- California Healthline Original Stories 1
- In Grandma’s Stocking: An Apple Watch To Monitor Falls, Track Heart Rhythms
- Health Care Personnel 2
- Investigators Uncover Trove Of Photos Of Unclothed Women In Former USC Gynecologist's Storage Unit
- Proposed 'Public Charge' Policy Would Have Chilling Effect On Children Getting Health Care, California Medical Association Says
- Around California 1
- Investigation Into Son's Suicide, Reveals Flaws In California's Mental Health Treatment Regulation
- Public Health and Education 1
- Engaging In Lifelong Mental Calisthenics Will Set You Up To Better Handle Inevitable Decline That Comes With Aging
Latest From California Healthline:
The new-generation gadget is designed to alert and protect wearers from falls and heart problems, expanding Apple’s target audience beyond the usual, tech-savvy, early adopters to those with older tickers. (Rachel Bluth, 12/12)
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More News From Across The State
The police have been investigating Dr. George Tyndall as part of what is believed to be the largest sex crimes investigation involving an individual in LAPD history. Hundreds of current and former USC students have made allegations against Tyndall's behavior while performing medical examinations. In October, USC agreed to settle a federal class-action suit on behalf of Tyndall’s patients for $215 million.
Los Angeles Times:
Police Found Trove Of Nude Images Of Women In Ex-USC Gynecologist’s Storage Unit
Shortly after Los Angeles police launched an investigation into Dr. George Tyndall last spring, a team of detectives began surreptitiously following the former USC gynecologist. The 71-year-old passed most of his days inside a condominium he owns near Lafayette Park, but on at least two occasions, Tyndall drove to a self-storage facility and spent time inside a rental unit, police said. When investigators subsequently raided the unit, they found a trove of homemade pornography and a smaller set of photos of unclothed women in what appeared to be a medical exam room, according to LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes. (Winton, Ryan and Hamilton, 12/11)
The Associated Press:
Nude Photos Linked To Ex-USC Doc In Sex-Abuse Investigation
Hundreds of current and former USC students have made allegations against Tyndall to the university, filed police reports or taken part in at least a dozen pending state lawsuits against the school. In October, USC agreed to settle a federal class-action suit on behalf of Tyndall’s patients for $215 million. Tyndall, 71, resigned last year. He has denied wrongdoing and said any photographs he took were for legitimate clinical and other medical purposes. He has not been charged with a crime. (12/11)
USC Sexual Harassment Hotline, Harvard Invests In CA Vineyards, Romaine Lettuce Labeling
We look at how the University of Southern California is creating a hotline for students following complaints and lawsuits against its campus gynecologist. Plus, we find out why Harvard University is investing in Paso Robles vineyards. And, how the E. coli outbreak could affect the way romaine lettuce is labeled in the future. (Martínez, 12/11)
California Medical Association, which has 43,000 members, weighed in on the proposed policy from President Donald Trump that would penalize legal immigrants who are seeking green cards for receiving government aid such as Medicaid. “Discouraging participation in Medi-Cal (Medicaid) could result in coverage losses throughout California, decreased access to care, and worse health outcomes for entire families, including children, many of whom are U.S. citizens," wrote Dr. David H. Aizuss, CMA president.
43,000 California Medical Association Doctors Oppose Trump Immigration Proposal
As public comment came to a close Monday on a controversial Trump administration immigration proposal, the California Medical Association wielded the clout of its 43,000 members to oppose a measure that has drawn criticism from food banks, community colleges, domestic abuse advocates and immigrant rights groups. “This proposed rule is a step in the wrong direction, one that could lead thousands of Californians to avoid needed health care,” wrote Dr. David H. Aizuss, CMA president “We are particularly concerned about the chilling effect it could have on children’s health, if parents are fearful that utilizing health care services could jeopardize their immigration status.” (Anderson, 12/11)
Rose and Allen Nelson were promised that the treatment facility where their son was getting mental health help would provide a top of the line team. After Brandon's suicide, they're trying to figure out what went wrong.
The Mercury News:
California Parents Trusted Their Son's Mental Health Treatment, But ‘Our System Failed Them’
It turns out that the Sovereign “step-down” house Nelson went to after release from a hospital was not licensed by the state as either a mental health facility or an addiction treatment facility. Nelson didn’t have a team of professionals overseeing his transition — he apparently didn’t even get his medications on time, according to his parents and police reports. (Sforza, 12/11)
In other news from across the state —
Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Santa Rosa Mental Health Workers Strike At Kaiser, Asking For More Support
Kaiser Permanente mental health workers — many clad in red shirts — picketed Tuesday near the main entrance of the Santa Rosa medical center, as part of a weeklong strike at Kaiser hospitals statewide. Mental health workers here walked off the job, demanding that Kaiser improve the wait times for patients between their initial appointments and follow-up visits. They also said more staff is needed to treat the growing number of patients seeking mental health services. (Bordas, 12/11)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California’s Water Needs: A Balancing Act Sought By Feinstein, Brown
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is joining forces with House Republicans to try to extend a controversial law that provides more water for Central Valley farms, but with a sweetener for the environment: Help with protecting California’s rivers and fish. The proposed extension of the WIIN Act, or Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, would keep millions of federal dollars flowing for new dams and reservoirs across the West. (Alexander, 12/11)
The study's results are generally consistent with the finding that people who are more highly educated, and whose career paths involved more intellectual challenge, build a “cognitive reserve” that can delay the worst depredations of dementia.
Los Angeles Times:
Your Aging Brain: Is It ‘Use It Or Lose It’?
Yes, your brain is like a muscle: If you don’t strengthen and stretch its capacities, it will not deliver high performance. But your brain is not like one of those forgiving muscles that lets you engage in a lifetime of indolence and then perks up willingly when you take up weight-training upon retirement. No, your brain is more like one of those muscles that will reward you for having worked it across the full length of your lifespan. (Healy, 12/11)
In other public health news —
Is The Sizzle Out Of Steak? New Studies Link Red Meat To Raised Heart Disease Risk
Two new scientific studies add to evidence that a diet rich in red meat can raise the risk of heart disease. (Caraccio, 12/11)
Part of the reason so many people are eligible for plans under which they would pay $0 in premiums is because President Donald Trump eliminated key health law payments last year. This had the unintended effect of increasing financial assistance to many Americans. Meanwhile, although the enrollment numbers have been dragging this year, the federal health law site did experience a surge after former President Barack Obama encouraged people to sign up.
Study: 4.2 Million Uninsured People Eligible For Free ObamaCare Coverage
A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 4.2 million uninsured people are eligible for ObamaCare coverage at no cost at all. The study, published Tuesday, finds that those people can find an ObamaCare plan for $0 in premiums due to the financial assistance under the health-care law being high enough to completely cover the cost of the cheapest ObamaCare options, known as bronze plans. (Sulliban, 12/11)
ObamaCare Signups Spike On Same Day Obama Tweeted Support
The ObamaCare signup website healthcare.gov received its highest traffic on Monday, the same day former President Obama recorded a message urging people to sign up. A spokesperson from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not say what drove the spike, but noted the website always sees spikes closer to the Dec. 15 deadline to sign up for insurance coverage. (Weixel, 12/11)
In other health law news —
Judge Sides With Religious Groups In ObamaCare Birth Control Mandate Fight
A federal judge this week sided with three religious colleges and three Christian organizations in their challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. Judge Philip Brimmer, a George W. Bush appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, issued an order that permanently blocks the federal government from forcing the plaintiffs to cover sterilization drugs or contraception drugs devices, procedures, and related education and counseling in their health care plans. (Wheeler, 12/11)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the expected incoming House Ways and Means chairman, signaled his willingness to hold hearings on "Medicare for all," a popular priority for many progressive lawmakers in the party. Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, health care costs are in the spotlight, as well as a bill aimed at reversing the country's maternal mortality rates.
Incoming Dem Chairman Open To Hearing On 'Medicare For All'
The incoming chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), said Tuesday that he is open to holding hearings on "Medicare for all" next year. ... The comments, while not a firm commitment, are some of the most encouraging toward Medicare for all supporters from a top House Democrat to date. Democratic leaders and key committee chairmen have so far not given support to Medicare for all, despite a push from the progressive wing of the party. (Sullivan, 12/11)
How Can We Lower Healthcare Costs? Key GOP Senator Seeks Ideas
Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) plans to have his panel next year work on legislation to address high healthcare costs. On Tuesday, the senator asked hospitals, insurers, patient groups, state regulators and think tanks to submit proposals for solutions by March 1, 2019. He sent a letter to the Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute and others he wants to hear from. (Luthi, 12/11)
House Passes Bipartisan Bill Aimed At Reversing Rising Maternal Mortality Rates
The House on Tuesday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at reversing the maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. in what supporters say is the strongest action yet that Congress has taken on the issue. The bill from Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) would support state-level efforts to track and investigate pregnancy-related deaths, and then look for ways to prevent future deaths from occurring. (Hellmann, 12/11)
In other national health care news —
The Washington Post:
Trump Loyalist At VA Forced Out After Collecting Pay But Doing Little Work
The Trump administration has forced out a senior White House political appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs who spent months on the federal payroll doing little to no work. Peter O’Rourke’s departure marks an unceremonious fall for a Trump loyalist once seen as a rising star at VA, where he nonetheless had a rocky tenure, first leading a high-profile office handling whistleblower complaints, next as chief of staff and then, for two months, as the agency’s acting secretary. (Rein and Dawsey, 12/11)
The New York Times:
How Do You Recover After Millions Have Watched You Overdose?
The first time Kelmae Hemphill watched herself overdose, she sobbed. There she was in a shaky video filmed by her own heroin dealer, sprawled out on a New Jersey road while a stranger pounded on her chest. “Come on, girl,” someone pleaded. Ms. Hemphill’s 11-year drug addiction, her criminal record, her struggles as a mother — they were now everybody’s business, splashed across the news and social media with a new genre of American horror film: the overdose video. As opioid deaths have soared in recent years, police departments and strangers with cameras have started posting raw, uncensored images of drug users passed out with needles in their arms and babies in the back seats of their cars. The videos rack up millions of views and unleash avalanches of outrage. Then some other viral moment comes along, and the country clicks away. (Seelye, Turkewitz, Healy and Blinder, 12/11)
The Associated Press:
Meth Playing Bigger Role In US Drug Overdose Crisis
A bigger share of U.S. drug overdose deaths are being caused by methamphetamine, government health officials reported. The number of fatal overdoses involving meth more than tripled between 2011 and 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. The percentage of overdose deaths involving meth grew from less than 5 percent to nearly 11 percent. (12/12)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone
Danny Miner, a 66-year-old retired chemical plant supervisor, spends most days alone in his Tooele, Utah, apartment, with “Gunsmoke” reruns to keep him company and a phone that rarely rings. Old age wasn’t supposed to feel this lonely. Mr. Miner married five times, each bride bringing the promise of lifelong companionship. Three unions ended in divorce. Two wives died. Now his legs ache and his balance is faulty, and he’s stopped going to church or meeting friends at the Marine Corps League, a group for former Marines. “I get a little depressed from time to time,” he says. Baby boomers are aging alone more than any generation in U.S. history, and the resulting loneliness is a looming public health threat. (Adamy and Overberg, 12/11)