A program launched at Kaiser Permanente Southern California two years ago has helped curb the number of prescriptions for additive brand-name painkillers -- such as Oxycontin and Vicodin -- by as much as 80%, officials say. The program was designed to educate doctors about the addictive nature of such medication and how to safely prescribe the drugs. KPCC's "KPCC News."
Los Angeles County health officials are urging residents to drop off their unused, unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications at any of the drop-off bins available countywide as part of any effort to curb medication misuse. In addition, officials say residents can turn in medication-related items like needles and other controlled substances with "no questions asked." KPCC's "On Central."
A Nevada mental health hospital that allegedly put hundreds of mentally ill patients on buses and sent them to cities in California and other states is being investigated by city attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as the Joint Commission and CMS. Sacramento Bee.
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court heard arguments over whether a new state law prohibiting sexual orientation conversion treatment for minors violates the free speech rights of counselors who support the practice. The law is on hold pending a court ruling, which is expected in a few months. Several other states are considering implementing similar laws. San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now."
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that hospitals have little incentive to reduce surgical errors because health insurers pay them for the longer stays and extra care needed to treat surgical complications. New York Times et al.
A New York Times editorial argues, "The only way for California to satisfy constitutional standards for its prisons is to reduce the number of inmates and improve the mental health care in those institutions without delay." It argues that a case over the mental health care provided to California inmates "is closely intertwined with the long-running litigation over unconstitutional overcrowding in California's prisons." New York Times.
Yesterday, three federal judges denied Gov. Brown's request to cancel court-mandated cuts to the state's prison population, ruling that the population caps are necessary to address unconstitutionally poor inmate care. The state plans to appeal the ruling. Bloomberg et al.
On Tuesday, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee voted 8-4 along party lines to approve a bill that would allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants who undergo training to conduct an early-term abortion procedure. Proponents of the measure say it would ensure women have early and safe access to abortion providers, while critics have raised concerns about safety, training and expanding access to abortion. Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert."
A Sacramento Bee editorial argues that the state should not appeal a decision by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton to reject Gov. Brown's request to end federal oversight of California's prison health care system. According to the editorial, Brown should "stop spending taxpayer funds on fruitless appeals" that "will not pass constitutional muster." Sacramento Bee.
San Joaquin County is facing higher-than-expected costs to care for the large number of chronically ill inmates who are being shifted to county jails under California's prison realignment law, according to a new report. County Sherriff Steve Moore said county jails are not designed for long-term use. Stockton Record.
On Tuesday, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a bill that would require the state to alert county authorities and families about prisoners with severe injuries who are released on parole to local medical facilities. Gov. Brown has not taken a position on the measure, which now proceeds to the Appropriations Committee. U-T San Diego.
About 4,500 Murrieta households and businesses have subscribed to the city fire department's voluntary paramedic fee, which allows them to receive paramedic services -- such as ambulance and emergency care and response services -- for one year at a fixed rate of $24 or $48, based on income, rather than being sent a $350 bill for paramedic services. The fee was instituted as a way to keep the department well-funded. Riverside Press-Enterprise.
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health issued a $100,000 fine and a "Class AA" citation -- the most serious citation possible -- against Lincoln Meadows Care Center after an investigation found that the facility overmedicated a stroke patient who later died. Plum Healthcare -- the current owner of Lincoln Meadows -- declined to comment on the citation. Sacramento Bee.
Three prisons in San Diego, San Quentin and San Luis Obispo still are failing to provide adequate medical care to inmates, but two of the prisons could pass evaluation if they continue to make improvements, according to reviews filed this week by court-appointed medical experts. The reviews come as Gov. Brown pushes to end federal oversight of the state's prison health care system. Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal."
In an Orange County Register opinion piece, Assembly member Curt Hagman argues that "California is a magnet for millionaire athletes seeking to take advantage of California workers' compensation system." He has co-authored a bill to prevent "these outrageous abuses." Hagman concludes that such athletes "should not exploit resources that are intended to help the average worker recover from a costly on-the-job injury." Orange County Register.