Four California Counties Take Action on Health Care Issues This Week
Health care issues were taken up at county board of supervisors meetings throughout the state on Tuesday.Â Highlights appear below.
El Dorado County
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to cut 29 staff positions in the county Health Services Department, about 12% of its staff, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The cuts are expected to save $700,000 this fiscal year and $1.8 million annually in the future, according to department director Neda West (Clocke, Sacramento Bee, 12/17).
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to approve a pilot needle-exchange program in hopes of curbing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV, the Fresno Bee reports. The pilot will run for one year.
Edward Moreno, the county public health officer, supports the proposal.
A community group currently operates a needle-exchange program illegally (Anderson , Fresno Bee, 12/17).
In addition, a coalition of health care advocates asked supervisors to evaluate the quality of care provided by Community Medical Centers, the Fresno Bee reports.
Fresno County contracts with CMC for medical services.
The complaints were raised as CMC officials presented a quality report to supervisors (Anderson , Fresno Bee, 12/17).
Riverside County supervisors criticized First 5 Riverside and called on county staff to consider ways to restructure the organization, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Supervisors voiced their concerns following recent news that two First 5 commissioners voted Dec. 1 to approve a grant that would have benefited their programs.
First 5 administers proceeds of a voter-approved increase to the state tobacco tax to fund early childhood health care and education programs (Glick, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/17).
Sonoma County supervisors voted to require members of the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association labor union to pay a larger share of their medical benefit costs, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
It is the third union for which supervisors have approved changes to health care and retirement benefits.Tom Gordon, the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association's president, called the action "unlawful" (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 12/17). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.