Tag Archives: Medical Issues

SB 648: Regulating Residential Care Referral Agencies

Senior couple with helpful counselor

As the least-regulated long-term care facilities, RCFEs are easy targets for greedy referral agencies seeking to dump seniors in under-supervised environments. Some 7,800 RCFEs operate in California now, with roughly 175,000 beds available, and their numbers are expected to grow as the ranks of the elderly swell. Read More ›

The Secret Documents That Detail How Patients’ Privacy Is Breached

by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica

medical_records-sm

The top five categories of complaints in 2014, according to the Office for Civil Rights website, were impermissible uses and disclosures, safeguards, administrative safeguards, access and technical safeguards. Read More ›

California Attorney General Joins Federal Suit To Block Anthem-Cigna Merger

by Lisa Aliferis, KQED

anthem-insurance best

In California, Anthem Blue Cross is a huge player with about 20 percent of private insurance market. Cigna has a smaller presence here, but the two companies “compete head-to-head for customers, especially large employers,” the attorney general’s office said. Read More ›

Fitbit Must Face Lawsuit Over Sleep-Tracking Claims

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Fitbits from Samsung Creative Commons feed

Fitbit also contended that the marketing claims are just “puffery,” meaning general statements of superiority that can’t be taken as false advertising. Yet the judge found this argument unconvincing. Read More ›

Health Gadgets And Apps Outpace Privacy Protections, Report Finds

by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica

runner's health apps

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the landmark 1996 patient-privacy law, only covers patient information kept by health providers, insurers and data clearinghouses, as well as their business partners. Falling outside the law’s purview: wearables like Fitbit that measure steps and sleep, at-home paternity tests, social media sites, and online repositories where individuals can store their health records. Read More ›

Perilous Quarters: Deaths, Serious Injuries Highlight Longstanding Concerns Over Staffing Ratios In Assisted-Living communities

by Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune

iStock

In California, assisted-living facilities and memory-care centers are not technically medical establishments. They are not required to employ medically trained experts. Read More ›

Election 2016: Big Pharma’s $70 Million Tops California Campaign Contributions

by Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

Pills and money

The money is piling up on behalf of campaigns for 17 statewide ballot measures — the most since March 2000. And when it comes to big backers, Big Pharma is far and away the towering force. Read More ›

Details Emerge In Whistleblower Suit Against Ontario-Based Prime Healthcare

by Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Kate Ter Haar | Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice in June announced it was intervening in an employee’s whistleblower lawsuit against the company, which owns and operates 14 hospitals throughout the state, including facilities in San Dimas, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Inglewood and Encino. Read More ›

AB 2688: Health ‘Privacy’ Bill Would Unleash Information Sharing

Runner apps

6/28 update: AB 2688 was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Voting in favor of the bill – and against consumers’ interests – were all of the panel’s Democrats: Chair Hannah-Beth Jackson and Senators Robert Hertzberg, Mark Leno, William Monning and Bob Wieckowski. The committee’s two Republicans, Vice … Read More ›

AB 2395: AT&T Wants To Disconnect Millions Of California Landlines

Woman on corded phone at home

According to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, about 16.5 million traditional copper land lines remain in service in California. AT&T’s bill would create a pathway for phone companies to abandon residential land lines in 2020, even in areas where an adequate alternative phone option does not exist. While many consumers now have cell phones or IP phones as well as land lines, about 2.3 million Californians live in a home that only has a landline. AB 2395 will eliminate both customer choice and the current requirements for Carriers of Last Resort that ensure all Californians have access to reliable essential phone services. Read More ›

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