At federal hearing, community outrage over plan to abandon Exide battery plant

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Portions of the Exide Technologies, lead-acid battery recycling plant located in Vernon are wrapped in white plastic even as a press conference with state and local elected leaders was held at Resurrection Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles to express their opposition to Exide's proposed bankruptcy settlement, specifically in regard to the option for Exide to fully abandon the facility in Vernon and its responsibility to clean the environmental damage it caused. Resurrection Church on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
The closed Exide Technologies lead-acid battery recycling plant in Vernon is partially enclosed in plastic to prevent the release of lead and other contaminants. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Federal authorities faced an outpouring of community opposition at a public hearing Tuesday over an Exide Technologies bankruptcy plan to abandon a shuttered Vernon battery recycling plant blamed for spreading lead contamination across southeast L.A. County.

The near-universal indignation came from dozens of members of the predominantly Latino communities surrounding the closed Exide Technologies facility. One person after another during the hours-long hearing blasted the proposal and urged authorities to reject it and pursue actions to hold the company accountable for its pollution.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency have agreed not to oppose the company’s plan, which is scheduled to be considered for approval at a bankruptcy court hearing Thursday.

“Accepting this terrible proposal would be

Read More

Local Health Plan Hosts Pink Stops in Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event

Local Health Plan Hosts Pink Stops in Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event

PR Newswire

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Oct. 13, 2020

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Even in the face of COVID-19, the Inland Empire will continue Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, thanks to the American Cancer Society-Inland Empire.  To raise funds for breast cancer research, the organization has reimagined their annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k event, transforming it into a socially safe Pink & Go Seek scavenger hunt. In support of this event, on October 17, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) will provide a $2,500 sponsorship and will host three Scavenger “Pink Stops” in the Inland Empire.

IEHP was a proud sponsor and participant at last year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event and is thrilled to continue participation at this year's reimagined and socially safe Pink & Go Seek scavenger hunt.IEHP was a proud sponsor and participant at last year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event and is thrilled to continue participation at this year's reimagined and socially safe Pink & Go Seek scavenger hunt.
IEHP was a proud sponsor and participant at last year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event and is thrilled to continue participation at this year’s reimagined and socially safe Pink & Go Seek scavenger hunt.

In

Read More

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Plans Earn 5 Stars – the Highest Rating

WATERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For an unprecedented sixth year in a row, Tufts Health Plan ’s Medicare Plans have once again been rated among the top health plans in the country.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rated Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO and Senior Care Options 5 out of 5 Stars in its annual Star Quality Ratings for 2021. With 400 plans rated nationally, this puts Tufts Health Plan’s Medicare plans in the top five percent nationally. Tufts Health Plan is one of only two plans in the country to receive this rating for six years in a row.

Tufts Health Plan’s Part D Prescription Drug Plan also received 5 Stars, the only plan to receive this rating in Massachusetts.

Tufts Health Plan has 105,000 members in its HMO and Senior Care Options plans, making it a market leader for both segments. In Massachusetts, it

Read More

One Enduring Legacy of the Clean Power Plan: Lung Health

The global COVID-19 outbreak has raised awareness about the link between air pollution and lung health. In that context, a more aggressive federal policy on clean power would provide U.S. business with a platform for promoting their contributions to public health, in addition to supporting global decarbonization and green job creation. Nevertheless, the Trump administration continues to undercut the bottom-line case for clean power, by replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with far less ambitious goals under the new Affordable Clean Energy rule.

The economic impact of the Clean Power Plan

The Obama administration launched the Clean Power Plan in 2015, based on the premise that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power to regulate carbon emissions from power plants under its Clear Air Act authority.

Rather than establishing new, one-size-fits-all restrictions on carbon output, the plan outlined a flexible approach. In concert with new EPA standards for carbon

Read More

York County schools plan to bring back more grades in early November

More grades could return to schools in November under a plan presented Monday evening to the York County School Board.

Last week, preschoolers, kindergartners and first graders returned as part of a two-day-a-week hybrid model. District leaders released a plan in September to bring back students up through third grade by Oct. 19. Some students with disabilities — and English language learners — also returned in September.

Superintendent Victor Shandor told the school board they’re on target to meet that goal and tentatively hope to have all elementary grades back on Nov. 5. Sixth and ninth graders could return Nov. 9, assuming conditions allow.

“This is a draft — it is target dates,” Shandor said. None of this is in stone.”

Administrators described the return of pre-K through first grade on Oct. 5 as a success that will hopefully translate to older grades.

“I would consider it definitely a success

Read More

Nurses at Backus Hospital in Norwich plan to strike Tuesday in protest over contract talks

Nurses at Backus Hospital in Norwich are set to strike Tuesday and Wednesday to protest what they say is the company’s refusal to negotiate a contract.

The hospital and Backus Federation of Nurses, part of AFT Connecticut that represents more than 400 nurses have been in contract talks since June. The two sides differ on compensation, improved distribution of personal protective equipment and recruiting and keeping new nurses, according to the union.

A spokeswoman for parent company Hartford HealthCare did not immediately respond to questions about staffing at Backus Hospital during the walkout. Donna Handley, president of the hospital, said earlier this month Backus will remain open during a strike and will work to reach an agreement.

Union President Sherri Dayton said recent negotiations led to progress on improved protective gear policies, expanded access for breastfeeding by new mothers and accountability for safe patient limits.

But the company has not

Read More

‘Ohana Health Plan and Samsung Donate Smartphone Devices to Healthcare Providers in Hawaii | News

KAPOLEI, Hawaii, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Centene and Samsung Electronics America are working together to expand access to telehealth for individuals and families living in rural and underserved communities. ‘Ohana Health Plan, as part of the Centene family, will be deploying this initiative in Hawaii by supplying local healthcare providers with Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to distribute to patients who would not otherwise have access to healthcare services virtually.

As of mid-July, a CDC survey found that 44.4% of respondents reported delaying or not receiving care for various reasons, including concerns and challenges around COVID-19. Meanwhile, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, rural residents already exhibited higher mortality rates and higher incidences of preventable inpatient and emergency room admissions than their counterparts in urban areas.

In response, ‘Ohana Health Plan delivered 150 Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones, with 90 days of free wireless service, to the following federally qualified health

Read More

‘Ohana Health Plan and Samsung Donate Smartphone Devices to Healthcare Providers in Hawaii

‘Ohana Health Plan and Samsung Donate Smartphone Devices to Healthcare Providers in Hawaii

PR Newswire

KAPOLEI, Hawaii, Oct. 12, 2020

Donations make virtual care more accessible in rural and underserved communities

KAPOLEI, Hawaii, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Centene and Samsung Electronics America are working together to expand access to telehealth for individuals and families living in rural and underserved communities. ‘Ohana Health Plan, as part of the Centene family, will be deploying this initiative in Hawaii by supplying local healthcare providers with Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to distribute to patients who would not otherwise have access to healthcare services virtually.

‘Ohana Health Plan delivered Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to providers at Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services to support patients in need of telehealth and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic.‘Ohana Health Plan delivered Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to providers at Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services to support patients in need of telehealth and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Ohana Health Plan delivered Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to providers at Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services to support patients in need of telehealth and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of mid-July, a CDC survey found that 44.4% of respondents reported delaying or not receiving care

Read More

As COVID-19 hospitalizations increase in Nebraska, metro Omaha, health systems plan for surge | Live Well

Hospital officials are not sounding the alarm, however.

Dr. Cliff Robertson, CHI Health’s chief executive, said Thursday that if needed, his health system has the ability to nearly double its capacity to 2,000 beds. Robertson said CHI Health hospitals also could increase the number of intensive care beds by using post-op recovery rooms and operating rooms.

“As a health system, we still have plenty of capacity,” he said.

Officials with Methodist Health System said they have plans in place for potential patient surges related to COVID-19.

“We’re all seeing an uptick in COVID-19 numbers across the communities we serve,” said Steve Goeser, president and CEO of the health system, “and our planning and preparedness continues.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cory Shaw, chief operating officer for Nebraska Medicine’s hospital and clinics, said, “Obviously, we’re concerned. But as of right now, we are in a good place in terms

Read More

VP Pence points to elusive health care plan, pretends it’s real

Vice President Mike Pence had plenty to say at this week’s debate against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), but his comments on health care policy continue to linger for a reason.

“Obamacare was a disaster and the American people remember it well. President Trump and I have plans to improve health care and to protect pre-existing conditions for every American.”

Right off the bat, it’s worth emphasizing that the Affordable Care Act still exists; it’s still working; and it’s still providing health security to tens of millions of American families, so for the vice president to refer to it in the past tense was odd.

It was also notable that Pence said “the American people remember” the ACA well, since the Affordable Care Act’s popularity continues to reach new heights. Indeed, “Obamacare” is more popular than any policy from the Trump/Pence agenda of the last four years.

But what seemed especially

Read More