Month: November 2013

A Unique Caregiver Program: “We Come to You.”

One of California’s most deeply embedded community aging organizations is responding to the crisis of at-home caregivers with an intriguing model for stressed out, isolated family members. At the heart of this effort is the new Mobile Caregiver Support Center – a small bus loaded with educational materials and staff experts who provide insulated caregivers with answers and hope.

CoveredCa a model — and a warning

As President Obama struggles to fix problems with a federal website at the heart of his health reform, California’s new online health insurance exchange is winning praise as a model for the nation. But behind some positive early numbers lurk challenges that could also serve as warning signs for the rest of the country.

Community Rebels Against Laws Restricting Gardening

By Chris Richard

Three months ago, residents of a South Los Angeles neighborhood and activists from throughout Southern California engaged in civil disobedience. Their act of defiance: planting tomatoes, corn, chilis, marigolds and other plants in curbside gardens along a whole block of 58th Street.

Two Years Later, Prison Reform a Mixed Bag

By Genevieve Bookwalter

Two years ago, California began a massive experiment: shift low-level criminals from state prisons to county jails, and put local law enforcement in charge of their housing, treatment and parole. Now, early reports show a mixed bag of results.

College Students Coaxed Towards Health Insurance

By Melissa Flores When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, even college students who are in the business of being educated still have some questions about it. The California State University system has created a health insurance education project, enlisting teams at many of the campuses across the state to help inform college students, their families and part-time employees about the new online insurance

Surgeons Underestimate Domestic Violence-Related Injuries

By Fran Kritz A recent study by researchers at the University of Missouri has found that 74 percent of American orthopedic trauma surgeons, who treat many victims of domestic violence, substantially underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence injuries among their patients. “In the United States, most orthopedic surgeons receive training in techniques for recognizing signs of child abuse, but training to recognize abuse of adults

Can Soda Tax Gain Traction Here?

A lot of people rolled their eyes when New York City banned the use of trans fats in restaurant meals a few years ago. Some called it “nanny government.” But now the federal Food and Drug Administration has ruled that the fats are unhealthy and announced plans to phase them out of processed foods.

Could sugar-sweetened drinks be next?

An outright ban isn’t in the cards. But a broad coalition of California public health groups is trying to slap a special tax on sugary drinks to finance anti-obesity programs aimed at children.

Electronic Records, Apps and Devices Poised to Decrease in Person Encounters between Doctors and Patients

By Fran Kritz The number of patient visits to physicians’ offices could decrease significantly as use of electronic health records and consumer e-health “apps” increase, according to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The authors reviewed health informatics and health services research literature through June 2013 using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database and the Agency for Healthcare Research

Covered California Warns Consumers about Fraud

By Angela Woodall

Understanding of the Affordable Care Act, the national health care program most people know simply as “Obamacare,” can be difficult for the savviest of consumers. Now scammers pretending to be from the government are poised to take advantage of confusion swirling around health care reform by trying to charge for fake “Obamacare cards” and falsely threatening to throw people in jail unless they buy insurance.

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