Health

News on health, wellness and health care

Kerry Klein/KVPR

A report released today highlights how widespread unsafe drinking water is in California—particularly in schools. Between 2003 and 2014, over 900 schools in the state may have provided water that was contaminated with arsenic or bacteria. That’s according to the Community Water Center, a non-profit advocacy group based in Sacramento. The report combined publicly available data on water quality violations with the number of schools served by those systems. In the Central Valley, unsafe water...

Courtesy Kaweah Delta Health Care District.

A controversial bond measure for the Kaweah Delta Hospital district in Visalia has been defeated by voters. The special mail in ballot sought approval for a $327 million bond to construct a new hospital wing, to replace an existing facility that doesn’t meet state earthquake standards. As of late last night, the measure was well short of the required two thirds approval, with only 43 percent of voters in support.

Clovis Community Medical Center could soon be home to a new state of the art cancer treatment facility. The Community Medical Centers board voted recently to proceed with design work on the planned $65 million facility adjacent to the current hospital. Paul Ortiz is vice president of cancer services for Community. He says the goal is to consolidate all of Community’s outpatient cancer services in the new building, including those currently offered at CRMC in downtown Fresno and the California...

Kerry Klein/KVPR

The state estimates that over a million Californians lack access to safe drinking water. After 15 years with arsenic contamination, one small Kern County community took the struggle for clean water into its own hands--in a campaign that could serve as a role model for others. It’s recess at El Camino Real Elementary School in Arvin and the courtyard is packed. Kids play tag and tetherball , and laughter echoes throughout the yard. So does another, more subtle sound: the trickle of water at...

Courtesy Kaweah Delta Health Care District.

Today is the deadline for residents in Visalia to have their ballots postmarked in a big vote that could determine the future of the Kaweah Delta Hospital. The hospital is asking the community to tax itself to support a new acute care wing. But the push has generated opposition in the community and from the head of a neighboring hospital. First, a bit of background, state law requires that every hospital be hardened against earthquakes by 2030. Kaweah Delta Hospital says that means they need...

Courtesy Friends of Kaweah Delta

Residents of Visalia have just a few more days to decide if they will approve a bond known as Measure H for Kaweah Delta Hospital to build a new earthquake resistant acute care wing. State law requires that every hospital to be hardened against earthquakes by 2030. As a result, the hospital is asking for more than $300 million in public bond to help pay for the hospital. Kaweah is putting up over $200 million for the project, its statutory cap. The bond will be paid back in the form of a...

Many valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need. In its first success story, the law didn't just bring water to a community; it helped end a standoff with a neighboring city. It’s a sunny afternoon in Tulare County, and Reinelda Palma and Javier Medina are taking me on a tour of their neighborhood. They live in a small community called Matheny Tract, right on the...

http://www.chcf.org

A new report released today shows that Fresno’s health care market is changing. The number of people with health coverage has seen a significant increase, which has been good for the bottom line of local hospitals. Other market forces are pushing local physicians to consolidate their private practices into larger medical groups, often affiliated with hospitals. Competition is also growing between providers, including federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. Those are some...

Effort To End "Surprise" Medical Bills Resumes In Sacramento

Mar 22, 2016
Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

An effort to do away with “surprise medical bills” narrowly failed in the California Legislature last year, but patient and consumer advocates think they can resurrect it this year. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento. Say you get an MRI at a hospital that’s in your insurance provider’s network, but the results are sent to an outside radiologist, who then bills you at a high rate— that’s a surprise medical bill. Legislation to stop them fell three votes shy of reaching the governor’s desk...

Infographic courtesy of UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Chronic Disease Program

A new study out of UCLA estimates that 46 percent of adults in California have prediabetes , a precursor to diabetes marked by high blood sugar. The study suggests the risk is even higher in the San Joaquin Valley. In Fresno County, the rate could be as high as 49 percent. "It's a major issue of health equity," says Harold Goldstein, executive director of UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research and author of the study. "Because folks who're low income and folks within communities of color...

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