Posts Tagged: physicians

Opinion

Step therapy: Harmful delays and the patient may suffer

Hospital medical staff checking a patient's records. (Photo: Stokkete, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s never a good idea when insurers cut costs by interfering in the decision-making process between patients and their doctor. But during a national pandemic, it’s a particularly bad idea. I am thinking specifically of an insurance strategy called step therapy.

News

Health care: Nurse practitioners push for greater role

A medical practitioner checks the blood pressure on an older patient. (Photo: Alexander Raths, via Shutterstock)

As California contends with a shortage of primary care doctors, some legislators are pushing to have nurse practitioners fill in the gaps. Assembly Bill 890, which is now headed to the Senate, would remove the requirement that nurse practitioners practice under a physician’s supervision.

Opinion

Fix needed for California’s QME physician system

A California construction worker with his tool belt on a job site. (Photo: Erickson Stock, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: In 1911, California passed a constitutional amendment that created the foundation for our modern system of workers’ compensation, and since that time numerous laws have been passed to keep California at the forefront of worker protection. Yet, today, California is failing the workers that it is supposed to protect, and they sometimes must wait months, if not years, to get the care and coverage that they are entitled to. 

Opinion

Alzheimer’s funding just first step to aid aging population

A 77-year-old man running uphill in a road race at Daggett Pass, Nevada. (Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau)

OPINION: By including $3 million in annual funding for Alzheimer’s research in the budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom showed he is willing to take action on issues important to California’s fast-growing aging population. Still, the move is only the beginning of what must be a much larger effort to keep pace with our older population’s future needs.

News

Just who is an independent contractor?

A sweeping new California Supreme Court ruling restricting who is an independent contractor is shaking up an exceptionally diverse range of industries. The ruling, issued in April, affects an estimated 2 million independent contractors working in healthcare, beauty salons, gig economy jobs like Uber and Lyft, journalism, music, real estate, education, financial planning, agriculture, construction, technology, insurance, transportation and more

Opinion

Nurse practitioners: Key piece of healthcare puzzle

A nurse practitioner, left, discusses care with a young girl and her mother.(Photo: Monkey Business Images)>

OPINION: California is facing a crisis in our healthcare workforce. We lack enough primary care providers. This issue, combined with a wave of physicians getting set to retire and an expanding aging population, has created a perfect storm particularly in our rural and underserved communities.

News

California faces major physician shortage

Doctors confer in the lobby of a busy hospital. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

California is facing a primary care physician shortage, and one of the only solutions to address it is sitting on the edge of a fiscal cliff.  The Teaching Health Center program, which places new resident physicians in underserved communities, will lose federal funding unless Congress acts to reauthorize it by Sept. 30.

Opinion

Limiting drug firms’ gifts to doctors impedes education

A senior medical practitioner on the phone with hospital records. (Photo: sirtravelalot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The California Assembly is currently considering a bill, Senate Bill 790, which would put in place severe restrictions around gifts or other financial benefits that pharmaceutical companies can give to medical professionals as part of marketing activities. Not only will the bill limit physician access to important information about new treatments, but it also insults the integrity of every physician practicing in California and is a threat to the patient-physician relationship.

Opinion

An effort to give ER doctors unfettered power 

The entrance to a hospital emergency room. (Photo: Johnson Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Our California Legislature is considering a bill — AB 1300 by Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles — that would allow emergency room (ER) physicians to release psychiatric patients brought into their ER’s on a psychiatric detention, known as a “5150”, without any input from a psychiatrist. Currently, when a patient in psychiatric crisis is brought to an ER on a “5150”, the hospital discharges the patient to a psychiatric facility where that patient receives a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

News

Governor signs end-of-life bill

Debbie Ziegler, mother of Brittany Maynard, speaks to the media in Sacramento after the passage in September of legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives. Gov. Brown signed the bill Monday.(Photo: AP/Carl Costas)

Gov. Jerry Brown, in one of the most emotional moments of his long political career, signed into law a bill allowing people near death to end their lives with lethal drugs supplied by a physician. “The crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering,” Brown wrote in his official signing message.

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