Latest California Healthline Stories
A large public hospital in Los Angeles gets over 1,000 unidentified patients a year. Most are quickly identified, but some require considerable gumshoe work — a task that can be complicated by medical privacy laws.
California hospitals must comply with a new state law that requires them to try to find a safe place for homeless patients upon discharge. But hospitals say doing so isn’t as easy as calling a shelter and securing a cot.
Homeless patients accounted for about 100,000 visits to California hospitals in 2017, marking a 28% increase from just two years earlier. Health officials attribute the surge to the overall rise in California’s homeless numbers and the large proportion of people living on the streets with mental illness.
Outbreaks of infectious diseases such as typhus and hepatitis A are resurging in California and around the country, particularly among homeless populations. Public health officials warn that such diseases could spread broadly.
The dialysis industry raised nearly $111 million in a successful bid to defeat the measure, which also was opposed by hospitals and doctors. The union that sponsored the measure collected about one-sixth that amount.
Gov. Jerry Brown approved numerous new health care laws addressing a broad range of issues, but he vetoed several bills, including one that would have allowed parents to administer medical marijuana to their children in school and another that would have made the abortion pill available at the student health centers of California’s public universities.
About $2 billion in funding approved by the legislature to provide housing for homeless people with mental illness has been stalled by a legal challenge. In an attempt to bypass the lawsuit, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators have agreed to bring the issue to voters in November.
The showers at Saban Community Clinic can be a gateway to other services, including health care, insurance sign-ups and housing referrals.
New programs, known as ACOs, reward hospitals and physician groups that hold down costs by keeping enrollees healthy. The health care providers are asked to address social issues — such as homelessness, lack of transportation and poor nutrition — that can cause and exacerbate health problems.
They say it will help reduce unnecessary ER visits and ensure better follow-up care. It’s also good P.R., and helps them meet their obligations to provide benefits to the community in exchange for significant tax breaks.