KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

California’s State Mental Hospital Will No Longer Be Subject To Hiring Freeze

The freeze was lifted on Friday in response to concerns about rising violence in the state's system.

Los Angeles Times: Hiring Freeze Ends At State Mental Hospitals
California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley said Friday that she is lifting a hiring freeze at the state's troubled mental hospitals amid concerns about rising violence (Romney, 4/15).

NPR: Hiring May Ease Violence At Calif. Mental Hospital
There has been another death at the hospital in Napa - the second one there in less than six months. Napa State Hospital was also recently fined for violating basic workplace safety laws. ... But it will take some time to fix says Dianna Dooley, California's secretary of Health and Human Services. "The conditions didn't occur overnight and they're not going to be resolved overnight," Dooley says. It's taken years, she says for Napa's patient population to change to the point where now more than 80 percent of them are committed through the criminal justice system. ... [L]ate last week Dooley lifted a hiring freeze to add more clinical and security staff (Jaffe, 4/18).

The Sacramento Bee: Two Key Reports Due On Sacramento County's Mental Health Services
In coming months, Sacramento County will get two prescriptions on how to remedy its troubled mental health system. Chances are, the county won't have any additional money to make changes – and could easily have less. The system is reeling from three consecutive years of budget cuts, which have fueled an increase in psychiatric admissions at area hospitals and prompted lawsuits (Branan, 4/17).

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