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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1992 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The signs for Robert Martinez were not good when he arrived at the hospital four months ago. They rarely are when a body is stripped almost completely of the familiar insulating layer called skin. With more than 80% of his body burned in a refinery steam explosion and his lungs horribly damaged by contaminants from the blast, Martinez could breathe only with the aid of a ventilator as he lay comatose in his specially equipped bed at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
An Anaheim police K-9 handler is "devastated" as he waits to see if his German shepherd will fully recover from being shot Thursday during a chase of probation suspects on the run. Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt said the dog, Bruno, slept through the night after undergoing extensive surgery after he was shot in the face by a suspect on the run. Authorities have said Bruno is expected to survive, but that the 12 to 18 hours immediately after...
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
An average day in a U.S. hospital cost $4,287 last year. It was less than $1,000 in New Zealand, France, South Africa and Spain. That's one of several cost comparisons reported Tuesday in an annual report by the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry trade group. The London organization surveyed its member companies in 12 different countries to gauge the variation in medical prices. "With the cost and availability of healthcare being an important topic around the world, it's essential that we not only examine the disparities that exist, but also why and how certain gaps do exist," said Tom Sackville, the group's chief executive.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My husband and I have decided that next year we want to have a baby. So we have at minimum a year and nine months to make sure we're financially prepared. I did some cursory Googling and I'm already a bit overwhelmed. I'm not sure where to start. I know I should figure out how much the medical costs will be, but how do I figure out how much everything else costs? Do you have a checklist of things we should be aware of and consider? One thing I could use some guidance on is whether I should stay home or put our baby in daycare so I don't miss out on work benefits like healthcare and 401(k)
OPINION
February 16, 2005
Re "Drug Benefit's Cost Estimates Soar, Surprise," Feb. 10: Medicare drug costs $724 billion instead of $400 billion? Must have been faulty intelligence. Surely the faultiest intelligence is that of President Bush. Or could it be that of gullible voters who fall for so much of his deceit? Stan Horn Long Beach
BUSINESS
March 6, 2012 | By Patrick McMahon
A study comparing prices for hospital stays, physician office visits, drugs and other medical procedures in developed countries shows U.S. prices among the most expensive.  The International Federation of Health Plans, a London-based network of 100 insurance companies in 30 developed nations, annually looks at prices, and last week published its 2011 Comparative Price Report on medical and hospital fees by country. Among the results: Cost per day for hospital charges averaged $3,949 in the U.S., followed by Chile at $1,552.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2010 | By Duke Helfand
Californians with health insurance spent a smaller share of their incomes for medical care than insured people in most other states from 2001 to 2006, research has concluded. Just 12% of those with insurance in the state faced a "high financial burden" for healthcare during that time, meaning they spent more than 10% of family income on insurance premiums and healthcare services, according to a report this week by the Center for Studying Health System Change. That put California in the bottom rung of 29 states in the study, which looked at care received by people under age 65. The 12% figure was the lowest among the states from 2004 to 2006.
BUSINESS
May 27, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
A Long Beach hospital charged Jo Ann Snyder $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. But because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. Then Snyder tripped across one of the little-known secrets of healthcare: If she hadn't used her insurance, her bill would have been even lower, just $1,054. "I couldn't believe it," said Snyder, a 57-year-old hair salon manager. "I was really upset that I got charged so much and Blue Shield allowed that.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog and the father of two children killed by a drug-abusing driver have taken the first step toward waging an initiative campaign to raise limits on medical malpractice "pain and suffering" jury awards. The proposed law, which was submitted for title and summary to the attorney general's office Thursday, needs petitions with valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters. Supporters hope to qualify for the November 2014 general election ballot.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
WellPoint Inc., the country's second-largest insurer, beat Wall Street expectations with a second-quarter profit jump of 24% as lower medical costs partly helped the Indianapolis company post strong results. "We are pleased with our second-quarter results and encouraged by the positive momentum we have across the organization," said Joseph Swedish, WellPoint's chief executive since March. This was the second earnings report that has beat analyst expectations under Swedish. He took the helm after the company's previous chief executive, Angela Braly, was ousted last year.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A long-dormant conflict over medical malpractice is heating up again at the state Capitol. A coalition of consumer advocates, trial lawyers and the nurses union is preparing to gather signatures for a state ballot initiative to raise the state's cap on certain medical malpractice damages. The campaign wants voters to change a 38-year-old California law that puts a $250,000 cap on the amount of money that juries can award for non-economic "pain and suffering" damages.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
California's health insurance rates for a new state-run marketplace came in lower than expected this week, but one downside for many consumers will be far fewer doctors and hospitals to choose from. People who want UCLA Medical Center and its doctors in their health plan network next year, for instance, may have only one choice in California's exchange: Anthem Blue Cross. Another major insurer in the state-run market, Blue Shield of California, said its exchange customers will be restricted to 36% of its regular physician network statewide.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, said its first-quarter profit dropped 14% as medical costs climbed higher. The Minnetonka, Minn., company said its health plan membership increased 18% in the quarter to 42 million people, boosted by international growth. But UnitedHealth's biggest expense, medical costs, shot up 13% in the quarter to $22.6 billion. Analysts expressed some surprise at the increase in medical costs since some hospital chains and other medical providers have reported weaker patient volume.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
An average day in a U.S. hospital cost $4,287 last year. It was less than $1,000 in New Zealand, France, South Africa and Spain. That's one of several cost comparisons reported Tuesday in an annual report by the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry trade group. The London organization surveyed its member companies in 12 different countries to gauge the variation in medical prices. "With the cost and availability of healthcare being an important topic around the world, it's essential that we not only examine the disparities that exist, but also why and how certain gaps do exist," said Tom Sackville, the group's chief executive.
OPINION
March 16, 2013
Re "Gun tax bills miss the mark," Editorial, March 12 It is rather this editorial that misses the mark. Guns and gun-related injuries and deaths in the United States account for Vietnam-level casualties every year. Costs necessarily accrue to society as a result of these casualties. Society must pay for police to investigate them, paramedics to try to save the lives of the victims, security guards in stores and banks, and now, after the massacre in Connecticut, armed guards in schools.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
For seniors and their families, Alzheimer's disease and its hefty price tag are an increasingly scary prospect. About 5.4 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Because of growing life expectancies and aging baby boomers, that number is expected to triple by 2050. Alayna Tillman's mother and aunt both have Alzheimer's disease and live with Tillman, her husband and two sons in Lake View Terrace. Tillman says Medicare pays for many of the medical costs her mom and aunt incur.
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