KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: San Diego Officials Crack Down On Homeless As Hep A Outbreak Worsens; Tax To Help Conn. Hospitals In Legal Limbo

Media outlets report on news from California, Connecticut, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Oregon and Florida.

The Associated Press: San Diego Increases Homeless Citations In Hepatitis Outbreak
The city of San Diego issued citations and cleared a downtown street where hundreds of homeless people regularly camp during ongoing efforts to sanitize neighborhoods to control the spread of hepatitis A. Officers are asking homeless people to leave the street and nearby blocks where tarps and tents have regularly lined sidewalks and an area near a freeway onramp, police Lt. Scott Wahl said Wednesday. Those who refuse are given citations and those who resist further are arrested. Police over the past two weeks have been issuing about 50 citations a week — up from 30 a week before the crackdown, Wahl said. (Watson, 9/28)

Stat: West Nile Virus Cases Are Spiking In LA. The First Line Of Defense: Chickens
More than six dozen sentinel chickens, living in coops dotted around Los Angeles, make up one of the first lines of defense in this sprawling county’s fight against West Nile virus. The disease has been a background threat for years here, but cases have spiked this fall to worrisome levels. Six deaths have been reported by Los Angeles County this year — including three just last week. And the cases are alarmingly severe: Of 98 reported infections here this year, 79 have led to serious neurological side effects, and 87 have required hospitalization. Because it’s still peak mosquito season, more deaths are expected. (Maxwell, 9/29)

The Associated Press: Mistakes Made Before Hospital ER Shooting, Vegas Police Say
Mistakes were made in leaving a suicidal man alone in a hospital emergency room, where he wielded a stun gun pilfered from a jail guard’s unattended equipment bag before a patrol officer shot him dead, a police official said Thursday. One policy was changed immediately, Assistant Clark County Sheriff Todd Fasulo told reporters, and the arresting officer, Thomas Rybacki, could face departmental discipline after internal affairs reviews of the killing early Monday of Cody Leighland O’Bryan, 31, at University Medical Center. (Ritter, 9/28)

California Healthline: Imagining A Single-Payer Health System In California
With the crumbling of the latest GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, many Americans seem more willing to discuss what a single-payer system might look like and whether it is desirable — or even possible. This story can be republished for free (details).U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently introduced a Medicare-for-All Act, which would gradually expand the government-financed system to the general population while eliminating private insurance companies and consumer cost sharing, such as copays and deductibles. (9/28)

Sacramento Bee: UC Davis Awarded $7.9 Million For Stem Cell Clinic
The California stem cell agency Thursday awarded UC Davis $7.9 million to create an “Alpha” stem cell clinic that will serve patients in a 33-county area in Northern California. ... The primary function of the clinic is to support and conduct clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of potential stem cell therapies. (Jensen, 9/28)

Modern Healthcare: Macy's, Hot Topic ... Dermatology? Providers Eye Malls For One-Stop Healthcare Shopping 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center transformed about half of a struggling shopping center into an outpatient hub, much to the delight of its growing patient base and the city of Nashville. By the mid-2000s, Vanderbilt had outgrown its main hospital campus at 1211 Medical Center Drive in a dense area of midtown Nashville. The provider decided to renovate the nearby One Hundred Oaks Mall and move more than 20 of its clinics to the shopping center at a fraction of the cost required to build out its campus. It opened its new center in 2009, moving predominantly wellness-oriented clinics from its main campus. (Kacik, 9/28)

California Healthline: Bringing Former Hospitals Back To Life – Ghosts And All
When Juana Monroy moved into Hollenbeck Terrace in 2015, she learned that the towering senior apartment building was once a busy hospital that had appeared in dozens of movies and television shows. Then she heard the rumors that the old Linda Vista Community Hospital building was haunted. “I was a little scared,” said Monroy, 60. But she hasn’t seen a ghost yet, and now she loves living in a building with such history. “It’s gorgeous,” she said. (Gorman and Galewitz, 9/28)

Denver Post: Children Were Underfed, Abused At Pueblo Treatment Center, According To State Document
A mental health and substance abuse treatment center for children was shut down by state authorities this week following complaints that children were abused and underfed. El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch, with 12 cottages on 56 acres in Pueblo, was ordered to “immediately desist” caring for children by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The ranch, which treated children with severe behavioral or psychiatric needs, could lose its child care licence permanently. (Brown, 9/28)

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