The Health Beat Blog

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    KMC reduces size of upcoming layoffs

    BY JAMES BURGER AND COURTENAY EDELHART Californian staff writers jburger@bakersfield.com,
    Thursday, Jul 24 2014 05:29 PM

    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 big difference is that volume is up," Judd said.

    KMC also saw normal job attrition, he said, and together those forces have helped avoid additional cuts. The hospital is still closing the home health care and outpatient physical therapy departments, Judd said.

    The vast majority of cuts, or 14 positions, will be to medical support technicians. Five office services assistants and three transport services associates are on the chopping block, too.

  2. 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...

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    Personal chef on mission to improve health

    The first time personal chef Mayra Melgar was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she didn't give it much thought. The illness would end when the baby was born, she figured, so she ignored it. But it happened again with her second child,...

  4. State accuses local ob/gyn of 'gross negligence'

    The California Medical Board said Friday it was moving to suspend or revoke the medical license of a local obstetrician/gynecologist it accuses of "gross negligence" in the treatment of pregnant women. Dr. Rahul Sharma practices in Delano,...

  5. Dignity settles with government over drug probe

    Dignity Health has agreed to pay the federal government $1.55 million to settle claims it mishandled controlled substances at its hospitals and clinics. Dignity is California's largest hospital provider and the country's fifth largest...

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    THE PULSE: Keeping tabs on health & wellness issues

    STARS OF HEALTH PLAN ENROLLMENT: Nonprofit health care provider Clinica Sierra Vista is having a couple of good weeks. In the past month, the chain of clinics that serves low-income patients in Kern and Fresno counties got two pieces of...

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    THE PULSE: Keeping tabs on health & wellness issues

    BE CAREFUL, STDS ARE RISING: The state is reminding sexually active adults to use protection during intercourse in light of a spike in sexually transmitted diseases. Last year, California had 216,000 reported STDs, the California...

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    Locally, observers are split on high court's ruling

    In Bakersfield, abortion opponents applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had challenged a mandate to cover contraception along with other preventive services at no extra charge to insured employees. "Of...

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    THE PULSE: Valley fever training and procedure database

    VALLEY FEVER TRAINING: The Health Officers Association of California is developing a continuing medical education program on the diagnosis and treatment of valley fever. Also called coccidioidomycosis, valley fever is an infection caused...

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    Obamacare open enrollment to resume in November

    Open enrollment to purchase individual health plans through the state's health insurance exchange will run from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, 2015. It had been unclear when open enrollment would resume because of efforts to synchronize Covered...

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    THE PULSE: Keeping tabs on health & wellness issues

    FREE LECTURES FOR WOMEN: Dignity Health is sponsoring "Below the Belt," a series of free monthly women's health seminars . The seminars will cover a variety of obstetrics and gynecology topics. The first one is 6:30 p.m. June 25 at the...

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    Valley fever research eligible for new federal funding

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to include the fungus that causes valley fever on a list of qualifying pathogens mandated by the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now, or GAIN, Act. The law created incentives for the...

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    THE PULSE: America leads the world in obesity

    Shocking news: Americans are fat. The United States had 13 percent of the global population of overweight and obese people last year despite accounting for just 5 percent of the world's population, according to a new analysis of trend data...

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