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August 13, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Measures that would expand the roles of nurse practitioners and pharmacists advanced in the Assembly on Tuesday, setting the stage for a fierce lobbying battle in the session's final weeks. Both measures wade into the so-called scope of practice debate over what type of medical care can be administered  by non-physicians, setting off a turf war between doctors and other medical providers. The more contentious of the two bills is SB 491, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice without physicians' supervision.
May 8, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center improved slightly from an F to a D in a national hospital safety report released Wednesday, while Cedars-Sinai Medical Center stayed at a C grade. Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit healthcare quality organization, based the scores on an analysis of infections, injuries, medication errors and other problems that cause patient harm or death. The organization publicizes the scores in an effort to inform patients and reduce safety problems, said Leah Binder, its president and chief executive.
July 1, 2011 | By Lucian Leape and Helen Haskell
Forty years ago this month, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that sleep-deprived resident physicians reading electrocardiograms made twice as many errors as their rested counterparts. Back then, in 1971, there were no limits on the hours that medical residents could be scheduled to work. Thirty-six-hour on-call shifts were the norm. Under new rules that take effect Friday, newly minted medical school graduates will start their internships with shifts limited to no longer than 16 hours.
March 14, 2001
As a practicing physician, I appreciate your March 11 story, "Risk Was Known as FDA OKd Fatal Drug." When the diabetes drug Rezulin was still on the market, I was pushing for its withdrawal, or at least a "black box" warning to physicians. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the congressional mandate to the Food and Drug Administration has been to protect the public. In the 1990s, when Congress asked the FDA to speed approval for drugs that could potentially save lives in hopeless diseases such as AIDS and terminal cancer (fast-track approval)
September 8, 2011 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
State public health officials have fined 12 California hospitals for medical errors that hurt or killed patients, according to a report released Wednesday. Three of the hospitals — L.A. County/USC Medical Center, Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Brotman Medical Center — are in Los Angeles County. The penalties were issued for errors such as leaving foreign objects in patients' bodies during surgery and administrating the wrong medication. They occurred in 2009 and 2010.
March 26, 2013 | By Michael J. Mishak
SACRAMENTO -- A series of bills to expand the roles of nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals has set off a turf war with doctors over what non-physicians can and can't do in medical practices. Citing a doctor shortage in California, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has proposed legislation that would redefine professional boundaries for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists to help treat what is expected to be a crush of newly insured Californians seeking care next year under the federal healthcare law. But physicians are pushing back, arguing that the proposed “scope of practice” changes would radically alter longstanding medical standards and jeopardize patient safety.
April 29, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
The union representing nearly 13,000 University of California patient-care workers plans to take a strike vote beginning Tuesday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME 3299, will hold the strike vote through Thursday and announce results next week. The vote comes after nearly a year of negotiations between the workers and UC over staffing, pay and pension reforms. The contract expired in September. Union President Kathryn Lybarger said the university is putting profits above patient safety and that workers want better staffing and fair pay. The hospitals have seen more understaffing and the use of temporary employees, she said.
August 7, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Hospital chain HCA Holdings Inc., under government scrutiny for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries and other medical procedures on some Florida patients, has posted healthy profits at its three hospitals in Southern California. The Nashville, Tenn., company said in a securities filing Monday that officials with the U.S. attorney's office in Miami had requested information about medical necessity reviews for certain "cardiology services. " HCA said those reviews had occurred at about 10 of its hospitals, primarily in Florida.
Dr. Richard Borison and Bruce Diamond appeared to have it made at the Medical College of Georgia. The two had published widely and won dozens of research contracts from pharmaceutical companies to study drugs aimed at fighting Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. They also drove luxury cars and lived lavishly. Prosecutors say that's because they swindled more than $10 million from 1988 to 1996 and disregarded patient safety in their quest to get results.
May 22, 2008 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Thirteen hospitals, including five in Los Angeles and Orange counties, have been fined for placing patients at risk of serious injury or death, California health officials said Wednesday. Two Los Angeles County public hospitals, Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA medical centers, received citations. The two, along with County-USC Medical Center, form the backbone of the county's health system. Also fined were Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center and St.
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