- California Healthline Original Stories 1
- Calif. Bill Targets Profiteering In Addiction Treatment, Dialysis Industries
- Public Health and Education 2
- New Program Geared Toward Helping Youth Who Come Into Hospital Because Of Violent Trauma
- Lack Of Funding May Delay Plans For Suicide Barrier On Coronado Bridge
- Around California 1
- Orange County Board Reverses Course After Public Outcry Over Homeless Housing Plan
Latest From California Healthline:
The legislation is intended to curb schemes in which some treatment providers sign patients up for private plans, pay their premiums and then rake in profits from inflated claims. (Chad Terhune, 3/28)
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More News From Across The State
“The idea that people have insurance does not equate with the fact that they still have to bear a significant burden of cost," said Dr. Zia Agha, medical director of the West Health Institute.
Survey: Large Number Of People Forgoing Medical Care Because Of Costs
The survey of 1,300 adults comes from the San Diego-based West Health Institute shows that 44 percent of respondents said they didn’t go to a doctor when they were sick or injured last year because of cost. Nearly 30 percent said they had to choose between paying for care or necessities such as food. (Goldberg, 3/27)
The program follows youth for a year after discharge, in the hopes of preventing repeat injuries such as gunshot wounds or stabs.
Capital Public Radio:
Hospitals Hope To Break Cycle Of Violence With Follow-Up Programs
Youth who end up in the hospital after being shot, stabbed or beaten receive medical care — but they don’t always get the resources they need to cope with trauma. ...[Esmeralda] Huerta and [Chevist] Johnson will lead a new follow-up program, which offers mental-health counseling, gang intervention and other services to young patients who’ve been hospitalized by violence. (Caiola, 3/27)
In other public health news —
This Sexually Transmitted Disease Is Back. Why Stanislaus County Officials Are Worried
Stanislaus County is a battling an increase in syphilis among women and babies born with the sexually transmitted disease. Last year, the county Health Services Agency documented more than 100 cases of syphilis in women of child-bearing age. (Carlson, 3/27)
UC San Diego Study Finds Link Between E-Cigarette Ads And Cigarette Smoking
New research from UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center suggests ads for e-cigarettes may persuade young adults to try regular cigarettes. The research is published in the March 26 issue of JAMA Pediatrics. (Goldberg, 3/27)
The Coronado Bridge has the second highest number of suicides nationwide, behind the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Coronado Mayor Discusses Suicide Prevention Barriers, Controversial Tweet
This week, state transportation officials released the results of a feasibility study on possible suicide prevention barrier options for the Coronado bridge. Yet, lack of funding may delay the project. Since it opened in 1969, nearly 400 people have jumped to their deaths, according to the Bridge Collaborative for Suicide Prevention. (Cabrera and Cavanaugh, 3/27)
In other news from across the state —
The Bakersfield Californian:
Kern Might Be In Poor Health, But It's Not That Bad, Local Health Economist Says
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Kern County toward the bottom of the state when it comes to health outcomes, but one local health economist says that those rankings are inflated and that the county actually falls in the middle of the pack. The foundation ranked Kern County 52 out of 57 California counties analyzed for health outcomes, a measure based on a variety of factors, including length and quality of life, health behaviors, social determinants, clinical care access and physical environments. (Pierce, 3/27)
Water Contamination Could Cost Santa Rosa An Unexpected $43 Million
Chemical contamination from the North Bay Fires could now force Santa Rosa to replace the water delivery system for the severely burned Fountaingrove neighborhood, at an unbudgeted cost of $43 million. (Peterson, 3/27)
Sacramento Police Officer, School District, Officials Named In Suit.
A former C.K. McClatchy High School student who alleged that she was drugged and gang-raped by classmates at a party two years ago has filed a lawsuit against Sacramento City Unified School District, four members of the school staff and its former school resource officer. The lawsuit was filed on March 20 in Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of the now 19-year-old graduate by Equal Rights Advocates, a San Francisco civil rights organization that focuses on sexual harassment. (Lambert, 3/26)
City leaders and residents turned out en masse to protest the proposed shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel.
Orange County Approved — Then Caved — On A Plan To Shelter Homeless People
At an emotional and jam-packed meeting Tuesday, Orange County Supervisors voted to reverse course on a homeless housing plan they passed just last week. That plan, which passed eight days ago on a 4-1 vote, paved the way for potential homeless housing in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel. (Mendelson, 3/27)
Orange County Register:
O.C. Supervisors Rescind Vote To Place Homeless Shelters In Irvine, Huntington Beach And Laguna Niguel
The board’s unanimous vote, which undid its March 19 approval of a three-city homeless shelter plan, came at the most crowded supervisorial meeting in recent memory. In attendance were a dozen leaders of those cities and hundreds of jeering residents, including a coordinated legion from Irvine that chartered as many as 20 buses to come voice their united opposition to the project. Hundreds more anti-shelter protestors rallied outside the meeting, chanting, “No tent city!” In all, police estimated nearly 2,000 people were on the scene. (Graham, 3/27)
It's been reported that President Donald Trump wants to fire embattled VA Secretary David Shulkin, but he has yet to make the final move against the secretary who maintains support both on Capitol Hill and with veterans.
The New York Times:
Trump, Famous For ‘You’re Fired,’ Offers V.A. Chief Only Awkward Silence
President Trump wants to replace his secretary of veterans affairs, David Shulkin, but for a man who practically trademarked “You’re fired,” the president is reluctant to pull the trigger, choosing instead to leave the embattled secretary twisting amid reports of his imminent ouster. Mr. Shulkin, a former hospital executive and medical doctor who remains widely popular on Capitol Hill, has so far averted his gaze from the White House and pressed on with his duties, albeit with a diminished profile. (Haberman and Fandos, 3/27)
Veterans Groups Sound The Alarm On Trump's Plan To Replace VA Secretary
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin appears to be on thin ice with the White House, but Shulkin has maintained a critical bloc of support in the nation's veterans groups, who have come out vocally calling on President Donald Trump to keep him at the helm of the agency. John Rowan, the head of the Vietnam Veterans of America, defended Shulkin on Tuesday, saying that Shulkin has stayed true to the agency's mission of serving America's veterans -- and that he wants to see Shulkin finish what he started. (Summers, 3/27)
In other national health care news —
The Wall Street Journal:
Aetna To Pass On Drug Rebates To Consumers
Aetna Inc. said Tuesday it would pass on drugmaker rebates directly to consumers who take the medications, in the latest move by a health insurer amid pressure to reduce costs and improve transparency around pharmaceuticals. The biggest U.S. insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., announced a similar move earlier this month.In recent years, the opaque system surrounding the cost of medicine and sharply increasing drug prices have come under public and government scrutiny. (Hufford, 3/27)
The New York Times:
Medicare Is Cracking Down On Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer.
Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of 43.6 million beneficiaries of the federal health insurance program had been prescribed the painkillers. Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2. Some medical experts have praised the regulation as a check on addiction. (Hoffman, 3/27)
Congress Loves Shaming CEOs. Why Hasn't Pharma Been On The Hot Seat?
It’s a rite of passage for executives in the hot seat: get hauled before Congress, sit for bipartisan tirades, squirm in the face of difficult questioning. Over the past six months, lawmakers have dragged in former Equifax CEO Richard Smith, Wells Fargo’s Tim Sloan, and Amtrak’s Richard Anderson. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg could be the next one up. (Mershon, 3/28)
Opioid Crisis Has Cost US Roughly 1M Workers, $702B: Study
The U.S. economy has lost close to 1 million workers and $702 billion due to opioid addiction, according to a study released Tuesday. The American Action Forum (AAF), a right-leaning think tank, analyzed the impact of the opioid epidemic on U.S. labor force participation and output between 1999 and 2015. The group applied findings from previous studies on the economic impact of opioid addiction to data tracking the size of the U.S. workforce and gross domestic product (GDP). (Sylvan, 3/27)
The Associated Press:
Lawsuit Challenges FDA Delay Of E-Cigarette Review
Several anti-smoking groups are suing the Food and Drug Administration over a decision by Trump administration officials to delay the review of e-cigarettes. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court argues that the FDA didn't follow proper requirements last year when it decided to push back the deadline for makers of e-cigarettes to submit their products for review. The groups say the delay poses a threat to children's health. (3/27)