A selection of health care stories from California, Arizona, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas and Kansas.
Los Angeles Times: Unusual Partnership Offers Students Birth Control
Throughout the school year, students visit the on-campus clinic to get birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. The services … are offered through a unique collaboration between Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District designed to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies among teenagers at the Boyle Heights high school. Although nonprofit groups frequently offer reproductive health care on school campuses around the nation, the partnership involving Planned Parenthood -- long a target of antiabortion lawmakers in Washington -- is the only one of its kind (Gorman, 6/5).
Philadelphia Inquirer: In N.J., The County Nursing Home Is An Endangered Species
County-run nursing homes in New Jersey could be headed for extinction. Four have been sold to private operators in the last 18 months, including Buttonwood Hospital in Burlington County, and Camden County now is considering selling its facility. And some within the industry suspect that the remaining 16 aren’t far behind. With local government budgets shrinking, county-run nursing homes -- the government’s traditional means of caring for seniors who lack money for a private facility -- are steadily being privatized. … The main cause, industry experts say, is decreasing Medicaid subsidies (Osborne, 6/5).
Los Angeles Times: Six Southern California Hospitals Fined For Health Care Violations
State regulators have fined six Southern California hospitals for health care violations that included an emergency room nurse's sexual assault on a patient at Chapman Medical Center in Orange. The penalties, announced Friday by the California Department of Public Health, included the eighth assessed on Southwest Healthcare System in Murrieta, which has been fined more often than any other hospital in the state since financial penalties were adopted in 2007 (Boxall, 6/5).
Arizona Republic: Arizona Prisons Can Be Deadly For Sick
A review by The Arizona Republic of deaths in state prisons over the past two fiscal years found at least four inmates, in addition to Dix, whose medical care was delayed or potentially inadequate leading up to their deaths. The records of these cases, together with interviews of officers, medical staff and inmates point to a system in which correctional officers routinely deny inmates access to timely care, and in which treatment sometimes falls short of accepted standards (Ortega, 6/4).
Detroit Free Press: Michigan Urges Collaboration, Lifestyle Changes To Combat Obesity Problem
A statewide public health plan calls on schools, street planners, park districts, private businesses, insurers, restaurants and others to tackle the state’s growing obesity problem. "We have a real public health crisis on our hands," said Olga Dazzo, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, which released the plan this morning at an Ypsilanti senior center and park. ... Nearly one-third of adults in Michigan are considered obese -- a problem contributing to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, stroke and dementia. Additionally, nearly 12 percent of Michigan’s high school students are considered obese, public health officials say (Erb, 6/5).
CNN (Video): Opting Out Of Vaccinations Could Get Tougher In California
The re-emergence of some vaccine-preventable diseases has prompted the California legislature to consider a bill that would make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids. The legislation would require that parents get counseling from a doctor before opting out of immunizations for their children (Roope, 6/5).
Texas Tribune: Facing Accusations in CA, Hospital Company Looks to TX
Despite more than a year of bad press and an apparent FBI inquiry, Prime Healthcare Services, which owns and operates more than a dozen hospitals, most of them in California, acquired ownership of South Texas' 112-bed Harlingen Medical Center in December, then bought Pampa Regional Medical Center, a 115-bed hospital in the Panhandle, this month. Prime spokesman Edward Barrera said in a statement that the allegations -- which he called a labor union's fictitious smear campaign against the company -- have prompted the company to "look outside the state for expansion" (Ramshaw, 6/5).
Kansas Health Institute News: Drug Disposal Program Enrolls 32 Pharmacies In First Month
After its first month of operation, the Kansas Medication Disposal Program has 32 participating pharmacies statewide that can collect unneeded or unwanted prescription drugs. A map showing the locations of the pharmacies and household hazardous waste facilities was released today by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Debra Billingsley, executive secretary for the Kansas Board of Pharmacy, said the level of participation in the voluntary program so far is what officials expected when it was launched in April. There are 287 chain pharmacies and 289 independent pharmacies in Kansas (6/4).
Kansas Health Institute News: Southeast Kansas Collaborative Seeks $11M Grant For Virtual Health Center
The plan is to create a rural health network that would connect providers via computer to create a “virtual” federally qualified health center, or FQHC, serving Labette, Neosho and Wilson counties. FQHCs typically are bricks-and-mortar facilities offering primary care services in underserved communities. Led by Labette Health, the hospital in Parsons, and its Chief Executive Officer Jodi Schmidt, collaborative members hope the idea is unique enough to earn funding through the new Health Care Innovation program administered by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They have an $11.4 million grant request pending before the agency that would allow them to develop and implement the plan (Sherry, 6/4).