Health

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    THE PULSE: Insurers launch patient information exchange

    HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE: Two rival health insurers have teamed up to form a nonprofit that will run an independent, statewide health information exchange that the companies hope will improve patient health and hold down medical costs,...

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    State accuses prominent pharmacist of violations

    The state has accused prominent local pharmacist Brian Komoto and Komoto Custom Care Pharmacy of manufacturing drugs without a permit, using expired ingredients to fill prescriptions, not listing an expiration date on some labels and other...

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    A year after symposium, progress against valley fever slow

    David Leon is always glad when a nurse changes his intravenous bag to amphtericin-B, a powerful antifungal medication. "It's yellow. I call it lemonade," he said during a visit Friday to a Bakersfield pulmonologist. The arrival of the...

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    THE PULSE: Keeping tabs on health & wellness issues

    KERN YOUTH INJURIES: Kern County youngsters are injured at higher rates than children in California as a whole, according to new figures released from Kidsdata.org. In 2012 -- the most recent year for which numbers were available -- Kern...

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    ASK EMILY: Big bills lurk in specialty drug category

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act.   It used to be that your health plan's annual out-of-pocket maximum was more like the safety net under a high wire: You sure were glad it...

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    Study recommends inmate immunity test for valley fever fungus

    SACRAMENTO -- Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three dozen...

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    KMC reduces size of upcoming layoffs

    Rising patient volume at Kern Medical Center and normal resignations and retirements have reduced the number of layoffs planned at the county-owned hospital by 15. Hospital CEO Russell Judd said that only 36 layoffs are planned now. "The...

  8. Bakersfield anesthesiologist loses medical license

    Bakersfield anesthesiologist Dr. Maria Socorro Rolland has lost the right to practice medicine in the state amid allegations she wrote improper prescriptions for narcotics, according to the Medical Board of California. The board filed a...

  9. DENTAL DANGERS: How the Dental Board of California investigates dentists

    Consumer complaints against dentists pass through a rigorous system of investigation and dental experts before the Dental Board of California makes any disciplinary move. In the most severe cases, the dental board turns to the California...

  10. DENTAL DANGERS: Peer review offers an alternative to court

    When dental work goes wrong, courts aren't the only place where patients can seek recourse. In California, patients -- and practitioners -- can bring grievances to a tribunal of dentists through peer review. It's a system of sorting out...

  11. DENTAL DANGERS: How to choose a dentist

    Whether it's for a routine cleaning or major repairs, vetting the right dentist can be trying. Dentists and dental malpractice attorneys said patients should do their homework before sitting in a dentist's chair and continue to be...

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    DENTAL DANGERS: Local dentist's invisible complaint file underscores dental board's shortcomings

    Over three decades, more than a dozen patients have claimed that one dentist’s shoddy work left them with issues varying from bone loss and excessive drooling to ill-fitting teeth or other problems. Some have stated it would take thousands...

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    DENTAL DANGERS: Patients paint different pictures of dentist's treatment

    Patients of Dr. Robert Tupac offer conflicting stories of their experiences with the courtroom-tested Bakersfield prosthodontist. The Dental Board of California, which licenses and regulates dentists, filed an accusation against Tupac in...

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