- California Healthline Original Stories 1
- For Nursing Home Patients, Breast Cancer Surgery May Do More Harm Than Good
- Sacramento Watch 1
- FDA Chief Warns California That Agency Could Step In To Prevent Cancer Labels On Coffee
- Elections 1
- Both Sides Pour Millions Of Dollars Into Fight Over Ballot Initiative Capping Dialysis Clinic Profits
- Health Care Personnel 1
- Medical Board Suspends License Of Former USC Gynecologist Facing Sexual Assault Allegations
- Public Health and Education 1
- Firefighters Learning Not To 'Bottle Things Up Inside' As They Deal With Stress And Trauma From Intense Summer
- Around California 1
- Dignity Health Memorial Hospital's New Lab Will Allow For 'Complex, High-Risk Procedures'
Latest From California Healthline:
A new study of 6,000 older patients shows little gain from surgeries for breast cancer. (Liz Szabo, 8/29)
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More News From Across The State
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the warnings would be "misleading" to consumers. In other Sacramento news: lawmakers pass a bill on raising the legal age to be able to buy long guns and the Assembly green lights a measure to require public universities to offer abortion medication.
Los Angeles Times:
FDA To California: Cancer Warning Labels For Coffee Would Be 'Misleading'
There are still parts of the Trump administration that value science, and coffee drinkers in California can be thankful that the Food and Drug Administration is one of them. On Wednesday, the FDA sent a letter to Sacramento urging the state to put science ahead of the requirements of a controversial ballot initiative and end its war on coffee. (Kaplan, 8/29)
Los Angeles Times:
California Lawmakers Vote To Raise The Age For Buying Long Guns From 18 To 21
Alarmed by a string of mass shootings by young people, California lawmakers on Wednesday sent the governor a bill that would raise the minimum age for buying long guns in the state from 18 to 21. Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said his bill would address concerns raised by incidents including the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which a 19-year-old is accused of using an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to kill 17 students and school employees. (McGreevy, 8/30)
The Associated Press:
California Closer To Making Colleges Offer Abortion Drugs
A measure that would make California the first state to require all public universities to offer abortion medication at their campus health centers cleared a hurdle Wednesday. None of the 34 University of California or California State University campuses currently offer abortion services. The California Assembly approved the measure, which returns to the Senate for a final sign-off. (8/29)
Unions support the measure because they say it would force clinics to put money into staff pay and training, but the industry argues that the language is too specific, leaving managerial staff salaries out of the group of expenses that could be counted as reasonable spending.
More Than $40 Million Raised For Fight Over California Dialysis Profits And Patients
Dialysis clinics and unions have reported collecting more than $40 million for a fight over Proposition 8, a statewide ballot measure that would limit profits for dialysis companies. The proposition [caps] dialysis clinic profits at 15 percent and would require the clinics who have higher profit margins to pay rebates to insurance companies or face fines. The clinics would also need to annually report financial information such as costs, revenue and patient charges to the state. (Chen, 8/30)
Although Dr. George Tyndall agreed to a temporary suspension of his license, his lawyers say he is retired and has no plans to return to practicing medicine.
California University Doctor Accused Of Sex Abuse Sees License Suspended
A former University of Southern California (USC) gynecologist, accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of students, has agreed to a suspension of his medical license, officials said on Wednesday. Dr. George Tyndall reached an agreement this week with the Medical Board of California temporarily prohibiting him from practicing medicine until it makes a final decision on the status of his license, board spokeswoman Susan Wolbarst said. (Dobuzinskis, 8/29)
Some firefighters still don't want to ask for help dealing with the emotional fallout from their jobs, but others are striving to remove the stigma that seeking support is a weakness.
Amid Traumatizing Work, Firefighters Open Up — To Each Other
People tend to think of firefighters as calm under pressure, stoic about the risks they take and private about the devastation they witness. Many firefighters prefer to maintain that image. But as fire seasons intensify, more firefighters are realizing it’s better to open up -- at least to each other. (Hutson, 8/29)
"This is overwhelming, but in a good way,” said Michele Shain, senior director of cardiac and neuro services for the hospital.
The Bakersfield Californian:
New Lab Allows Surgical And Non-Surgical Procedures To Be Done In Same Room
Dignity Health Memorial Hospital has a new lab that will allow for multiple procedures to be completed around the same time. The new lab, unique to the hospital, is a mixture of a cath lab and operating room that allows for surgical and non-surgical procedures to be done at the same time or one right after the other. Patients will no longer have to be moved from one room to another. The lab is located at the Sarvanand Heart & Brain Center at the hospital and was paid for as part of a $3.5 million donation provided by the Lajpat and Kailash Munger family to establish the center. (8/29)
In other news from across the state —
Nuclear Regulatory Commission To Conduct Inspection After 'Near-Miss' At San Onofre
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will conduct a special inspection at the site of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, after a near-accident earlier this month while moving highly radioactive spent fuel. A team of inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will arrive Sept. 10 and spend about a week at the power plant. (St John, 8/29)
Homeless Woman Killed When Caltrans Clears Camp In Modesto, CA.
A woman sleeping in a homeless encampment in Modesto was killed when she was hit by heavy machinery used by Caltrans to clean up the property, according to Modesto police. The woman had been sleeping in a cardboard box on the grassy area along Highway 99 south of Kansas Avenue, according to a man who was there that morning. (Tracy, 8/29)
After failing to pass a repeal plan last year, Republicans have turned to the courts to challenge the health law. But they may not have an ally in Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee for the open Supreme Court seat.
Los Angeles Times:
Trump's Supreme Court Pick Signals Skepticism Over GOP's Latest Bid To Repeal Obamacare
If Republicans are hoping Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will help them knock down Obamacare in the courts, they might be in for a disappointment. Kavanaugh has signaled in private meetings with Senate Democrats that he is skeptical of some of the legal claims being asserted in the latest GOP-led effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act. (Haberkorn, 8/29)
In other national health care news —
The Associated Press:
Even A Small Amount Of Medical Debt Can Trigger Headaches
It doesn't take a huge unpaid medical bill to make a collection agency come calling ... and calling. Researchers found in a study of credit reports that more than 2 percent of adults had medical bills under $200 sent to a collection agency. Over half of the annual medical collections were for less than $600, according to the study, which examined 2016 credit reports for more than 4 million unidentified people. (8/29)
The Washington Post:
‘We Did A Fantastic Job In Puerto Rico’: Trump Defends Response Despite Spike In Deaths After Hurricane Maria
President Trump on Wednesday defended his administration's response to a devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico last year, despite a study released this week that said there was a spike in deaths on the island in the six months that followed. “I think we did a fantastic job,” Trump said, responding to a question from a reporter at the White House. He called the emergency on the island “by far the most difficult” of the areas of the United States and its territories ravaged by hurricanes. (Nakamura, 8/29)
U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal Is Criticized For Allowing High Drug Prices To Continue
FacebookLinkedInEmailDoximityPrintAlthough details of the new trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico have not yet been released, a fight is already brewing among some drug makers and consumer advocates over one provision. At issue is a sentence in a fact sheet that was released this week by the U.S. Trade Representative. A section concerning intellectual property noted there will be 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs and an “expanded scope” of products that will be eligible for protection, although the meaning of this last phrase was not fleshed out. (Silverman, 8/29)
The Associated Press:
Know What To Say When Postpartum Depression Hits A Loved One
Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen, Adele: The charge to destigmatize postpartum depression has never before had so many high-profile sufferers willing to share their stories. Add Serena Williams to the list. The 23-time Grand Slam champion playing in the U.S. Open took to Instagram to share her story after a loss in San Jose, California, last month. She said she has been struggling with feelings of inadequacy as a mother since the birth last September of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. (8/30)
The Washington Post:
FDA Pushes For Development Of Non-Opioid Pain Medications
The Food and Drug Administration is planning new steps to encourage the development of nonaddictive alternatives to opioid pain medications, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview. As part of the effort, the agency plans to withdraw its existing 2014 guidance to the drug industry on pain medicines. That document is overly broad, Gottlieb said, and is sometimes a barrier to new products and innovations. The current guidelines call for a large number of studies to get FDA approval for general use for chronic pain, he added. (McGinley, 8/29)
The New York Times:
These Companies Really, Really, Really Want To Freeze Your Eggs
Jennifer Lannon lay, her feet propped in stirrups, on an examining table at Extend Fertility, an egg-freezing clinic in Midtown Manhattan. A screen at her right displayed the results of her ultrasound, the image closely monitored by Ms. Lannon and her doctor, Joshua Klein. How many eggs could she expect to see? she asked. She would likely end up with some 20, Dr. Klein told her. He was making no promises. “But to the extent you can ensure fertility later,” he said, “you are in very good shape.” She ought to be. (La Ferla, 8/29)
The New York Times:
Posters Suggesting That Women Can Drink While Pregnant Stir Backlash
On posters distributed to medical facilities across Australia, large type over an image of a pregnant woman read: “It’s safest not to drink while pregnant.” Good so far. It was the next line, in smaller type, that alarmed medical professionals: “It’s not known if alcohol is safe to drink when you are pregnant.” Public health groups responded with resounding protests — drinking alcohol while pregnant is very definitively known to be unsafe, they said. (Victor, 8/29)
The Wall Street Journal:
Starbucks’ Frappuccino Gets A Sugar Makeover
Starbucks Corp. is putting its decadent Frappuccino on a diet, looking to reduce the drink’s high sugar levels, which have scared away increasingly health-conscious consumers and hurt sales. Some versions of the drink contain more than twice as much sugar as a standard Snickers bar and far more calories. A 16-ounce Mocha Frappuccino contains 410 calories, compared with 250 in a 1.86-ounce Snickers. (Jargon, 8/30)