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News — California

California nurse-staffing law saves lives, study says

A new study on nurse staffing levels was hailed by the California Nurses Association on Tuesday as proof that the state's nursing-ratio law is saving lives. If similar laws were enacted in such states as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the number of patient deaths in those states could be reduced by as much as 14 percent, according to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal Health Services Research. —Sacramento Bee, 04/21/10 More »

Study: Nurse-to-patient ratio saves lives

California’s nurse-to-patient staffing law reduces deaths from common surgeries, allows nurses to spend more time with patients and helps hospitals retain nurses, a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania concludes. California’s landmark law requires minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for specific units in all general acute-care hospitals. It was signed in 1999, but ratios were phased in from 2004 through 2008 —Sacramento Business Journal, 04/20/10 More »

Pioneering law on nurses found to save lives

California's law limiting the number of patients that can be assigned to a nurse has resulted in fewer deaths and a belief among the state's nurses that they were able to provide better care, according to the first comprehensive evaluation of the landmark legislation. The study by the University of Pennsylvania, published today in the policy journal Health Services Research, compared deaths from common surgeries in California in 2006, two years after the law was enacted, to surgical deaths in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. —San Francisco Chronicle, 04/20/10 More »

Taking a hike for health

"Take me to General" is a reference to San Joaquin General Hospital that a local police officer or firefighter might make if they were critically injured. The facility's reputation is that strong, according to nurses who work there. But that slogan could become a distant memory in a few months if county officials and hospital administrators move forward with a recommendation to eliminate its emergency neurotrauma center for head and spinal injuries. —Stockton Record, 04/13/10 More »

Whitman’s fortune entwined with Goldman Sachs

Candidate Meg Whitman touts her experience at eBay, the online auction house that made her rich, but her career and personal fortune are entwined with another company: the Goldman Sachs investment bank, a major player in public finance in the state she wants to lead. Whitman’s relationship with the giant Wall Street firm — as investor, corporate director and recipient of both insider stock deals and campaign donations — could pose conflicts of interest if the Republican front-runner is elected governor of California, critics say. —CaliforniaWatch.org, 04/10/10 More »

UCI hospital out of compliance again

Federal regulators visiting UC Irvine Medical Center found two cases of immediate jeopardy - the most serious finding of potential danger to patients - during an inspection last week, according to a memo sent to hospital employees. —Orange County Register, 03/11/10 More »

St. Johns Hospital on Trial

The federal agency that oversees labor law has ordered St. Johns Health Center, Santa Monica, to stand trial on charges that it has violated the rights of its registered nurses. The National Labor Relations Board is prosecuting the hospital for unlawful harassment of nurse leaders, engaging in illicit spying on RNs, and interrogating nurses about union activity, among other violations. —Santa Monica DIspatch, 03/08/10 More »

Modesto nurse volunteers in shattered nation of Haiti

As a veteran emergency and intensive care nurse, Marti Smith of Oakdale has cared for plenty of car crash victims and other people with severely broken bones. During her 10 days of serving on a hospital ship caring for victims of the Haiti earthquake, she wasn't struck by the severity of the injuries, but by the sheer number of Haitian people with severe trauma. —Modesto Bee, 03/06/10 More »

Single payer, here we come

For more than 7 million working Californians who currently don't have health insurance, Congress and President Barack Obama's attempt to reform health care has been an exercise in frustration. The public option was almost immediately taken off the table, despite the fact that most independent experts agree reform won't work without it, and after a year of negotiations, no bill is in sight. —Sacramento News and Review, 03/04/10 More »

Calif. insurer’s rate increases draw attention of federal government

President Obama's secretary of health and human services fired off a sharply worded letter to a California insurer Monday, demanding to know why it is raising rates for individual policyholders by as much as 39 percent. The unusual salvo offers a reminder that, even as health-care legislation lies in limbo in Washington, the battle over surging health care costs continues in other venues. —Washington Post, 02/08/10 More »

When healthcare coverage is insurance in name only

The L'Esperances are your typical American family. They work hard. They try to get ahead. They don't ask anyone for help. And they pray they don't get sick. Mom and Dad -- a.k.a. Laguna Beach residents Jan and Paul L'Esperance -- sell kitchenware on behalf of various manufacturers. They've just been informed by Anthem Blue Cross that premiums for their health insurance will rise 18% to $985 a month. —Los Angeles TImes, 02/08/10 More »

Former eBay CEO rewrites campaign spending book

Chartered jets that offer "white glove service," fancy fundraisers in Beverly Hills and beyond, and enough high-priced political consultants to fill an auditorium. Those are a few of billionaire Meg Whitman's favorite things as she carries out her remarkably lavish campaign for California governor. —Associated Press, 02/05/10 More »

Federal Government Indicts Sutter/CPMC to Block Illegal Health Plan Imposed On San Francisco RNs

Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center (Sutter/CPMC) is facing an upcoming trial over the unilateral imposition on January 1, 2010 of an unlawful health plan on registered nurses and other workers. —Press Release, 02/02/10 More »

Major Advance for Healthcare Reform as Senate Passes Medicare for All Legislation

To ecstatic applause from healthcare advocates, the California Senate today breathed new life into national prospects for fundamental health reform by passing on a 22 to 14 vote a major bill to guarantee healthcare in the state through creating a Medicare for all system that would cover every Californian. —Press Release, 01/28/10 More »

With Federal Health Bill Stalled, California Senate to Vote On Medicare for All

With prospects for national healthcare reform dimming following Tuesday's election in Massachusetts, a major bill that would establish universal healthcare, through a Medicare-for-all style reform, has been cleared today for a new vote in the California legislature. —Press Release, 01/21/10 More »

Forum to Discuss Plans to Close Kaiser Pediatric Unit

Forum to Discuss Plans to Close Kaiser Pediatric Unit

The community forum will be held at 6 p.m. at the Eden Mansion at 2451 W. Tennyson Road in Hayward. A community forum will be held tonight to discuss plans by Kaiser Permanente to close its pediatric unit in Hayward next month. The California Nurses Association, which opposes Kaiser's planned Nov. 17 closure, says the unit serves more than 1,000 families a year and more than 100,000 children in the Hayward area who receive health care from Kaiser. —San Leandro Patch More »

Whitman Attacks on Nurses Part of Larger Strategy

The nurses started the fight even before Whitman won the Republican gubernatorial nomination on June 8, launching an actress dressed as ''Queen Meg'' who trails Whitman at campaign events and private fundraisers. ''I was surprised that they just came out, right out of the box, attacking me,'' Whitman said during a recent campaign stop in Roseville, a Sacramento surburb. ''And I said you know what, I am going to reach out to these nurses to make sure that all nurses know my position, and then they can make an informed decision.'' More »

Nurses protest Whitman in California governor campaign

After spending more than $80 million and building a major lead in public opinion polls, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman may finally have met her match Tuesday in the parking lot of the Asian Garden Mall. The billionaire candidate was delivering her stump speech to about 150 people at an open-air rally when about 50 protesters from the California Nurses Association and its schoolteacher allies interrupted by chanting and blowing whistles just a few dozen yards away. More »

12,000 California RNs to Strike June 10 - Update: Rallies Scheduled from Sacramento to San Diego

More than 12,000 California registered nurses remain scheduled to strike for 24 hours next Thursday, most of them at University of California hospitals, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today. More »

Sutter, Town Square Off in Legal Battle

A battle is raging over a small Bay Area hospital, pitting not-for-profit medical powerhouse Sutter Health against a small community. Sutter plans to close San Leandro Hospital, which serves the small community south of Oakland and its large portion of Medicare patients. The company says it can't justify subsidizing the facility which it says loses money each year while rebuilding its larger sister hospital, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, to comply with seismic requirements. More »

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