Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | California Healthline

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | California Healthline

S.F.’s Wastewater Tells Different Story About Covid, Wachter Warns: While the official number of daily covid-19 cases reported by San Francisco’s health department continues to fall, the virus levels in the city’s wastewater samples appear to have stopped declining, said Dr. Bob Wachter, UCSF’s chief of medicine, on Twitter. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bonta Scolds Temecula Over Possible Abortion Ban: California Attorney General Rob Bonta has weighed in on a Temecula City Council member’s request that the city consider a ban on abortions, warning that local laws “may not conflict with state laws” and that his office could take legal action against the city. Read more from East Bay Times. Keep scrolling for more news on abortion. 

Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.

Times Of San Diego:
San Diego GOP Conflicted On Abortion? Three In Ramona Evidence A Wide Split  

The San Diego County Republican Party and the state GOP agree: Voters should reject Proposition 1, which would make abortion a constitutional right in California. Democrats are a universal “yes” on Prop. 1. And a recent poll suggested that 69% of likely voters would approve this legislative constitutional amendment. But in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham proposing a national abortion ban, the divisive issue has grown even hotter. (Stone, 9/26)

Arizona Abortion Clinics Send Women To Other States

California is already seeing evidence of an increase in abortion patients coming from other states. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new website – abortion.ca.gov – that promotes all of the state’s abortion services, including a list of clinics and information about state laws. On Monday, the Governor’s Office said the website – while not tracking and storing people’s personal information — had seen an increase in out-of-state page views, with about 58% of traffic coming from people in other states. That increase comes after Newsom used some of his campaign money to pay for billboards in seven conservative states to promote the website. Meanwhile, a California Access Reproductive Justice – a nonprofit that helps people pay for the logistics of getting an abortion – said 10 of the 63 people it helped in August were from Arizona. (Cooper and Tang, 9/27)

ABC News:
Amid Nationwide Abortion Debate, American Cancer Society Warns Fertility Preservation For Cancer Patients Could Be At Risk In The Future

More than 32,000 young patients newly diagnosed with cancer now live in states that have imposed or have impending abortion restrictions, according to a new study published Monday in The Lancet Oncology. Because many life-saving cancer treatments harm future fertility, many teens and young adults with cancer decide to freeze eggs, sperm or embryos in the hope of having a family later in life. (Jhaveri and DiMartino, 9/27)

Teen Interest In Long-Lasting Birth Control Soars After Roe

Sixteen-year-old Adismarys Abreu had been discussing a long-lasting birth control implant with her mother for about a year as a potential solution to increasing menstrual pain. Then Roe v. Wade was overturned, and Abreu joined the throng of teens rushing to their doctors as states began to ban or severely limit abortion. “I’m definitely not ready to be pregnant,” said Abreu, who had Nexplanon — a reversible, matchstick-sized contraceptive — implanted in her arm in August. Her home state of Florida bans most abortions after 15 weeks, and not having that option is “such a scary thought,” she said. (Hollingsworth and Rodgers, 9/27)

The Rhythm Method Is All Over TikTok. Here’s What Women Need To Know

Some call it the rhythm method, others talk about natural family planning, fertility awareness or natural contraception. Whatever name you know it by, it’s having a major moment on TikTok. Videos about the “rhythm method” have gained a staggering 905 million views on the platform, while videos about “natural family planning” have reached 61 million. (Moss, 9/26)

Bill Would Limit Solitary Confinement In California 

Proponents of limiting or doing away with solitary confinement have long argued it is inhumane, ineffective and tantamount to torture. But one former inmate – who spent decades alone in 8-by-10 cells at multiple California prisons, much of it in solitary – has a surprising outlook. He thinks eliminating solitary confinement is a bad idea. (Duara, 9/26)

Medi-Cal Providers Fear Disruption To Patient Care

More than 1.7 million Medi-Cal patients may get a new insurance provider in the coming months as a result of the state’s first-ever competitive bidding process, but critics and some providers fear the change will cause major disruptions to care. California’s Department of Health Care Services last month announced its intent to award $14 billion-worth of Medi-Cal contracts to three companies — Health Net, Molina and Anthem Blue Cross — down from nine. The deal is part of the department’s multifaceted effort to overhaul the behemoth program that provides health insurance for a third of all state residents. Medi-Cal is the state’s version of federal Medicaid, which serves low-income residents. (Hwang, 9/26)

Capital & Main:
Weak Penalties And Deep Pockets: Why Kaiser Permanente Can Wait Out Striking Mental Health Care Workers

The day before she went on strike, Jenny Butera checked her schedule. Butera, a marriage and family therapist, had a backlog of adult outpatients needing to be seen through her Kaiser Permanente office in downtown Sacramento. Despite days in which she counseled nearly a dozen of them in individual sessions, one after the other, nothing was easing the crunch. The date on Butera’s calendar was Aug. 14.“My earliest next appointment,” Butera said, “was mid-October. For anybody.” (Kreidler, 9/22)

California Leads The World In Testing Drinking Water For Microplastics 

You are drinking microplastics. Miniscule fragments of deteriorated plastic from bottles, bags and other products are in the deepest depths of the ocean, in the Antarctic and Arctic, and in countless rivers and lakes. Now, these specks — some less than 5 millimeters and others only visible by microscopes — are in the drinking water of millions of Americans. (Vasilogambros, 9/27)

The Mercury News:
Do Trendy Tiny Really Homes Work As A Solution To Homelessness?

“What I hear from the experts is that this is a brutally challenging task – to help people who have been out on the street, in many cases, for many years, in many cases suffering from severe mental health challenges or substance abuse,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who has been a major supporter of tiny homes. “So of course, there’s going to be a significant number who are going to fail, and the lesson is not ‘OK, let’s stop.’ The lesson is, ‘It’s going to take multiple interventions.’” (Kendall, 9/25)

U.S. FDA Clears Additional Lots Of Moderna’s Covid Booster Amid Shortage 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday it has authorized an additional five batches of Moderna Inc’s updated Covid booster shots made at a Catalent facility in Indiana, after it deemed them safe for use. Last week, the health regulator had allowed use of ten batches of Moderna’s updated booster shots made at the Bloomington, Indiana facility, owned by a unit of Catalent Inc, which is currently not a part of the company’s emergency use authorization. (9/26)

Vaccines Protected Pregnant Women Against Severe COVID For 3 Months

Pregnant women who received two or three doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were well protected against Delta- and Omicron-related hospitalization and emergency department (ED) and urgent care (UC) visits for more than 3 months, but protection appeared to wane to zero by 4 months, shows a US test-negative case-control study published today in JAMA Network Open. (9/26)

Omicron Subvariants Linked To Reinfections

A new study based on COVID-19 patients in France shows high reinfection rates among people with different Omicron subvariants, including BA.1, BA.2, and BA.5. The study is published as a research letter in Emerging Infectious Diseases. … The median age of patients was 32, and 70% were women. Time between two infections was less than 90 days for 50 patients (26.6%) and less than 60 days for 28 patients (14.9%). (9/26)

Modern Healthcare:
Nursing Home Ownership Data Now Available From HHS

The Health and Human Services Department has unveiled a public database that provides unprecedented access to information about who owns nursing homes. The database, which debuted Monday, contains information about who owns the 15,000 skilled nursing facilities that Medicare reimburses and could offer regulators and the public with insights into the often opaque nature of nursing home company structures. (Berryman, 9/26)

USA Today:
Nursing Homes Data Released By Biden Administration Shows Ownership

Officials said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data is part of the Biden administration’s effort to shine a light on an industry that receives substantial federal funding. The new ownership information follows a data release in April on more than 3,000 nursing homes that changed ownership through mergers or purchases since 2016. (Alltucker, 9/26)

The Supreme Court’s Latest Health Care Tempest

A Supreme Court case that takes up Medicaid recipients’ ability to sue providers is providing a new battleground over patients’ rights and could potentially open the door to erosion of the program’s benefits. (Bettelheim and Owens, 9/27)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022