OPINION: If passed, SB 958 would severely limit specialty pharmacies’ ability to deliver lower cost medications to patients, while also making it even easier for hospitals to markup the cost they charge patients for critical medications, and in the end, we would see higher health care premiums for California’s employers and individuals.
OPINION: California is committed to the health of its residents. Nearly a quarter of Gov. Newsom’s state budget for 2022-2023 is allocated to health care expenditures. Amid their focus on improving health care access and affordability, however, policymakers should also reexamine existing programs that are failing to properly protect vulnerable California communities.
Last year during the winter’s peak, hospitals in the state had an estimated 54,000 patients, with roughly 22,000 of them testing Covid positive. Today, similar numbers reflect the hospitals’ overcrowding. But now, there is an overall 20 percent reduction in health care workers, and the combination of the two has seriously stressed hospitals.
On the front line of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, registered nurse members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United are pushing for more employer accountability tied to a crisis of staffing and unsafe workplaces. The union, which represents about 100,000 registered nurses in California, says the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has not adopted such workplace protections.
California made national headlines this week with an aggressive push toward achieving Universal Healthcare in the state. John Howard and Tim Foster of Capitol Weekly sit down with Anthony Wright of Health Access California to hear his insights on these major developments in California healthcare policy, and learn what to expect next.
If you live in one of the rural communities tucked into the forested hillsides along the Oregon-California border and need serious medical care, you’ll probably wind up at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. It serves about nine counties on either side of the border. It is one of three hospitals Asante owns in the region. All three ICUs are 100% full of covid patients, according to staff members.
Police response to mental-health calls often ends – again and again – in chaotic, noisy hospital emergency rooms, where staff is stretched thin, and a heart attack is likely to take precedence over someone in the throes of a mental-health crisis. “Traditionally, people would be dropped off at the ER, and the only option was to transfer them to a psychiatric facility,” says Dr. Scott Zeller, a nationally known emergency psychiatrist and former president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry.
COVID-19 cases in California are spiking dramatically — more than 6,600 new cases on Tuesday alone — and scientists predict California will double its transmission rate every four to five weeks. On Wednesday, the death toll spiked to 98, bringing to 5,725 the total number of deaths so far.
Carmela Coyle, president of the California Hospital Association, joins John and Tim on the Capitol Weekly Podcast to talk about the challenges that hospitals face as they deal with this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, “an order of potential magnitude that we just haven’t seen before.”