Health | Covering health care and health policy in Southern California

A 'potentially powerful model' for treating sickle cell

A sickle cell clinic in South L.A. is believed to be the first of its kind: It brings primary and specialty care providers under one roof to treat the disease.
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When Surgeons Are Abrasive To Coworkers, Patients' Health May Suffer

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A new study shows a link between how surgeons act around coworkers and their patients' outcomes. Turns out rudeness and other unprofessional behavior isn't just obnoxious, it may be dangerous.

Florida Wants To Import Medicine From Canada. But How Would That Work?

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A new law would let the state make bulk purchases of prescription drugs from Canada. But it still faces hurdles that could keep it from becoming reality.

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Be Careful Of Fecal Transplants, Warns FDA, After Patient Death

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The FDA has strengthened oversight of experimental fecal transplants after a patient died of an infection. The donor's stool contained disease-causing pathogens, but was not tested before use.

Why Air Ambulance Bills Are Still Sky-High

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The median air ambulance bill is more than $36,000 and is seldom covered by health plans. So far, legislative hurdles and industry pressure have kept Congress from stepping in.

New York Lawmakers Pass Measure Ending Religious Exemptions For Vaccines

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The New York Legislature, amid a "health crisis," completed action and sent the bill, which also eliminates other nonmedical exemptions for schoolchildren, to the governor for his signature.

What Medicine Can Learn From Doctors And Researchers With Disabilities

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Bonnielin Swenor has dedicated her life to helping vision-impaired patients. She also has low vision herself — and she is fighting to increase the presence of disabled people in science and medicine.

Federal Grants Restricted To Fighting Opioids Miss The Mark, States Say

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The U.S. government has doled out at least $2.4 billion in state grants since 2017, specifically targeting the opioid epidemic. Yet drug abuse problems seldom involve only one substance.

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Reports Find Health Workers Still Aren't Alerting Police Regarding Likely Elder Abuse

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Workers in nursing homes, hospital ERs and other health facilities are required by law to notify police whenever they notice likely signs of physical or sexual abuse. But that's often not happening.

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'Patients Will Die': One County's Challenge To Trump's 'Conscience Rights' Rule

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California's Santa Clara County argues that if the rule goes into effect in July, the county will suffer irreparable harm in terms of patient care and staffing costs.

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Expert Panel Recommends Wider Use Of Daily Pill To Prevent HIV Infections

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says people at high risk of being infected with HIV should be offered a daily pill containing antiretroviral medications. The drug's cost remains a hurdle.

A Musical Brain May Help Us Understand Language And Appreciate Tchaikovsky

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Compared with monkeys, humans have a brain that is extremely sensitive to a sound's pitch. And that may reflect our exposure to speech and music.

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'Mental Health Parity' Is Still An Elusive Goal In U.S. Insurance Coverage

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The Affordable Care Act and other U.S. laws sought to put insurance coverage for mental health conditions on equal footing with coverage for physical conditions. But patients say that's not happening.

Social Security Error Jeopardizes Medicare Coverage For 250,000 Seniors

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A billing glitch could cause lapses in private drug policies and Medicare Advantage plans that provide both medical and drug coverage. Premiums weren't deducted from some Social Security checks.

Early Abortion Bans: Which States Have Passed Them?

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So far in 2019, nine states have passed laws to outlaw abortion or forbid it past a certain point in pregnancy. None of these laws are in effect, and many are being litigated in the courts.

Trump Administration Bars Federal Research Involving Human Fetal Tissue

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National Institutes of Health research "that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted," the Department of Health and Human Services says.

How Doctors Can Stop Stigmatizing — And Start Helping — Kids With Obesity

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Physicians often harbor unconscious bias against kids and teens with obesity. It affects how they talk with their patients and can make kids' health worse. Some doctors are trying a new approach.