(Adam Cole, NPR)
By Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR
Update on Oct. 8: The Ebola patient in Dallas, the first diagnosed with the virus in the U.S., has died.
Holy moly! There’s a case of Ebola in the U.S.!
That first reaction was understandable. There’s no question the disease is scary. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa.
The Ebola case in Dallas is the first one diagnosed outside Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. And the health care system in Texas didn’t quarantine the man right away. He was sick with Ebola — and contagious — for four days before he was admitted to the hospital. Continue reading
By Joe Rubin
Senate Bill 835 was crafted as a measure aimed at limiting antibiotic use in livestock. To those concerned about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, it might seem surprising that Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill earlier this week. Yet advocates believe that in striking down the bill, California is poised to take a leading role on the issue.
‘The governor sent a message that he isn’t going to accept fig-leaf solutions to tackle this problem.’ — Natural Resources Defense Council spokesman
Here’s why: Critics had assailed the bill as too industry-friendly and unlikely to make much impact on antibiotic resistance.
SB835 would have codified a recent Food and Drug Administration voluntary ban on the use of antibiotics for growth-promoting purposes. The measure had sailed through the Legislature. But a coalition, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Consumers Union and several leading medical experts on antibiotic resistance, quietly created a campaign urging the governor to veto the bill. Continue reading
The state has tried to eliminate adult day health care in the past. (Photo: Getty Images)
By David Gorn, California Healthline
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to codify Community Based Adult Services as a Medi-Cal benefit and continue offering it as a benefit into the future.
“It puts everything up for grabs. It’s a real step backward.”
The state has attempted to eliminate adult day health care
in the past. The CBAS program, serving some of the oldest, most frail Californians on Medi-Cal, is the result of a 2011 settlement of a lawsuit challenging the state the last time the state tried to cut the program.
The veto Monday of AB1552 by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) leaves an uncertain future for CBAS. The agreement in the 2011 settlement expired at the end of August, but CBAS is included as a Medi-Cal benefit in a proposed amendment of the state’s Medicaid waiver and is included in the Coordinated Care Intitiative. CMS is expected to approve the amendment by the end of this month. Continue reading
By Lynne Shallcross
Soul Line Dancers
from Lynne Shallcross
On a recent Tuesday night in San Pablo, singer Patti LaBelle’s voice blared from a black stereo inside a florescent-lit classroom in the newly built San Pablo Community Center.
Inside, nearly two dozen dancers were working up a sweat to LaBelle’s soulful voice as Patricia Lowe called out dance steps for them to follow.
“Five, six, seven, eight! Go one-two! One-two! One, two, three, four. Now shake it!”
Two days a week, Lowe — whose dance name is Chocolate Platinum — leads what she calls a “soul line dance” class. It’s a chance for community members to get together and dance for health and wellness, and have fun at the same time. Continue reading
By Deborah Schoch, Center for Health Reporting
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday a bill imposing a 100-fold increase in the top fine for violations of state regulations at assisted-living homes for the elderly.
The top fine will now be $15,000, for violations causing death or serious injury, up from $150.
The relatively low fines were highlighted in a series of stories produced last year by the CHCF Center for Health Reporting and the U-T San Diego. The series focused on 27 deaths and hundreds of injuries at homes in San Diego County caused by abuse and neglect.
The bill to increase fines, co-authored by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, (R-San Diego), was amended during the legislative process to allow a four-step appeals process. Also, a proposal to boost fines for some lesser offenses to $1,000 from $150 was removed from the bill amid lobbying from smaller assisted living homes. Continue reading
(Screen shot from the Spanish-language version of the Covered California website.)
By Daniela Hernandez, Kaiser Health News
When Fabrizio Mancinelli applied for health insurance through California’s online marketplace nine months ago, he ran into a frustrating snag.
The deadline is midnight, Tuesday, for those who were notified to provide documents proving their legal status.
An Italian composer and self-described computer geek, Mancinelli said he was surprised to find there wasn’t a clear way to upload a copy of his O-1 visa. The document, which grants temporary residency status to people with extraordinary talents in the sciences and arts, was part of his proof to the government that he was eligible for coverage.
So, the 35-year-old Sherman Oaks resident wrote in his application that he’d be happy to send along any further documentation. Continue reading
By David Gorn, California Healthline
At an Assembly Committee on Health hearing yesterday, Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas said the backlog of Medi-Cal applications — at one point in March topping 900,000 unprocessed eligibility claims — now is down to about 250,000 applications and will be “down significantly” from that by the start of November.
Douglas answered a number of concerns at the hearing, including announcing a shift in DHCS policy regarding asthma and allergy testing, as well as Denti-Cal and special-needs dental care issues.
The counties and DHCS, Douglas said, reduced the Medi-Cal application backlog by 650,000 over six months — more than 100,000 a month. A similar pace in the next month-and-a-half would get it down to about 100,000 applications. Continue reading
Fresh Approach staffers chop a variety of fruits and vegetables for today’s summer salad. “We tried to choose one of every color,” says Laura deTar, Nutrition Program Manager for Fresh Approach. “We want to expose people to things they may not have had.” (Brittany Patterson, KQED)
By Brittany Patterson
In Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, 20 people sit inside a colorful classroom at the Native American Health Center. They listen attentively as Leah Ricci gives a lecture on the merits of fiber and where to get it. As far as lectures on fiber are concerned, this one is pretty rousing.
“I didn’t like vegetables and fruit, but now we’re all eating more of them.”
“Can anyone name some foods that are high in fiber?” she asks.
Immediately the participants begin to throw out suggestions.
“Beans. Apples. Greens. Seeds.”
“What do all of these foods have in common?” Ricci asks.
“They all come from plants,” shouts out Paula Marie Parker.
Parker and the others are all students in a program at the Native American Health Center called VeggieRx, which teaches participants about nutrition and the merits of incorporating more fruits and vegetables and physical activity in their lives and the lives of their families. Continue reading
By Jeremy Raff
Effective this week, Medi-Cal now covers a key autism therapy, and some 12,000 kids stand to benefit statewide. One of the children who will benefit is Timothy Wilson, a bubbly 6-year-old who will now be able to get Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for people who are low income. ABA is the clinical standard of care for autism.
Timothy was 2 when he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. “He didn’t say mama, didn’t say dada,” says his mother, Jazzmon Wilson. He threw tantrums and hardly made eye contact. “You just see all your dreams go by the wayside.”
The Wilsons enrolled him in the Regional Center of the East Bay, where children under 3 receive state-funded services. He began ABA therapy, which breaks down everyday skills into bite-sized, learnable portions, then uses repetition, memorization and rewards to reinforce or discourage behaviors. Parents learn to lead their child in the therapy as well. In the video, Jazzmon works with Timothy — or Bubba as she calls him. Seeing him now, it’s hard to believe how affected he was at a younger age. Continue reading
Adrian Peterson has been suspended from all Minnesota Vikings activities since he was indicted on child abuse charges. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
By Gene Demby, NPR
Over the past week, Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings’ all-world running back and one of the NFL’s biggest stars, has become the face of corporal punishment in America. Peterson turned himself in to police over the weekend on charges of child abuse after he allegedly hit his son with a switch that left welts on his body.
Needless to say, people feel very differently about this subject. “I’m a black guy … I’m from the South,” Charles Barkley, the former NBA star, told a panel on CBS’ NFL Today. “Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”
Meanwhile, a visibly emotional Chris Carter, who once starred for the Vikings, argued on ESPN’s NFL Countdown that corporal discipline was outdated and wasn’t solely the province of black folks. “This goes across all racial lines, ethnicities, religious backgrounds,” Carter said. “People believe in disciplining their children. … It’s the 21st century. My mom was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promised my kids I won’t teach that mess to them. You can’t beat a kid to make them do what they wanna do.” Continue reading