- California Healthline Original Stories 1
- California Drug Price Bill Sweeping In Scope, Lacking In Muscle
- Public Health and Education 3
- LA Tries To Get Ahead Of Highly Contagious Hep A Outbreak That's Sweeping San Diego
- Surge Of Domestic Violence Cases, Deaths Stuns Sacramento
- Local Addiction Clinic Gets $1.4M In Federal Funds To Help Fight Opioid Crisis
- Around California 2
- UCLA Patients Exposed To Medication With Expired, Potentially Dangerous Ingredients
- Community Clinics Brace For Worst As Deadline To Renew Federal Funding Inches Closer
Latest From California Healthline:
The proposal, which is headed to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, would impose new reporting requirements on drugmakers and health plans but wouldn’t have the power to bring down prices directly. (Pauline Bartolone, 9/18)
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Summaries Of The News:
Since November, 421 people in San Diego County have been infected with the virus, including the 16 who died. So far Los Angeles has been spared, but officials don't want to be caught off-guard.
Los Angeles Times:
San Diego Is Struggling With A Huge Hepatitis A Outbreak. Is It Coming To L.A.?
Health officials in San Diego have scrambled for months to contain an outbreak of hepatitis A — vaccinating more than 19,000 people, putting up posters at bus stations and distributing hand sanitizer and cleansing wipes. Despite those efforts, 16 people have died of the highly contagious virus in San Diego County and hundreds have become ill in what officials say is the nation’s second-largest outbreak of hepatitis A in decades.Earlier this month, San Diego officials declared a public health emergency. (Karlamangla, 9/16)
San Diego's Hepatitis A Outbreak Spurs Action In LA, OC
As San Diego County health officials work to combat a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 16 people and sent nearly 300 to the hospital, public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties say they're taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading northward. (Plevin, 9/16)
Los Angeles Times:
San Diego Opens Downtown Restrooms Amid Hepatitis A Crisis
New portable public restrooms were opened in downtown San Diego over the weekend in an effort to help combat the growing hepatitis outbreak that has killed 16 people and infected more than 400 since last fall, officials said. The dearth of 24-hour public restrooms downtown has long been cited as a shortcoming in the city — an inconvenience for visitors and a more dire problem for the growing homeless population. (Smolens, 9/16)
San Diego Union-Tribune:
Diners Warned Of Possible Hepatitis Exposure At San Diego Beach Restaurant
A person at a Pacific Beach restaurant may have exposed an unknown number of customers to hepatitis A on seven different days, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. Anyone who may have eaten or had a drink at the World Famous restaurant at 711 Pacific Beach Drive in San Diego at specific times on dates in late August and early September “may have been exposed to a person with the hepatitis A virus,” according to a statement released Friday morning by the county. (Sisson, 9/15)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Restaurants, Diners Taking Precautions After Latest Hepatitis A Scare
A day after news that San Diego’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak may have infiltrated the food service industry, more than 200 people lined up for vaccinations, restaurants reinforced their health safety measures and the city opened a new set of portable public restrooms downtown in an effort to gain some control over the disease’s spread. “All eyes are on San Diego,” Steve Zolezzi, president of the Food & Beverage Association of San Diego, said of the outbreak, one of the nation’s largest in decades which prompted county officials to declare a local public health emergency earlier this month.
“I can’t remember a year with this many children killed,” said Sacramento County Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Paul Durenberger, who heads the domestic violence prosecution team.
Deaths Of Three West Sacramento Children Part Of Uptick In Fatal Domestic Violence Attacks
Since January, there have been eight fatal domestic violence encounters in the Sacramento area involving the deaths of 14 victims – eight of whom were children, authorities said. All of the adult victims this year in Sacramento were women and most were women of color. (Chabria and Magagnini, 9/15)
In other news from across the state —
LA County Considers $4 Million Settlement For Paralyzed Juvenile Inmate
A $3.9 million settlement for a teenage boy left with brain damage and paralysis after a fight inside one of L.A. County's juvenile halls is up for approval by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. ... In jail and prison settings, sex offenders are often kept in protected areas because they can be targets of violence by other inmates. (Palta, 9/18)
The Desert Sun:
Thermal's Flying Doctors, Providing Free Health Care, Sees Fewer Patients. Fear Of Deportation May Play Role
Before the sun rose Saturday, people in need of medical care began lining up outside Desert Mirage High School in Thermal for an opportunity to see physicians, dentists, optometrists and hearing specialists – all for free. From 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m., volunteers with Flying Doctors health fair, organized by Luz Moreno with Clinicas de Salud del Pubelo Inc. in Coachella, brings doctors from all over into the east end of the valley to provide much-needed medical care. The one-day clinic offers everything from basic medical checkups to cancer screenings and everything in between. Volunteers also assist with insurance enrollment for those who qualify. (Barkas, 9/16)
Capital Public Radio:
Stockton Approves First Medical Marijuana Cultivation Site
The Stockton Planning Commission has voted to allow the city’s first medical marijuana cultivation site. An 11,000 square-foot warehouse on Navy Drive was permitted for use as an indoor nursery capable of producing 1,700 pounds of cannabis annually. (Ibarra, 9/15)
The funds will be used to expand services, ramp up outreach to new patients and hire a new psychologist who can work more closely with primary care staff to identify and respond to possible opioid overuse.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
North Coast Clinics Get $1.4 Million To Battle Opioid Crisis
The national opioid epidemic claimed a total of 45 lives through overdoses in 2016 in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, a region that saw nearly 620,000 total opioid pain prescriptions written last year, according to the latest state data. That same year brought 1,925 overdose deaths, 3,935 emergency visits and 4,095 overdose hospitalizations, the grim harvest of a medical crisis health officials and medical providers are trying their best to address. (Espinoza, 9/15)
In other public health news —
The Bakersfield Californian:
Toxic Stress Is A Killer — What Can We Do About It?
Much attention has recently been paid to toxic stress and childhood trauma, clinically known as adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, in the San Joaquin Valley. The California Endowment, a private nonprofit dedicated to improving health care and creating healthy communities, released a report this year calling toxic stress a “hidden health crisis.” It stated that toxic stress is most pervasive in Kern County, killing middle-aged white men at numbers never seen before while setting others on a course of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and suicide. (Pierce, 9/16)
UCLA quietly closed the pharmacy responsible within days of the inspection.
Los Angeles Times:
UCLA Pharmacy Closed After State Finds It Sent Out Drugs With Expired, Potentially Dangerous Ingredients
A state pharmacy inspector made a surprising discovery last year while conducting a routine records review at a Westside facility that compounded drugs for patients at UCLA medical centers. More than 1,000 IV bags of sterile medications for heart patients and others with serious health issues had been made with expired and potentially dangerous ingredients, according to state Board of Pharmacy records. (Christensen, 9/15)
In other news —
Corporate Owner Of Doctors Medical Center, Under Pressure To Cut Losses, May Be Sold
Publications from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today reported this week that a major shareholder is pushing for changes at Tenet Healthcare Corp. Tenet has owned Doctors Medical Center for decades and completed an acquisition of Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock three years ago. (Carlson, 9/15)
"[W]e have never gotten to the point that we’re 15 days away from the end of the year, without knowing our funding for the next year," said Vernita Todd the senior vice president of Health Center Partners of Southern California. "This is a first.”
Community Clinics Facing Financial Cliff
Community clinics provide care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay. But that mission is in jeopardy — $3.6 billion in federal funds clinics rely on to stay in business will run out on Sept. 30. Clinic officials warn if Congress fails to reauthorize that funding by the deadline, they may be forced to lay off doctors, cut services, and in some case, close their doors altogether. (Goldberg, 9/18)
“North County veterans hate going to downtown San Diego. It can be an all-day affair,” said Chuck Atkinson, a spokesman for the Veterans Association of North County.
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
VA To Consolidate Disability Exams In San Diego, No Longer Offered At Oceanside Clinic
North County veterans may have to travel to central San Diego for future exams related to disability claims. Starting Oct. 1, the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department will discontinue exams for compensation and pension claims at its Oceanside medical clinic. The bulk of the services at the Rancho Del Oro Road clinic will continue, including regular medical care. However, for the disability exams, San Diego VA officials “reviewed utilization of the Oceanside clinic over the last year and felt it was not cost-effective to maintain the clinic for the limited services that were provided,” according to a statement by the agency. (Steele, 9/15)
The measure from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is the party's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And while Cassidy says he thinks he has about 48 or 49 votes, that still isn't enough to pass it.
The Wall Street Journal:
Republicans Say Push To End Obamacare Gathers Support
A group of Republicans making a final push to topple the Affordable Care Act say they have almost enough votes in the Senate to pass their bill. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) told reporters Friday that he believes 48 or 49 GOP Senators support the bill. Fewer have publicly committed to the legislation, and it remains unclear if it has the momentum supporters claim. (Armour and Hackman, 9/15)
Senator Says He Nearly Has The Votes For ObamaCare Repeal
The problem for Senate Republicans when it comes to ObamaCare repeal has always been getting the final few votes to put them over the top. The repeal legislation that failed in July got 49 votes, but fell short because three GOP senators bucked leadership and voted no. There is an extremely short window to pass the bill before a procedural deadline of Sept. 30. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday announced his opposition, saying the bill kept too much of ObamaCare. (Sullivan, 9/15)
Senate GOP Tries One Last Time To Repeal Obamacare
Right now, support for the bill — which would replace Obamacare’s tax subsidies with block grants, end the law’s individual insurance mandate and scale back its Medicaid expansion — among Republican senators is short of 50 votes. But McConnell and his lieutenants will gauge support this week in private party meetings with help from President Donald Trump, administration and Capitol Hill sources said. “McConnell and his team are engaged and serious about the vote and working with the conference to build support for Graham-Cassidy,” a source familiar with the bill’s prospects said Sunday. The “White House is also operating with all hands on deck.” (Everett and Dawsey, 9/17)
Dems Call For Action Against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare Repeal
Democratic senators are reigniting their calls to fight against another Republican healthcare push that aims to repeal and replace ObamaCare after reports surfaced that President Trump and GOP leaders are working to garner support for Cassidy-Graham legislation. Prominent upper chamber lawmakers like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are taking to Twitter to make impassioned calls for voters to speak up and demonstrate their opposition to the bill. (Beavers, 9/17)
Hospital Group Comes Out Against New ObamaCare Repeal Effort
America’s Essential Hospitals announced its opposition to a new ObamaCare repeal and replace bill, warning of cuts and coverage losses. The group, which represents hospitals that treat a high share of low-income people, said it is opposed to a last-ditch bill to repeal ObamaCare from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). (Sullivan, 9/15)