Author: Claudia Boyd-Barrett

Audit Slams State Oversight of Nursing Facilities

California’s skilled nursing facilities are increasingly putting their residents’ health in jeopardy, yet the state is failing to adequately crack down on the problem, according to a report released Tuesday.

Citations for substandard care at skilled nursing facilities statewide increased by almost a third between 2006 and 2015, according to the report from the California State Auditor. Over the same period, profits for the state’s three biggest private operators of nursing homes soared by tens of millions of dollars, even as the number of nursing facility beds barely changed.

Newly Released State Data Spurs Concern About Pesticide Use

Advocates for pesticide reform are demanding that the state beef up efforts to reduce California’s dependence on toxic chemicals in agriculture after newly released data showed pesticide use at near-record highs.

The report released this week by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation shows state farmers used 192 million pounds of pesticide chemicals for crop production in 2016.

Bill to Reign in Health Care Prices Advances in the Legislature

A California Assembly committee has advanced a bill that aims to reign in soaring healthcare costs by giving the state authority to regulate prices charged by hospitals, doctors and other providers.

During a hearing Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Health voted 11 to 4 to pass the bill on to the appropriations committee, the final step before legislation can go before the full Assembly for a vote.

In LA County, Mental Health Tax Money is Making a Difference

Los Angeles County, the most populous county in California, is successfully using money from a state tax on millionaires to fund programs that help the mentally ill, according to a new report. These efforts have succeeded in reducing homelessness, incarceration and hospitalization among the mentally ill, and improved the wellbeing of people served by the programs.

California is Reshaping Addiction Treatment, One County at a Time

California has a new addiction treatment approach that tackles substance-use disorder much like any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease. Patients receive ongoing checkups and support to help prevent relapse, and to catch and treat it quickly if it happens.

So far 10 counties have launched the new program, including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco and San Luis Obispo. Another 30 counties are expected to follow suit this year.

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