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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Benjamin Houghton had fewer reasons than most to fear the surgery he'd scheduled at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to remove his potentially cancerous left testicle. For one thing, the 47-year-old Air Force veteran and father of four already knew that he could function normally with a single, healthy testicle. For another, he was getting his surgery in a system that has prided itself on its pioneering efforts to prevent medical errors.
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BUSINESS
August 3, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Dozens of hospitals across the country lost access to crucial electronic medical records for about five hours during a major computer outage last week, raising fresh concerns about whether poorly designed technology can compromise patient care. Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of electronic health records to hospitals and doctors, said "human error" caused the outage July 23 that it said affected an unspecified number of hospitals that rely on the Kansas City, Mo., company to remotely store their medical information.
BUSINESS
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
OPINION
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
BUSINESS
March 8, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
A Los Angeles jury Friday ordered healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 million in damages to a retired prison guard who said he was injured by the company's defective artificial hip. But in a victory for the company, the 12-member jury declined to levy any punitive damages, despite being told by the guard's lawyer that J&J's behavior warranted up to $179 million. This marks the first verdict in more than 8,000 similar suits filed against the world's biggest medical-products maker over this all-metal hip introduced in 2005 by DePuy, the orthopedic division of J&J. In this case, Loren Kransky, a 65-year-old former prison guard in Montana, claimed that he suffered metal poisoning and other health problems from the company's ASR XL hip implant he received in 2007.
HEALTH
November 30, 2009 | By Karen Ravn
When he arrived for his first visit, the 55-year-old diabetic had no idea what constituted a healthy diet, says pharmacist Steven Chen. "He ate two or three dinners a night, such as two whole pizzas about an hour apart." And he didn't know how to manage low blood sugar attacks. "He would eat an entire pie or cake instead of the recommended one serving of carbohydrate every 15 minutes." Not only did Chen advise his patient about good nutrition and exercise, he stressed the importance of taking his medications every day exactly as prescribed.
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