California Healthline Daily Edition

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U.S. Hospitals Routinely Toss Out Valuable Medical Supplies

In its investigation of why health care costs are so high, ProPublica reports on the perfectly good stuff hospitals throw away.

ProPublica: What Hospitals Waste
In 2012 the National Academy of Medicine estimated the U.S. health care system squandered $765 billion a year, more than the entire budget of the Defense Department. Dr. Mark Smith, who chaired the committee that authored the report, said the waste is “crowding out” spending on critical infrastructure needs, like better roads and public transportation. The annual waste, the report estimated, could have paid for the insurance coverage of 150 million American workers — both the employer and employee contributions. (Allen, 3/9)

In other hospital news from earlier this week —

ABC30 Fresno: Demonstrators Gather In Front Of Hanford Hospital, Calling For Protection Of Healthcare
Community and labor activists, healthcare providers, and concerned citizens took to the podium in Hanford Thursday, urging Congressman David Valadao not to support the newly introduced American Healthcare Act. The act was designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.They say California, and especially the Central Valley, has too much at stake, after so many gained health insurance with the passage of the ACA. (3/9)

The Desert Sun: Eisenhower Medical Center Updates Aid-In-Dying Policy
Eisenhower Medical Center has updated its policy on California's aid-in-dying law in a way officials there say better reflects the hospital's position that doctors can assist patients in dying if they choose, just not while at the hospital. The new policy language came days after protesters gathered outside the Rancho Mirage hospital to push for change. An advocate for doctor-assisted dying said the policy still isn't good enough because while other local hospitals allow doctors on premises to write prescriptions so patients can voluntarily end their lives, Eisenhower doctors cannot write the prescriptions while at the hospital. (Newkirk, 3/8)

San Diego Union-Tribune: Sharp Reports Theft Of Information On 757 Patients
The San Diego Police Department and Sharp HealthCare are investigating the theft of 757 health screening records taken from a locked cabinet inside the Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion on Feb. 6. According to a statement released by Sharp Friday afternoon, someone took a computer and “external memory device” that contained records collected during wellness screenings for blood pressure and/or cardiac health studies Sharp is conducting. The records included the name, date of birth, age, current medications, family history and screening type for each patient. No financial information or social security numbers were part of the breach. (Sisson, 3/3)

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