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NEWS
October 18, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
New estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that emergency room visits rose nearly 10% to 136 million in 2009. The agency reported that: ER visit rates were higher for African Americans than for whites.   More than one-third of the ER patients were under 25.   More than three-quarters were prescribed medication.   Most - 85% - of ER patients had some form of insurance. Only a small number - 8% - came to the emergency room with non-urgent issues.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times staff
The shooting in a Mid-City Los Angeles police station lobby Monday that left one officer injured and a gunman in critical condition was an isolated incident, a department spokesman said Tuesday. The shooting was reported about 8:30 p.m. at the LAPD Wilshire Division on Venice Boulevard near South La Brea Avenue. Four rounds hit the Los Angeles police officer in his ballistic vest and three hit his extremities, authorities said. He is expected to survive. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference after the shooting that the officer was "very, very lucky,” and by returning fire, saved his partner's life.
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HEALTH
December 21, 2009
In Southern California -- where the posting of wait times has yet to be adopted -- wait times are even longer than they are nationally. An unpublished survey of Los Angeles County hospitals by the Hospital Assn. of Southern California found that wait times for non-emergency patients averages seven hours. At county facilities, the wait time is 12 hours, said association spokesman Jim Lott, noting that those statistics aren't exactly something most hospitals want to brag about. One area hospital, San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, launched a billboard campaign last year promising no more than 30-minute waits.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
No matter how you count up the disparate numbers about the effects of some of our fellow Americans' infatuation with guns, the answer is the same: Our laws are killing and maiming us. The medical journal Pediatrics this week reported that, based on the most recent data from 2009, children are hospitalized for gunshot wounds at a rate of 20 a day, or one child every 72 minutes, for a total of 7,391 hospitalizations in 2009. Nine of 10 wounded kids are male, and disproportionately African American, which focuses the problem even more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2009 | Kimi Yoshino
Frustrated emergency room doctors filed a class-action lawsuit against the state Tuesday, saying that California's overstretched emergency healthcare system -- which ranks last in the country for emergency care access -- is on the verge of collapse unless more funding is provided. Across the state, scores of hospitals and emergency rooms have shut their doors in the last decade, leading to long waits, diverted ambulances and, in the most extreme cases, patient deaths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2012 | Steve Lopez
Debbie Cassettari had outpatient foot surgery to remove a bone spur. She arrived at the surgery center at 8 a.m., left at 12:30 p.m., and the bill came to $37,000, not counting doctor fees. In recovery now from sticker shock, she's waiting for her insurance company to do the tango with the clinic and figure out who owes what to whom. Gary Larson has a $5,000 deductible insurance plan, but has found that his medical bills are cheaper if he claims he's uninsured and pays cash. Using that strategy, an MRI scan of his shoulder cost him $350.
HEALTH
December 21, 2009 | By Kimi Yoshino reporting from Scottsdale, Ariz. >>>
His smashed finger wrapped in bandages, Len Balon walked into an emergency room and eyed the flat-screen monitor broadcasting live wait times for Scottsdale Healthcare's area hospitals. Osborn Hospital, where he was standing: two hours and 55 minutes. Thompson Peak hospital, a short distance away: four minutes. Balon sat down to read a long Civil War memoir he'd brought in preparation for a long delay. His dread of an emergency room wait was justified. A study released this month found that wait times nationwide had continued to climb over the last 10 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
An updated national report on U.S. emergency medical care has again awarded California an “F” for lacking access to speedy treatment, noting that the state has the lowest number of hospital emergency rooms per capita - 6.7 per 1 million people - in the nation. The America's Emergency Care Environment report card, which gauges how well states support emergency care, was released Thursday by the American College of Emergency Physicians, an advocacy group. Tracking 136 measures from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the organization called overcrowding in California emergency wards a “critical problem” and urged the state to increase its healthcare workforce and beef up a variety of facilities to reduce high wait-times for emergency services.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Problems with stimulant medications used to treat symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are sending an increasing number of Americans to emergency departments for treatment, a new government report warns. Between 2005 and 2010, a study finds, ADHD medication-related emergency room visits have more than doubled - from 13,379 in 2005 to 31,244 in 2010. While emergencies associated with ADHD medications rose slightly among children, the hike has been particularly pronounced in those over 18. The new data were reported Thursday in an issue of the DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2012 | Steve Lopez
The story of 11-year-old Ella Moser's $5,000 tummy ache begins in October, when her Studio City parents called their pediatrician one night and were advised to go to an emergency room, just to be safe. Ella's father, John Moser, was mindful of the fact that emergency room costs can be sky high. He's the son of a doctor who teaches medicine at Yale and has written several articles about excessive medical testing and overcharging. But Ella was in a lot of pain and as the pediatrician had advised, it might be smart to rule out appendicitis and other serious ailments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
An updated national report on U.S. emergency medical care has again awarded California an F for lacking access to speedy treatment, noting that the state has the fewest hospital emergency rooms per capita - 6.7 per 1 million people - in the nation. The America's Emergency Care Environment report card, which gauges how well states support emergency care, was released Thursday by the advocacy group American College of Emergency Physicians. Tracking 136 measures from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the organization called overcrowding in California emergency wards a "critical problem" and urged the state to increase its healthcare workforce and beef up a variety of facilities to reduce long waits for emergency services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
An updated national report on U.S. emergency medical care has again awarded California an “F” for lacking access to speedy treatment, noting that the state has the lowest number of hospital emergency rooms per capita - 6.7 per 1 million people - in the nation. The America's Emergency Care Environment report card, which gauges how well states support emergency care, was released Thursday by the American College of Emergency Physicians, an advocacy group. Tracking 136 measures from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the organization called overcrowding in California emergency wards a “critical problem” and urged the state to increase its healthcare workforce and beef up a variety of facilities to reduce high wait-times for emergency services.
OPINION
January 7, 2014
Re "Insurance raised use of hospital ERs, study says," Jan. 5 One logical conclusion is that hospitals need to create a more cost-effective way to handle non-emergency patients. Hospitals would be smart to establish a parallel non-emergency, primary-care clinic adjacent to their current ERs. They could be staffed with less-expensive care deliverers such as nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, respiratory therapists and pharmacists, still under the license of the hospital but without tying up the more expensive resources of a traditional ER. If hospitals do not fill this void, some other smart business will.
OPINION
January 5, 2014
Re "The gap in medical education," Opinion, Jan. 3 I would like to commend Rahul Rekhi's advocacy for incorporating health policy in medical education. In addition to focusing on healthcare systems and health economics, there is a critical need to focus on the impact of health policy on the underlying causes of disease. For example, medical care alone cannot address the obesity epidemic underlying the increasing prevalence of diabetes. Policies such as how we plan our communities, how much physical activity is provided in schools and how we promote nutritious food consumption have a great impact on the health of our communities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Good morning, and let's be honest - your New Year's resolutions are probably only good for a week, maybe two. Instead of trying to give up chips and salsa or joining a gym, you would be better off aiming not to be one of the millions who will land in emergency rooms in 2014 for entirely avoidable mishaps. And I just happen to have some pointers from ER doctors who have seen it all. In November, after writing about federal judge and WWII veteran Harry Pregerson's continued good deeds for his fellow servicemen and women, I got a book in the mail from the judge's nephew, Dr. Brady Pregerson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A 70-year-old man suffered burns early Friday when a fire broke out inside a room at the Long Beach Veterans Administration hospital, fire officials said. According to Long Beach Fire Capt. Jim Arvizu, the fire was reported about 12:40 a.m. at the hospital at 5901 E. 7th St. Firefighters who arrived at the scene saw heavy smoke coming out from one of the windows of the building that houses elderly and hospice patients, Arvizu said. When they made it inside the building, crews discovered that the hospital's sprinkler system had doused the flames.
HEALTH
February 25, 2010 | By Bill Scanlon, Colorado Public News
Grand Junction is heaven for patients with no health insurance, compared to most places in America, at least according to Michael Ervin. Patients in this Western Slope city pay as little as $7 for a visit to the doctor. They enjoy the benefits of preventive care and ready access to specialists. Ervin was 55 when he left his job as an advertising account executive for a simpler life and shorter work hours in Grand Junction. He soon found himself with a major illness requiring neurosurgery.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2010 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County health officials launched an investigation this week into allegations that the emergency room at County-USC Medical Center is so crowded, patients wait an average of 35 hours to be seen — sometimes without any vital signs being taken — and hospital workers fail to protect patient privacy. Within hours of receiving the complaint Tuesday, John Schunhoff, interim director of the county Department of Health Services, contacted the Board of Supervisors to say his department had begun an inquiry.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
When Jennifer Lawrence is on the late-night circuit, ridiculous things are bound to spill out of her mouth.  The wisecracking "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" star swung by "The Late Show With David Letterman" on Wednesday to promote her latest film, which opens Friday. The 23-year-old and her costars have been doing a whirlwind international press tour for the last few weeks before resuming filming on the third and fourth installments of the franchise.  JLaw was tired, so very tired, and it was becoming really obvious in her protracted, TMI-filled interview (to be followed up by an early appearance on "Good Morning America" on Thursday.)
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | By Carla Hall
It's unfortunate that an appellate court judge in Texas on Thursday lifted an injunction against two onerous restrictions in that state's new abortion law. Just days before, a lower court federal judge had ruled those restrictions unconstitutional because they hindered a woman's legal right to an abortion. This restrictive and unfair law has had an embattled path to daylight, and it's not over yet. No wonder that U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, the first federal judge to rule on it, observed in his opinion that abortion “is the most divisive issue to face this country since slavery.” This is the law that Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis famously blocked from being passed in late June when she filibustered for 13 hours, standing in pink gym shoes, on the floor of the state Legislature as a special session came to a close.
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