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‘Warm’ Hotlines Deliver Help Before Mental Health Crisis Heats Up

“Warmlines” are phone lines or electronic chat options for people who are not having a full-blown mental health crisis but who could use support to stave off one. They are a growing trend in mental health outreach to supplement existing hotlines, with one successful warmline in the Bay Area recently expanding to cover all of California.

Patient-Induced Trauma: Hospitals Learn To Defuse Violence

Health care workers face a greater threat of workplace violence than workers in most other industries. Hospitals are installing security cameras and panic buttons, arming security guards with stun guns and teaching their employees how to handle potentially violent situations.

This Story Contains A Warning That Might Cause Alarm — Or Apathy

Proposition 65 requires California businesses to label products and buildings with warnings about substances the state deems as toxic, ranging from aloe vera to asbestos. A state panel plans to debate whether to add acetaminophen, the active ingredient of common over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, to the toxics list, raising questions about the value of these ubiquitous warnings.

Medi-Cal To Expand Eligibility To Young Undocumented Adults. But Will They Enroll?

California will become the first state to allow unauthorized immigrant adults to receive full Medicaid coverage when it expands eligibility to people ages 19 to 25 in January. But health officials and immigrant rights advocates wonder whether fear of federal immigration policy combined with a youthful sense of not needing health insurance will keep those young adults from joining.

Startup Seeks To Hold Doctors, Hospitals Accountable On Patient Record Requests

Despite laws requiring that health care providers hand over copies of patient records in a timely fashion, many people have trouble getting theirs. Ciitizen, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that helps cancer patients with the task, recently published a scorecard that rates hospitals, doctors and clinics on their compliance with records requests.

Flavor Bans Multiply, But Menthol Continues to Divide

As states and communities ban the sale of flavored tobacco products linked to vaping, anti-smoking activists are piggybacking on the momentum to target menthol cigarettes. But some African Americans say menthol cigarette bans will lead to discrimination.

The Air Ambulance Billed More Than His Surgeon Did For A Lung Transplant

After Tom Saputo underwent double lung transplant surgery in 2018, he was stunned by a surprise bill of more than $11,000 for the 27-mile air ambulance ride to the hospital. State and federal proposals would crack down on extreme air ambulance charges, including a new California law that will limit how much some patients pay for air ambulance rides.