- California Healthline Original Stories 3
- Saving Lives And Saving Money
- In Alameda County, A Big Data Effort To Prevent Frequent ER Visits
- As Marijuana Legalization Initiative Heads For California Ballot, Health Groups Weigh In
- Sacramento Watch 2
- Lawmaker Blasts Delay In Audit On Overuse Of Psych Drugs For Foster Children
- Assembly Committee Blocks Parental Leave Law
- Hospital Roundup 1
- St. Joseph Health, Providence To Merge, Create Nation’s Third-Largest Nonprofit Health System
- Public Health and Education 1
- San Diego Program Will Provide Housing, Care For Mentally Ill Homeless People
- Around California 1
- After Death Of Son, Simi Valley Woman Spearheads Push To Get Defibrillators In Schools
Latest From California Healthline:
A pioneering program in southern California provides ongoing care and housing to homeless people who are “super-utilizers” of hospital emergency rooms. The effort is reducing ER visits and saving a lot of money. (David Gorn, 6/23)
Hospitals share patient records of “super-users” to save money and avoid duplicating medical treatment. (Jenny Gold, 6/22)
Health experts remain divided on legalizing marijuana for recreational use. (Ana B. Ibarra, 6/23)
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More News From Across The State
California Department of Health Care Services supplied incomplete information to an audit request from Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, almost a year ago. "At best, this an unacceptable error. At worst, it is the department trying to hide the ball," he said.
Bay Area Lawmaker Outraged Over Delay Of Audit On Psych Drugs In Foster Care
A Bay Area legislator is crying foul after discovering that a state audit he requested almost one year ago about psychiatric drugs prescribed to foster children has been delayed because a state agency supplied incomplete information. ...McGuire said he is calling on California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley, whose office oversees the Department of Health Care Services, to determine what caused the delay, and to give the State Senate assurances that it will be fixed immediately. DHCS oversees health care for the state's foster children. (Seipel, 6/22)
The legislation would have required businesses with 10 or more employees to let their workers take up to 12 weeks off to bond with a new child.
Effort To Expand Parental Leave Law Stalls In Assembly Committee
A bill that would have expanded California’s parental leave law stalled in an Assembly committee Wednesday, and politics may have played a role in its demise. SB1166, from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), would have required employers with 10 or more employees to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to bond with a new child. Currently, the law is limited to employers with 50 or more employees. The measure was a priority of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. (Orr, 6/22)
Capital Public Radio:
Job-Protected Family Leave Bill Blocked In Assembly
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s bill would require businesses with 10 or more employees to let their workers take up to 12 weeks off to bond with a new child. “That first 12 weeks of bonding is critically crucial to the child – and to the parental-child relationship,” Jackson told the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Wednesday. But Jennifer Barrera with the California Chamber of Commerce argued that the bill could force employers to allow twice as much time off to comply with a related federal law as well. (Adler, 6/22)
Patients will now be able to go to a pharmacy to obtain a prescription for the drugs.
Capital Public Radio:
Anthem Expands Delivery Of HIV/AIDS Medications
Members of Anthem who need HIV/AIDS medication are no longer required to obtain their prescriptions exclusively by mail. Patients receiving the drugs will now have the option to pick up their medications from in-network retail pharmacies, says Consumer Watchdog. Previously, Anthem required members to obtain prescriptions only by mail. (Johnson, 6/22)
The new entity, Providence St. Joseph Health, will include 16 St. Joseph hospitals, including five in Orange County, and 34 Providence hospitals, including six in Los Angeles County.
Orange County Register:
St. Joseph Health To Merge With Providence
St. Joseph Health and Providence Health and Services have received regulatory approval for a merger that will create the nation’s third-largest nonprofit health system, officials said Wednesday. The California Attorney General’s office signed off on the deal between the two nonprofit Catholic hospital chains. The new entity, Providence St. Joseph Health, will include 16 St. Joseph hospitals, including five in Orange County, and 34 Providence hospitals, including six in Los Angeles County. (Perkes, 6/22)
In other hospital news —
The Press Democrat:
Sonoma West Medical Center Mulls Management Change
After nearly eight months in operation, Sonoma West Medical Center is trying to recruit an outside organization with deep pockets and expertise in health care billing to keep the Sebastopol hospital alive. Sonoma West, which manages the taxpayer-owned hospital, had been scheduled to submit a proposal Wednesday to subcontract certain management functions to an outside entity, said Jim Maresca, president of the Palm Drive Health Care District, the agency that provides financial support and public oversight to the hospital. (Espinoza, 6/22)
Ventura County Star:
Final Steel Beam Placed In Project Designed To Transform Camarillo Hospital
Blessed and covered with signatures, the 600-pound beam was guided into place Wednesday atop the three-story, $80 million addition at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital. It's the final beam, the last piece of steel framing in a project designed to turn an old hospital into a new one. It began with workers digging in the dirt a year ago. (Kisken, 6/22)
About 1,300 nurses will begin a four-day work stoppage Thursday over disagreements with Kaiser Permanente over staffing and pay.
Los Angeles Times:
Kaiser Permanente Nurses Are Preparing To Strike Over Wages And Staffing
About 1,300 nurses at Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center are set to begin a four-day strike Thursday. The nurses, members of the California Nurses Assn. and National Nurses United, are seeking a contract to improve staffing levels, wages and patient care. The nurses contend that inadequate staffing levels at the hospital harm patient care and don’t allow for proper rest and meal breaks. (Edelen, 6/23)
The initiative uses a “housing first model” where people who are living on the street or in shelters are first provided long-term housing and then comprehensive care to treat their mental illness and other issues.
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
County Gets New Plan For Homelessness
San Diego County is moving forward with a new program that will provide long-term housing and care to as many as 1,250 mentally-ill homeless people in the next two years....County government will work with 18 cities, six housing authorities and landlords to provide shelter and treatment. The program, which was approved unanimously Tuesday by all five supervisors, is expected to cost $20 million in the upcoming annual budget, and $28 million the year after. (Stewart, 6/22)
The top-of-the-line AEDs that are in place in the area's schools cost $2,100 each, says Kathie Parks, whose 16-year-old son died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest.
Ventura County Star:
Mom’s Effort Helps Add Defibrillators Throughout Simi Valley
After the unexpected cardiac arrest and death of her 16-year-old son in 2014, Kathie Parks wanted to ensure no other parent had to experience the pain of losing a child. Since the death of her son Harrison, Parks has spearheaded an effort resulting in automated external defibrillators going into every school in the Simi Valley Unified School District. There is also one at the Simi Valley Boys & Girls Club and one at St. Rose of Lima School, a Catholic school in Simi Valley. (Doyle, 6/22)
In other news from across the state —
Capital Public Radio:
Aerial Spraying Against Mosquitoes Starts Wednesday
Aerial spraying to reduce the number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus is scheduled to begin tonight in parts of Sacramento County. Luz Maria Robles is with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. She says planes will be spraying an insecticide over nearly 15,000 acres in the Arden-Arcade area, Carmichael and locations north of the American River. (Milne, 6/22)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Yoga Conflict Stretches Parents’ Patience
Yoga classes will continue in the Encinitas school district for at least the next year, but the conflict over the program is likely to stretch on as the district searches for a permanent way to fund it. At a packed meeting Tuesday, the Encinitas Union School District board approved $416,000 for a health and wellness program centered on yoga practice, as part of its 2016-17 budget. (Brennan, 6/22)
Under current projections, trustees said automatic cuts in the program mandated under a controversial provision of the Affordable Care Act could take effect for the first time in 2019. Meanwhile, the presidential candidates have largely avoided talking about the problem.
Democrats strongly oppose parts of the package, which include provisions regarding the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood and pesticides -- and they have promised to filibuster it to death in the Senate. The House immediately adjourned for recess following the vote, leaving behind any chance to resolve the funding dispute before the holiday.