- California Healthline Original Stories 3
- California Expands Drug Rehab Treatment For Low-Income Residents
- A Rare Dementia Gene Runs In The Family, But He’s Fine — So Far
- Podcast: 'What The Health?' Welcome Back, Congress. Now Get To Work.
- Public Health and Education 3
- What You Should Know About The Hepatitis A Outbreak In California
- 'Last Gift' Program Focuses On HIV's Behavior In Patients With Terminal Illnesses
- Rural Areas In California Particularly Hard Hit By Opioid Epidemic
Latest From California Healthline:
A five-year pilot program provides more residential care, a broader range of medications and other services for Medi-Cal recipients who are addicted to drugs. KHN’s Anna Gorman discussed the program on KPCC radio. (9/8)
A Washington state man inherited the mutated gene that stole his mother’s mind. He doesn’t have the disease, and doctors don’t know why. (JoNel Aleccia, 9/11)
In this episode of “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News discuss the return of Congress and bipartisan efforts to shore up the individual health insurance market for 2018, as well as renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (9/8)
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Summaries Of The News:
The measure would have required dialysis centers to provide one nurse for every eight patients and one technician for every three patients, among other new standards.
California Dialysis Center Bill Shelved For The Year
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced Senate Bill 349 earlier this year at the behest of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. ... The measure would have required dialysis centers to provide one nurse for every eight patients and one technician for every three patients, among other new standards. (Luna, 9/8)
Capital Public Radio:
Bill To Set Rules On Dialysis Clinics Shelved For The Year
Mark Shapiro, a San Diego area kidney specialist, told Capital Public Radio the bill would have imposed arbitrary and disruptive rules on the growing industry that serves more than 60,000 patients in California. Shapiro said the bill would “simply cripple the ability of our dialysis clinics to provide care to patients. It takes away the ability to customize dialysis care.” (Nichols, 9/8)
In other news from Sacramento —
San Jose Mercury News:
Fate Of Controversial California Drug Price Transparency Bill Up In Air
Senate Bill 17’s goal of moving toward “transparency” in drug prices would enable health insurers to negotiate lower prices for drugs or, in many cases, replace those drugs with cheaper alternatives, its supporters say. They argue that the measure could make a huge difference because when California has required cost transparency in other areas of the health care industry, prices have stabilized or even decreased. (Seipel, 9/8)
More than half of the county is on Medi-Cal, but that hasn't solved their access problems.
Merced County Health Access Might Not Get Better
Merced County for years has struggled to convince doctors to come live and work in the rural, impoverished Central Valley community, resulting in a ratio of about 45 doctors for every 100,000 residents. The doctor-resident ratio statewide is about 77 doctors per 100,000, according to a recent study by the Merced County Department of Public Health. (Velez, 9/8)
Here's a look at the symptoms of hepatitis A, how's it's spread, who's coming under fire for the outbreak and more.
Orange County Register:
Health Officials: Vaccinations Best Way To Prevent Hepatitis A Outbreak Among Orange County’s Homeless Population
An outbreak of hepatitis A that has led to the deaths of more than a dozen homeless people in San Diego County and multiple hospitalizations there and in Santa Cruz County has local health officials keeping a close watch on homeless people in Orange County. They also are offering vaccinations to the potentially high-risk population. (Walker and Perkes, 9/8)
The Mercury News:
Two Cases Of Hepatitis A Linked To Santa Clara County Jails
As other parts of the state contend with a surge in cases of Hepatitis A, Santa Clara County officials are investigating how a jail inmate and staff member contracted the disease. ... The case involving the inmate was reported to the county Public Health Department at the end of August, and on Tuesday the agency received word that a jail staff member also had contracted the disease. (Green, 9/8)
The patients go off their medication to help researchers better understand how the virus operates.
HIV Survivors Give Their 'Last Gift' In A New San Diego Study
The Last Gift study at UC San Diego is a unique new research effort focusing on HIV patients with a terminal illness such as cancer, ALS or advanced heart disease. ... When they near the end of their lives, they stop taking their HIV medications and let researchers draw blood regularly to monitor the activity of the virus. (Wagner, 9/11)
In other public health news —
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Events Highlight Challenges, Hope For Alzheimer's Patients And Caregivers
In a separate effort to raise awareness Saturday, more than 1,400 participants fund-raised for Alzheimer’s care and research at the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer's — San Diego. Held at Crown Point by a different organization, the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the event raised nearly $153,000 as of Saturday afternoon, surpassing its goal of $150,000. Donations are still being accepted. Back at the Alzheimer’s San Diego USD panel, researchers and doctors said the good news is that what Alzheimer’s does to the brain, and what needs to be done to stop it, is known. (Fikes, 9/9)
Refuge For Abused Kids To Open In East LA
With foster kids in Los Angeles experiencing high rates of homelessness, dropping out of school, and suicide, a new center opening in Lincoln Heights aims to offer aid to the most at-risk teens. The Leonard Hill Hope Center, scheduled to open its doors Thursday after a $3 million building renovation, will primarily serve children referred to the Violence Intervention Program's mental health clinics. (Palta, 9/8)
“What you’re seeing in California is what you’re seeing in many parts of the country, including Oregon,” said Todd Korthuis, an expert on opioid abuse. “There are still a lot of rural counties around the U.S. that are awash in prescription opioids.”
California Opioid Use Shows Regional Differences
California, though, is far from a bystander to the crisis. There were 1,925 opioid-linked overdose deaths in California last year, according to recently updated state data, and thousands of emergency room visits. The problem also has a decidedly geographic dimension in California. In rural and semi-rural parts of the state, where the demographics resemble Appalachia more than Anaheim, prescription drug use and death rates vastly exceed the state average, state data show. (Miller, 9/8)
Ventura County Star:
Ventura County Opioid Deaths Fell 23 Percent In 2016
Opioid deaths fell 23 percent in Ventura County in 2016, with overdose deaths involving all drugs declining 12 percent, according to county data that contradicts national trends that show an alarming rise in drug deaths. The data released by Ventura County Behavioral Health shows 66 deaths last year linked to overdoses from opioids, a category ranging from powerful prescription painkillers to heroin. In 2015, 86 deaths involved opioids. (Kisken, 9/9)
Democratic lawmakers want the insurer subsidies to be paid. But to get that, they have to give up on something important to them -- state waivers. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for them to reach a deal.
Dem, GOP Demands Could Sink Bipartisan ObamaCare Fix
Democrats fear that GOP demands for concessions on a bill meant to stabilize insurance markets could lead to the end of key protections for consumers under ObamaCare. Republicans say that in exchange for funding for insurers that would help prevent an ObamaCare premium spike, Democrats should agree to expanding waivers that could allow states to opt out of certain requirements under ObamaCare. (Sullivan, 9/8)
Week Ahead: Senate Panel Looks To Quickly Strike Deal On ObamaCare Fix
Democrats want the bill to include multiple years of funding for key insurer payments, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, while Republicans only want one year. Insurers have threatened to leave the market or hike premiums if they don't get more certainty on these payments. But a bigger sticking point is the changes Republicans want to make to ObamaCare's 1332 waivers. (Hellmann, 9/11)
Freedom Caucus Chair Calls New ObamaCare Repeal Bill 'Promising'
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Friday that a new ObamaCare replacement bill in the Senate is the "most promising" option for repealing the law. Meadows spoke favorably of the bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), which would replace ObamaCare with block grants to states instead of the law's current spending on subsidies and Medicaid expansion. (Sullivan, 9/8)
Trump's ‘Republicans, Sorry’ Tweet Casts Doubt On GOP's Obamacare Repeal Plan
Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are still pushing their plan to repeal Obamacare. It appears the president has moved on to tax cuts. “Republicans, sorry, but I’ve been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn’t happen!,” President Donald Trump said in the first of a series of tweets on Friday. Graham and Cassidy, Republican senators from South Carolina and Louisiana, respectively, said on Thursday they’re planning to introduce a new version of their proposal to replace Obamacare. They’re aiming for a vote this month, and have said that the president backs their plan. Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, meanwhile, is pushing for a more limited bipartisan plan to stabilize the health law’s markets. (Tracer, 9/8)
Trump Regrets Putting ObamaCare Repeal On Top Of Agenda, Blames Ryan: Report
President Trump reportedly regrets putting repealing and replacing ObamaCare at the top of his legislative agenda and blames Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for assuring him that a health-care overhaul was sure to pass in the GOP-controlled Congress. Trump has privately fumed that Republican congressional leaders, including Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), misled him on health care, among other issues, The Associated Press reported Friday. (Greenwood, 9/8)
The move may force Democrats on Capitol Hill to take a stance on the issue, which is becoming a test for 2020.
Sanders To Unveil 'Medicare For All' Bill On Wednesday
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will unveil his “Medicare for all” bill on Wednesday, his office announced Friday. The announcement comes as single-payer health care is gaining as a force within the Democratic Party, and Sanders’s formal announcement will move the issue further into the spotlight. (Sullivan, 9/8)
Warren Dismisses Dem Divisions As Lawmakers Rally Around Single-Payer
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) dismissed conflict inside the Democratic Party on Friday in a new interview, noting that Democrats are rallying around health care and other issues. Warren told the editorial board of The Republican on Friday that the Democratic Party has found agreement on the idea that health care should be a guaranteed right for all citizens. (Bowden, 9/9)