley of Accel Partners and Rafael Corrales of CRV will join the company’s board of directors as part of the investment.

CEO David Vivero previously founded RentJuice, a company that moved the apartment rental experience online and was acquired by Zillow for $40 million in 2012. Vivero co-founded the San Francisco-based Amino after his own medical scare and subsequent denial of health insurance.

“That was awful and I did find health insurance eventually,” Vivero told TechCrunch. “I had to change my doctor. And every step of the way I felt, for someone who was relatively experienced in using all sorts of tools to feel good about the decisions I was making, I was shocked at the state of the art in being a healthcare consumer on my own.”

Amino built a vast database that includes nearly every practicing doctor in America and experiences from more than 188 million people. Amino’s service allows people to find and book an appointment with doctors based on their experience with specific conditions or procedures and accepted insurance.

News Headlines Article

Covered California keynote at North Bay health care conference Nov. 20
North Bay Business Journal

Dana Howard, deputy director of communications and public relations for Covered California, will be the keynote speaker for North Bay Business Journal’s annual Health Care Industry Conference and Healthiest Companies Awards on Nov. 20. In addition to Howard, conference presenters will include a panel of health care executives and a presentation by Rick Brush, CEO of HICCup, the tech-pioneer financed health initiative called Way to Wellville.

News Headlines Article

Breast Care Center doctor not fan of new guidelines

There is some confusion around the American Cancer Society’s new mammogram guidelines released Tuesday.

After years of recommending women get checked every year starting at the age of 40, the American Cancer Society is now suggesting women start at 45 and go every other year at 55.

Chico Breast Care Center director Doctor James Schlund said he can understand how the ACS got to the new guidelines, but does not agree with them.

News Headlines Article

Knee-replacement surgery works, but so do nonsurgical options
Modern Healthcare

People with knees worn out by arthritis will get more pain relief from joint replacement surgery, but it has more risks and there’s a good chance that less drastic approaches also would help. That’s the bottom line from the first study to strictly test other treatments against knee replacement, an operation done hundreds of thousands of times a year in the U.S.

“It’s one of the great operations of the 20th century,” yet good evidence of its effectiveness has been lacking, said Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a joint specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

News Headlines Article

Calif. Hospital Struggles To Control Patient-On-Patient Violence
National Public Radio

Part one of this series explored how the violence at Napa State Psychiatric Hospital affects staff at the facility. In part two, NPR reports on patients who are victims of assault by other patients. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

California’s Napa State Psychiatric Hospital had more than 1,800 assaults last year. Five years ago this week, a psychiatric technician was murdered by a patient. We heard yesterday how the violence affects staff. Today, what happens when patients are the target of violent assaults from other patients? Scott Shafer of member station KQED reports.

News Headlines Article

It’s Back, 23andMe Relaunches Its Consumer Gene Test
KQED Radio

The genetic testing service 23andMe has relaunched a controversial test that, using just a few drops of spit, can tell you if you’re a carrier for dozens of diseases.

It’s not as extensive as its previous service, which could screen for hundreds of health risks, but the new modified test is approved by federal regulators, clearing a major hurdle that had placed the company’s future in doubt.

News Headlines Article

Blue Shield may be heading to showdown with regulators over executive pay
Los Angeles Times

In response to mounting criticism, Blue Shield of California’s chief executive is vowing to improve the nonprofit insurer’s poor ratings from patients and to disclose more about executive compensation.

But CEO Paul Markovich warned that certain details on executive pay will remain secret, portending a potential showdown with regulators.

Markovich has been dogged by questions for months surrounding the insurance giant’s nonprofit status, lack of transparency and repeated rate increases despite holding $4.2 billion in reserve.

News Headlines Article

Sutter Health is in the running to acquire another hospital
Sacramento Business Journal

Sutter Health is one of four finalists to run Petaluma Valley Hospital when the current lease held by St. Joseph Health expires in January 2017. Irvine-based St. Joseph’s wants to keep the business, which it has operated since 1997. The other two finalists are Prime Healthcare Services and Strategic Global Management Inc., two for-profit companies based in Southern California. Sutter, St. Joseph’s and Petaluma Valley Hospital are nonprofit.

News Headlines Article

Cedars-Sinai launches healthcare accelerator
Los Angeles Business Journal

Like Disney and the Dodgers before it, Cedars-Sinai is partnering on an industry-specific technology accelerator in Los Angeles. The nonprofit hospital in the Beverly Grove neighborhood has teamed on the first-ever Techstars Healthcare Accelerator.

The program will offer 10 entrepreneurs and startups in the global healthcare industry $120,000 in funding plus mentorship and guidance from senior leadership at Cedars-Sinai and access to Techstars’ network of more than 7,000 founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners. At the end of three months, the participating companies will participate in a demo day, presenting their work to investors, mentors, company executives and the community at large.

News Headlines Article

Silk Road Medical raises $57M to advance its stroke-prevention therapies
Silicon Valley Business Journal

Medical device developer Silk Road Medical raised $57 million in equity debt funding Tuesday to help prevent strokes. CRG led the debt financing and also participated as an equity investor alongside returning investors Warburg Pincus and The Vertical Group. The company has raised $113.6 million to date. CEO Erica Rogers heads up the Sunnyvale-based company, which was founded in 2007 to develop and make medical devices to improve the treatment of carotid artery disease.

News Headlines Article

Community Hospital provides free health screenings, information at Healthfest

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and the city of Seaside welcome the community to Healthfest, a free health fair for adults from throughout Monterey County on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

Blood pressure checks and non-fasting cholesterol and blood sugar tests – valued at $200 — will be available for free. Get the latest information on bone and breast health, cancer prevention, diabetes, choking safety, hands-only CPR, helpful community resources, exercise and lifestyle, healthy eating, hospice support services, how to recognize strokes, sleep disorders, and more.