Public Health

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.

Seeking Free Dental Care, Californians Pack Anaheim Convention Center

The Anaheim event resulted in mixed feelings for the volunteer dentists, who came from all over the state to participate. Many were elated to be able to provide care that alleviated pain and enhanced the quality of life for people who often have a tough time getting breaks.

But they were also troubled that obtaining oral care—which many experts believe has a direct correlation to a person’s overall health—is so nettlesome for low-income Californians.

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.

Are We Asking the Wrong Question About Medi-Cal?

Health care advocates are always working on ways to make sure Medicaid is around to help people living in poverty. This is a good thing, but I also think it’s important to ask: Why do so many people require Medicaid? Why are so many people living and working in poverty? Why are we not working on more ways to lift people out of destitution?

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.

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