The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued 12 administrative penalties to hospitals throughout the state, including two at Visalia's Kaweah Delta Medical Center. The hospitals were cited for failing to follow established procedures that resulted in serious injury or death, or had the potential to.
California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration says it will start moving about 860,000 children in the Healthy Families program into Medi-Cal on January 1st. But as Pauline Bartolone reports from Sacramento, state lawmakers and doctors want them to slow down.
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg sent a message to the administration last week.
“Do not make the actual transition unless you are assured that the child who has a doctor and sees a doctor under one program – HF’s – will be able to have ready access to a doctor when they’re shifted.”
Thousands of California and Arizona adults and children annually contract valley fever and find themselves battling the disease for months or years — missing work and school, spending weeks in the hospital — with frequent recurrences.
If they had a bacterial infection — food poisoning, strep throat or a boil on the skin — their doctor could reach for multiple, cost-effective antibiotics that usually are able to kill the bacteria, even though resistance to antibiotics is on the rise.
By Rebecca Plevin & Reporting on Health Collaborative
Kevin Walker arrived at Taft Correctional Institution, a federal prison in western Kern County, in December 1999 to serve a 14-year sentence for attempted possession of cocaine.
But another kind of sentence awaited him, one far more painful than confinement alone.
In July 2001, fluid-leaking boils broke out across Walker’s face and body. Once he was diagnosed with valley fever, doctors put him on an antifungal drug — amphotericin B — but the drug was so powerful that it caused his kidneys and liver to begin failing.
The first valley fever victim that Dr. Demosthenes Pappagianis remembers was Mbongo — a gorilla at the San Diego Zoo
“I was a kid in San Diego at the time and saw the article in the newspaper,” recalled the veteran researcher on the animal’s 1942 death from the disease, also known as coccidiomycosis. “I didn’t know what cocci were at that time, but I knew that a gorilla at the zoo had died.”
By YESENIA AMARO Reporting on Health Collaborative
Dogs, not people, may hold the key to improved treatments, even a possible cure, for valley fever.
One way researchers have lured private money is by proposing research projects involving pets, the theory being that companies and donors would see more of a market potential in dogs and cats suffering and dying from the disease.
Dogs and humans get hit with valley fever in a very similar way. They inhale spores from a fungus common in the soil in the Southwest. The spores take root in the lungs and can spread to other organs and parts of the body.
A new UC Berkeley study adds to research that suggests flame retardants common in California homes are linked to neurodevelopmental delays in kids.
The study followed nearly 300 women from pregnancy to when their children were 7 years old. Researchers tested mother's levels and then the children's levels for the flame retardant compound polybrominated diphenyl ethers, known as PBDE. They wanted to assess in utero effect as well as childhood exposure, says lead researcher and UC Berkeley epidemiologist Brenda Eskenazi.
California plans to tell the federal government this week that it will operate a key component of the federal health law on its own.
States have until the end of this week to tell the federal government if they will operate their own health insurance exchanges. States also have the option to receive help, or have the federal government manage their marketplaces.
The California Health Benefit Exchange board has signaled its intent to go it alone by approving a detailed operations plan and grant proposal.
By Emily Bazar & Lauren M. Whaley CHCF Center for Health Reporting
First, there was uncertainty over a U.S. Supreme Court challenge. Then came the race for the presidency.
Now, California lawmakers say the uncertainty is over and nothing can stop them from bringing health coverage to millions of uninsured Californians under President Obama’s signature health care law.
“This removes the last distraction and question from anyone’s mind that we won’t be launching a dramatic expansion in coverage in California,” said Peter Lee, executive director of California’s health insurance exchange, a key piece of the expansion.
The California Department of Public Health announced today that consumers should not eat Bolthouse Farms carrot chips in 16 ounce bags with “best if used by” dates of November 12, 2012 and November 13, 2012, because the carrots may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Bakersfield based Bolthouse Farms issued a voluntarily recall of the carrots after the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services detected the bacteria in one of the packages during routine testing.
When Benjamin Franklin wrote that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" he had no idea he would be describing one of 2012's hottest trends in health care and investments, something known as social impact bonds. The details are complex, but the concept is based around a simple idea.
By RACHEL COOK AND REBECCA PLEVIN - Reporting on Health Collaborative
More people are dying from valley fever than previously thought, and illnesses including diabetes, lung disease, arthritis and certain cancers may increase a person’s chances of dying from the disease, according to a new study.
This past year, researchers have puzzled over the rise of valley fever cases. Diagnosed cases have grown from 1,200 in 1995 to more than 20,000 in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now researchers have new evidence to consider: a study to be published in the November issue of the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
By REBECCA PLEVIN AND RACHEL COOK - Reporting on Health Collaborative
San Joaquin Valley residents, doctors and experts demanding improvements in the way valley fever is studied, diagnosed and treated shared their concerns during a town hall meeting hosted by state Senator Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, in Bakersfield on Friday.
Experts stressed the need for earlier diagnosis of the disease. That requires better education about the disease for providers and the public, they said.