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State highlights: Calif. hospital accused of patient dumping; Wash. mental health changes

State highlights: Calif. hospital accused of patient dumping; Wash. mental health changes

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit accusing Glendale Adventist Medical Center of dumping mentally ill and disabled homeless patients on L.A.'s skid row over the last four years. The six-page complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said the hospital improperly transported elderly and dependent patients to the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood, a 50-block area "known for extreme poverty, homelessness, rampant sale and use of illegal drugs and violent crime" (Holland, 8/22). [More]
Nursing homes can see improvements in quality of care with "culture change"

Nursing homes can see improvements in quality of care with "culture change"

If a nursing home makes an extensive investment in "culture change" it will see improvements in quality of care, according to a new study led by Brown University gerontology researchers. [More]
Viewpoints: Spreading Ebola treatments; Dems can win running on health law

Viewpoints: Spreading Ebola treatments; Dems can win running on health law

A radical but promising proposal to help treat victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa appears to be gaining support among knowledgeable experts. [More]
At home or in facilities, care for elderly changing rapidly

At home or in facilities, care for elderly changing rapidly

News outlets cover the reliability of nursing home ratings, the growth of home health care aides and the return of the house call. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [More]
Sanofi, Regeneron present alirocumab Phase 3 trial results at ESC Congress 2014

Sanofi, Regeneron present alirocumab Phase 3 trial results at ESC Congress 2014

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi today announced that details from four pivotal trials in the alirocumab ODYSSEY clinical program will be presented on Sunday, August 31, during a Hot Line session at ESC Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain, the world's largest cardiology meeting. [More]
State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Oregon, California, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey. [More]
Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

In its first few years, Medicare's Part D prescription drug program helped seniors pay for their medications, but that trend appears to be reversing, researchers found. Meanwhile, drugmakers fight over the rules for naming cheaper versions of biologic drugs. [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
Viewpoints: 'Raw judicial politics' on health law; Texas abortion trial; suicide and gender

Viewpoints: 'Raw judicial politics' on health law; Texas abortion trial; suicide and gender

The Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- has endured so many near-death experiences that digging into the details of still another effort to demolish it is admittedly not an inviting prospect. (My own reaction, I confess, to hearing some months back about the latest legal challenge -- this one aimed at the supposed effect of a single word in the 900-page statute -- was something along the lines of "wake me when it's over.") But stay with me, because this latest round, catapulted onto the Supreme Court's docket earlier this month by the same forces that brought us the failed Commerce Clause attack two years ago, opens a window on raw judicial politics so extreme that the saga so far would be funny if the potential consequences weren't so serious (Linda Greenhouse, 8/20). [More]
Longer looks: Falling teen birth rate; the right to pain relief; limiting access to Sovaldi

Longer looks: Falling teen birth rate; the right to pain relief; limiting access to Sovaldi

An infectious disease doctor at Tulane University, [MarkAlain] Dery treats people living with HIV in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the two largest cities in the southern state of Louisiana, which itself has the fourth-highest rate of HIV in the United States, just behind New York, Florida and Maryland. [More]
Viewpoints: Threat to drug development; GOP's Obamacare criticism tempered; finding doctors for seniors

Viewpoints: Threat to drug development; GOP's Obamacare criticism tempered; finding doctors for seniors

An invasive species has been introduced into the U.S. health innovation ecosystem, with a growing danger of permanent damage to the development of specialty drugs. [More]
Walgreens' billion-dollar Medicare-biz forecasting mistake

Walgreens' billion-dollar Medicare-biz forecasting mistake

Also, the Wall Street Journal examines the collapse of the Vascular Biogenics initial public offering. A billion-dollar forecasting error in Walgreen Co.'s Medicare-related business has cost the jobs of two top executives and alarmed big investors. [More]
Some states angered about lack of authority over Medicare advantage plans

Some states angered about lack of authority over Medicare advantage plans

Elsewhere, Medicare officials consider offering HIV tests for all Medicare beneficiaries. Swanson turned to CMS because state regulators lack the legal authority to impose sanctions on Medicare Advantage carriers. [More]
Study: Patients with 2 or more ED visits in one year account for disproportionate costs

Study: Patients with 2 or more ED visits in one year account for disproportionate costs

Almost one-third of acute heart failure syndrome patients seen in hospital emergency departments (EDs) in Florida and California during 2010 had ED visits during the following year, findings that suggest a lack of appropriate outpatient care. [More]
Cigna HealthCare, NCH team up to deliver quality care related to cancer

Cigna HealthCare, NCH team up to deliver quality care related to cancer

New Century Health (NCH) and Cigna HealthCare of Arizona today announced an alliance focused on delivering quality care related to cancer. Cigna customers covered under Arizona Medicare Advantage plans who receive care through the Cigna Medical Group (CMG) are included in this new program with NCH. [More]
First Edition: August 20, 2014

First Edition: August 20, 2014

Today's headlines include a report from California that Anthem Blue Cross is being sued again regarding its narrow-network health plans as well as a prediction from Maryland officials regarding the state's online insurance marketplace. [More]

Self-reported health measures can predict Medicaid adults who need intensive health services

Just three types of simple self-reported health measures can predict which Medicaid-eligible adults are more likely to access intensive and costly health services over the next year, a new study in Health Services Research suggests. The findings could provide a new way to save a substantial amount of money while also providing better care for Medicaid's neediest patients. [More]
Death rate increases with hospitals shift from inpatient procedures to outpatient for urological surgeries

Death rate increases with hospitals shift from inpatient procedures to outpatient for urological surgeries

As hospitals have shifted an array of common urological surgeries from inpatient procedures to outpatient, potentially preventable deaths have increased following complications. [More]
St. Elizabeth Hospital meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria with MEDITECH technology

St. Elizabeth Hospital meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria with MEDITECH technology

Defying the national trend of only 1.5 percent of eligible hospitals attesting in 2014, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, Wash. achieved Meaningful Use Stage 2 using MEDITECH technology. St. Elizabeth accomplished Stage 2 with information technology (IT) support from Engage, a division of Inland Northwest Health Services. [More]