$1.2-billion expansion for Loma Linda University Health

[ Posted on August 26th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Roby

Loma Linda University Health’s planned $1.2 billion expansion will include a new 276-bed adult hospital, adding a 100-bed tower and more room for the neonatal intensive care unit to the children’s hospital and setting aside money for research facilities, California Healthline reports.

The health group will also expand its hospital complex in Murrieta. The current Loma Linda adult hospital does not meet seismic safety requirements, according to the story.

The Center’s Dylan Roby said with the expansion “they can become the 800-pound gorilla that drives specialty care” in the Inland Empire and add to their market share.

Read the story.

Bill proposes more consumer access to health providers

[ Posted on August 21st, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
Roby

Roby

A proposed bill, AB2533, would allow people to go outside their health provider network at no extra cost if the provider’s network is inadequate, according to a KPCC story.

The Center’s Dylan Roby said insurers would also have to report to the state their denials of care and patient complaints, which would be posted on a website for consumers to view.

“People could see which insurance companies have bigger problems with network adequacy and which ones didn’t; which ones had high rates of complaints or grievances,” said Roby.

The bill may go before the full state Senate for a vote as early as this week, the story says.

Read or listen to the story. 

Trees provide more than just shade in cities

[ Posted on August 20th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

CHIS_Logo_80pxCity dwellers are less likely to be overweight or obese and are more likely to report better overall health when they live in an area with a 28 percent tree canopy, compared to those who live in urban areas with sparser tree cover, according to a Sacramento Bee op-ed article.

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data from 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 on health outcomes were used in the study on which the article is based.

Health outcomes were compared for people living in two hypothetical urban neighborhoods, one with an 18 percent tree canopy and one with a 28 percent tree canopy. Various factors, including income, education, home ownership and race were controlled in order to compare identical populations.

The study estimated that those living in areas with a more expansive tree canopy would have a lower incidence of various health problems: 20 percent lower rates of diabetes and obesity in adults, 23 percent lower rates for being overweight/obese in teens, and 28 percent lower rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Read the article.

Who’s eating their fruits and veggies?

[ Posted on August 19th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Only an estimated 27.2 percent of California adults surveyed ate their recommended three servings of  fruits and vegetables the previous day, according to the Center’s new 2011-12 Race and Ethnicity Health Profile, a report on the health status of the state’s diverse population. Consumption varied by race and ethnicity, although nearly 1 in 3 mixed-race and white adults reported following the dietary guideline.

Fruits and Vegetables440px

 

City, street pattern design may influence health, study says

[ Posted on August 14th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
Evolution of community design and street networks in the U.S., from gridiron (left) to tree-like pattern (right).

Evolution of community design and street networks in the U.S., from grid pattern (left) to tree-like (right).

 

People who live in older, compact cities with shorter blocks and more intersections – which promote more walking and biking — have lower rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases, according to a study by the universities of Colorado and Connecticut published in the Journal of Health and Transport.

The study, which used California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data, analyzed street network density, connectivity and configuration and how they affected rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma in 24 medium-sized California cities, such as Apple Valley, Berkeley, Davis, San Luis Obispo, Temecula and Victorville.

Other findings:

  • Wider streets with more lanes correlated with increased obesity and diabetes rates, possibly because wide streets indicated an inferior pedestrian environment.
  • “Big box” stores indicated poor walkability in a neighborhood and were linked to a 13.7 percent increase in obesity rates and a 24.9 percent increase in diabetes rates.
  • More fast food restaurants were associated with higher diabetes rates and more convenience stores with higher rates of obesity and diabetes.

Read the study.

 

Medicaid patients and emergency room use

[ Posted on August 14th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
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Roby

Medicaid enrollees use emergency departments (ED) more than privately insured and uninsured patients, and the use accounts for 4 percent of all Medicaid spending, according study results published in a Medscape Medical News story.

The findings by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) also say that 10 percent of visits by adult, nonelderly Medicaid patients are for nonemergency treatment, comparable to nonemergency ED usage by privately insured patients. Those findings differ from a January report that said Medicaid expansion in Oregon in 2008 resulted in Medicaid patients using EDs 40 percent more than privately insured patients.

The Center’s Dylan Roby said that even if there were increased ED use, Medicaid expansion could prevent costly inpatient hospital stays.

Read the story.

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