Latest From California Healthline:
“Medicare for America” seeks to avoid some of the predictable obstacles of a full-blown expansion of Medicare. Can it survive the politics of health reform? (Shefali Luthra, 4/11)
Good morning! Spiking insulin prices finally bring out a little fire in lawmakers at the third hearing on high drug costs in recent weeks. More on that below, but first, here are some of your top California health stories for the day.
Dignity Health To Set Up ‘Specialty Pharmacy’ In Aim Of Cutting Costs, Improving Patient Care: Specialty pharmacies are businesses dispensing complex medications that basic pharmacies generally can’t give out. Peggy Sanborn, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for Dignity’s parent company CommonSpirit Health, says that by setting up specialty pharmacies, health systems are able to negotiate directly with drugmakers instead of going through a middleman, which cuts down on costs. The move also allows Dignity to oversee the patient’s drug treatment from start to finish. The California Hospital Association says there’s growing interest among members about specialty pharmacies. “If we’re able to provide drugs at a lower cost and have better access, and provide better care coordination to the patients ... that’s what we want to provide,” said BJ Bartleson, the association’s vice president of nursing and clinical services. Read more from Capital Public Radio.
Is California Destined To Burn?: One in 12 homes in California are at high risk of burning in a wildfire, leaving many wondering what can be done to mitigate some of the devastating losses brought by the flames. The Sacramento Bee has launched a series trying to answer some of the questions surrounding California’s apparent destiny to burn. Journalists look at why some houses burn while the neighbor’s property survives; which California communities could be the next Paradise; why so many people forget each year how high the risk is; the roadblocks to fighting the fires; and more. Check out the series from the Sacramento Bee here.
Meanwhile, PG&E rates could double if it’s found liable for another round of wildfires on the same scale as the disasters that drove the utility into bankruptcy, analysts say. Read more from the Sacramento Bee.
Psychiatry Residents Training Specifically In Community Care To Be Able To Help Homeless: A new awareness about the social determinants and their role in the overall health of a person, has spurred a focus on teaching psychiatric care with the purpose of helping homeless patients. Joel Braslow, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, said the new interest among psychiatric residents “has the potential to vastly change care for people who are homeless and dealing with mental illness.” When treating patients that suffer from both homelessness and mental illness, UCLA psychiatry residents now feel empowered to offer more help, said Nichole Goodsmith, a fourth-year psychiatry resident at UCLA who cofounded the student-faculty public psychiatry group with Castillo. Before, Goodsmith said her fellow residents often spoke of seeing some patients in the emergency room and having a “feeling of powerlessness to have an impact on the homelessness of the patient.” Read more from the California Health Report.
Below, check out the full round-up of California Healthline original stories, state coverage and the best of the rest of the national news for the day.
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San Francisco Chronicle:
Homelessness: Regional Plan Needed To Solve Bay Area Crisis, Business Group Says
The Bay Area has the third-largest homeless population — and one of the most problematic — in the United States, and the only way to make real headway toward clearing the streets is to systematically tie together tracking systems, housing strategies and other efforts from the region’s nine counties, a study released Wednesday contends. (Fagan, 4/10)