- California Healthline Original Stories 2
- Ballot Proposal To Notify Parents For Under-18 Abortions Falls Short Of Signatures
- Managing Depression A Challenge In Primary Care Settings, Study Finds
- Public Health and Education 2
- Doctors Not Catching Postpartum Depression, Experts Say
- Former Congressman: Nancy Reagan's Push For Alzheimer's Cure One Of Her Key Legacies
Latest From California Healthline:
"It died on the vine," says petition contractor. (Barbara Feder Ostrov, 3/9)
Primary care physicians see many patients with depression. New research finds they continue to struggle to apply the treatment strategies used for other chronic illnesses. (Shefali Luthra, 3/9)
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More News From Across The State
The amendment to Proposition 63, which created the 2004 Mental Health Services Act, would impose a 1 percent tax on incomes of $1 million or higher.
Capital Public Radio:
Mental Health Bill Focuses On College Students
A new bill could help college campuses expand mental health services and hire more counselors. Students are being identified as a group likely to suffer serious mental health problems. And stigma around those issues can sometimes prevent people from seeking help. Experts say more access to services can help students cope with stress and depression. (Ayestas, 3/8)
State regulators and Group Health's voting membership still have to approve the agreement.
The San Francisco Business Times:
Kaiser Permanente Wants To Acquire Seattle's Group Health Cooperative
Oakland-based health care and insurance provider Kaiser Permanente has signed an agreement to acquire Seattle's Group Health Cooperative, which would add about 590,000 members, the group said last week. Kaiser Permanente will put $1.8 billion toward setting up a Group Health Community Foundation after acquiring the health care provider, which has annual revenue of $3.5 billion. Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson said it will also invest around $1 billion in the next 10 years to put in place new technology, staff and facilities in Washington. (McDermid, 3/8)
In other news, a Kaiser Permanente executive is leaving —
Kaiser's Benjamin Chu Named President, CEO Of Memorial Hermann
Dr. Benjamin Chu will become Memorial Hermann's new president and CEO, marking the first time a physician will lead the Houston-based system. Chu begins the post in June. Chu, 64, currently serves as executive VP of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plans. He also serves as group president of Kaiser Permanente's Southern California and Georgia regions. (Sandler, 3/8)
Recent research on the reliability of health care apps raises the question: how do consumers sort out the ones that could put their health in jeopardy? A doctor who wrote the research letter has a few tips.
Health Apps: How Do We Sort The Good From The Bad?
According to the research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the Instant Blood Pressure app missed high blood pressure levels in nearly four out of five people. The app's manufacturer argued the study was based on faulty methodology and thus invalid; the lead researcher defended the findings. The research raises some bigger questions: How can we as consumers determine which mobile health apps can improve our health and which apps might actually put our health at risk? (Plevin, 3/9)
Meanwhile, it's rare for health apps to have privacy policies that actually protect patient data, a study finds —
Health Apps Often Lack Privacy Policies And Share Our Data
Many times the new mothers are misdiagnosed or missed altogether. Mental health experts say the new federal screening guidelines should help with the problem.
Postpartum Depression Often Overlooked Or Misdiagnosed In New Moms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in ten women experience symptoms of it within a year after giving birth. But a lot of women and their doctors simply don't catch it, experts say. Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for the first time recommended depression screening for all pregnant and postpartum women as part of its screening guidelines for all adults. Mental health experts applaud the decision and say they hope it will help break down some of the barriers that still prevent women like [Jo] Bloomfield from getting help for depression during and after pregnancy. (Plevin, 3/8)
David Dreier, of San Dimas, in particular remembers a time when she called him personally to make sure he was supporting embryonic stem-cell research. And when her death was made public, the Alzheimer’s Association tweeted: “We mourn the death of former first lady & Alzheimer’s advocate Nancy Reagan. Her involvement in the cause inspired us & the Alz community.”
The San Bernardino County Sun:
Nancy Reagan Remembered By Former Congressman David Dreier As Fighter Against Alzheimer's
David Dreier knew he was bucking President George W. Bush’s wishes in 2005, but former first lady Nancy Reagan wanted to ensure Dreier would stay strong in the face of blowback from the anti-abortion wing of the Republican Party. The former GOP congressman from San Dimas said he was within a few minutes of delivering a speech that year in Los Angeles when his phone rang. A staffer answered it as Dreier went through last-minute preparations. (Montero, 3/8)
Verity reported an operating loss of $70.7 million on $662.2 million in total revenue for the six-month period ended Dec. 31, compared with an operating loss of $35.2 million on $749.9 million in revenue during fiscal 2015.
Verity Health System's Struggles Remain Patient Volume, Payment Rates
Blue Mountain Capital Management, the private equity firm that took over Daughters of Charity Health System last year, has its work cut out for it to turnaround the struggling hospital group. A financial report filed late last week shows that Daughters, now known as Verity Health System after the Dec. 14 deal closing, continued to face operating challenges during the six months it waited for the agreement to be finalized. (Kutscher, 3/8)
In other news, Midtown Ventura Community Council will discuss two hospital projects at this week's meeting —
The Ventura County Star:
Midtown Ventura Community Council Meeting To Focus On Hospital Projects
City residents can get an update on two hospital projects during the monthly meeting of the Midtown Ventura Community Council on Thursday. Community Memorial Hospital CEO Gary Wilde and Joan Araujo, Ventura County Health Care Agency chief deputy director, who is overseeing construction at the county's medical center, will attend the meeting. (Martinez, 3/9)
The Los Angeles mental health court saw a threefold increase from 2010-2015, and supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl are calling for a "root cause" analysis by county staff to identify the reasons behind it.
The Los Angeles Times:
L.A. County Supervisors Order Report On Unexplained Surge In Mental Competency Cases
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to commission a report by county law enforcement, public defenders and mental health workers on the dramatic, unexplained increase in mental competency cases the county has seen over the past five years. (Sewell, 3/8)
The proposal affects drugs administered in doctors offices or outpatient clinics. It is aimed at current reimbursement incentives that may encourage doctors to select higher-priced medications but not add benefits for patients.
After years of slower growth, drug spending rose a "remarkable" 12.6 percent in 2014, according to a new federal report.