California Healthcare News

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Alecto Booted Out of Hospital Contract Premium Content
Jan 4, 2017

The Antelope Valley Health Care District decided little more than a year ago to spend millions of dollars to hire hospital company Alecto Healthcare to run its 422-bed hospital. Now, the district will spend millions more to terminate the relationship.

UCSF Says Most Light Smoking Teens Abuse Other Drugs Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

A new study by researchers at UC San Francisco has discovered that adolescents who have a mild cigarette habit are much more likely to use other drugs.

            That was the result of a limited study of 176 adolescent smokers. Ninety-six percent said they had used at least two other substances aside from tobacco.

            Although most of the teens said they used marijuana or alcohol, 16% said they had taken cocaine, hallucinogens or abused prescription drugs.

Auditor Warns Of Nursing Investigation Backlog Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

California Auditor Elaine Howle has issued a scathing report of the state Board of Registered Nursing, claiming that it has endangered patient safety by falling far behind on investigations of potentially rogue nurses.

            According to an audit of 40 complaints filed against nurses and resolved between 2013 and mid-2016, 31 were not resolved within 18 months. Nearly half of the complaints took 36 months or more to resolve, and seven complaints took longer than four years.

Lawmakers Move To Raise Denti-Cal Rates Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

Lawmakers have introduced a bill aiming to improve Denti-Cal, the state’s dental program for the poor — a program that was subject to a scathing independent audit earlier this year.


The proposed legislation, mostly sponsored by Republicans, is among the first public bids for revenue from the statewide tobacco tax that voters approved in November.


Many Disabled Californians Barred From Specialized Services Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

Nearly 425,000 disabled Californians do not meet the state's criteria for receiving specialized care, raising some questions about the viability of the safety net for those residents, according to a new study by UCLA researchers.

Kaiser Links Breast Cancer Outcomes To Patient Social Ties Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

Kaiser Permanente has determined that breast cancer patients are more likely to survive a bout with the disease if they have strong social ties.

            The research, which was conducted on 9,267 women diagnosed with stage one to four breast cancer, included a significant pool of Kaiser health plan enrollees. The study was part of the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

2017 Ushers In Many New Healthcare Laws Premium Content
Dec 14, 2016

The new year will greet hospitals with a new law requiring disclosure to patients about less expensive options for outpatient surgeries.

            SB 1365 is among several healthcare-related bills recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown that will impact the healthcare industry in California in 2017. It is among the most visible of the new laws in terms of how it impacts the sector.

In Brief: DMHC Bars Health Insurance Agent For False Applications Premium Content
Dec 7, 2016

The Department of Managed Health Care has taken the rare step of publicly barring a licensed insurance agent after he allegedly engaged in submitting false applications for coverage.

The DMHC barred Marc Howard Shields of Carlsbad from soliciting health insurance plans on Nov. 29, records show.

In Brief: Antelope Valley Hospital Board Is Shaken Up By Election Premium Content
Dec 7, 2016

One of the largest district hospitals in California has been shaken up after two of its incumbent directors were turned out of office by local nurses.

HASC Taps Head of Healthcare Association Of Hawaii As New President Premium Content
Dec 7, 2016

As the healthcare sector enters what could be some of its most turbulent years ever, the Hospital Association of Southern California has turned to an outsider with extensive political experience to fill its top post.

The appointment of George W. Greene, currently president of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, was announced by the HASC board of directors on Dec. 1. He takes over the reins at HASC in February.

Lawmaker Revisits Drug Price Transparency Premium Content
Dec 7, 2016

A key California lawmaker has reintroduced legislation intended to make drug price increases more transparent, vowing to take up arms again with the pharmaceutical industry over runaway costs.

Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, announced a measure that would require pharmaceutical companies to notify state health programs and private insurers before they increase prices. Hernandez dropped a similar bill last session because he was dissatisfied with amendments that raised the threshold for reporting.

CDPH Fines Nursing Home $25,000 Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

The California Department of Public Health has fined a Lancaster nursing home $25,000 for contributing to the death of one of its patients earlier this year.

Sutter Health Will Pilot Needle-Free Blood Draws Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

Sacramento-based hospital operator Sutter Health will pilot the use of a technology allowing blood draws without needles.

            The technology, known as PIVO and developed by San Francisco-based Velano Vascular, uses a patient's existing intravenous line to draw blood, as opposed to continual needle pricks in the patient's arm or hands.

Medi-Cal Program in Danger of Extensive Rollback Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

California grabbed the first opportunity to expand Medicaid and ran with it, helping cut the number of uninsured people in half in a few short years.

            Thanks in part to billions of dollars in federal funding, a third of California’s residents — including half its children — are insured by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

ACA May Be Imperiled, But Most Like Current Setup Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

Just as a Donald Trump administration could be poised to strike down the Affordable Care Act or at least give it a serious make it over, a new poll by UCLA researchers suggests that most adults are happy with the coverage they receive.

In Brief: CDPH Launches Anti-HIV Program Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

The California Department of Public Health has announced a new plan to try and reduce new HIV infections statewide.

            The plan is intended to reduce infections by increasing access to care, reducing disparities in communities that are currently underserved and create a more coordinated response to the HIV issue.

In Brief: Kaiser to Get $24 Million for in Utero Study Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

Kaiser Permanente has been awarded a significant grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how in utero exposure to chemicals influence the risks of obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders.

            The grant, initially for $3.25 million, will initially be for the first two years of a seven-year study. Total funding is expected to total $24 million over the course of the study.

DMHC Fines Anthem Blue Cross $650,000 Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

The Department of Managed Health Care has fined Anthem Blue Cross $650,000 for what it said were systematic violations of how it handles enrollee grievances, and expressed skepticism the issue has been addressed.

California's Only Certainty Is Uncertainty Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

As California's provider community shakes off the shock that accompanied Donald Trump's election as President of the United States last week, it has begun to take a closer look at what that will mean for the future of healthcare in California.

            For now, there is little to see that they like.

In Brief: CWCI Says That Legal Marijuana Can Still Be Banned By Employers Premium Content
Nov 10, 2016

Even though voters approved Proposition 64 by a 12-point margin on Tuesday, a new report by the California Workers' Compensation Institute said workplace bans on the drug would still legal.