Nurses at private hospitals, Veterans Affairs and a university teamed up to look at the rates of hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients who aren’t on ventilators.
Sacramento State University’s Dian Baker says those cases are not widely reported.
“Hospitals weren’t going to be paid if patients on ventilators got pneumonia," she says. "Meanwhile, the other patients that weren’t on the ventilators were also getting pneumonia, but not receiving the same amount of attention.”
Baker says the team designed a year-long program of basic oral care for patients at one hospital system. At the end of the year, pneumonia rates went down by 37 percent.
“Oral health care was the most modifiable. We felt it would be the easiest to implement, and its basic nursing care, and should be happening," says Baker. "So we just thought, let’s start with that! And we had these wonderful results.”
The nurse team estimated that eight deaths were prevented, almost two million dollars were saved, and 500 hospital days were averted.
Premiums in California’s individual marketplace will increase for the fifth consecutive year, due in part to federal changes and a predicted departure of healthy consumers.
Kaiser Permanente’s "Salud en Español" clinic is part of a wider effort to increase culturally appropriate services for Latino residents, who are at high risk for diabetes and hypertension but are less likely than white patients to go to the doctor.
Gov. Jerry Brown opted not to include major investments in public health insurance programs in his budget revision on Friday, citing a preference for one-time spending measures over long-term commitments.
Enrollment in Covered California dropped slightly this year. Numbers out today show 1.5 million people enrolled for 2018. That's down about two percent from the previous year. A drop in renewals offset gains in new enrollees.
There's a big public health push to stop pumping livestock with antibiotics. A new report looks at which fast food chains are being choosy about their meat.