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Consumers Union Documents

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Blog Posts

  • California advocates voice concerns at medical board meeting

    This month, California advocates worked with CU to voice safety concerns at the California Medical Board meeting. We testified on several issues that affect the public and transparency…

  • California advocate featured in LA Times on how to research your doctor

    Michele Monserratt-Ramos, member of CU’s California Safe Patient Network, was featured in a February 9 Los Angeles Times article on how to research your doctor. Michele has been active on patient safety issues since the tragic death of her husband-to-be, Lloyd Monserratt.

  • California activists urge lawmakers to reform California Medical Board

    In March 2013, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project organized a small but powerful gathering of eight California consumer advocates in Sacramento to discuss patient safety issues related to California’s medical board sunset review process, hospital infections, and more. One advocate who attended, Alicia Cole, sent a terrific email about the meeting that we decided to post it as a guest blog.

  • California Releases New Report on Hospital Infection Rates

    A report by the California Department of Public Health, makes California a national leader on public reporting of infections.

  • Consumer voices to be heard at national hospital infection meeting

    Meet the eleven consumer advocates who will be attending a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)hospital infection meeting this week.

  • Consumers win on reporting surgical infection rates in CA

    Last week, California hospitals lost their bid to avoid reporting their infection rates to the public. A California judge upheld a 2008 state law – one of the strongest in the nation – that calls on hospitals to report infections occurring from a broad array of surgeries.

  • If you’re in the San Diego area tomorrow, meet us at the Empowered Patient training

    On Saturday, October 9, the Empowered Patient Coalition along with Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and AARP California will be holding a special training in San Diego for patients and caregivers on how to stay safe in the hospital.

  • A Shot In The Dark: Not Enough California Healthcare Workers are Getting Flu Shots

    It’s the start of flu season and you might be worried about the spread of germs. We’re worried too. Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project released a report today that found nearly half of all hospital workers in California didn’t get flu shots during the 2008-2009 flu season.

  • Let’s talk about labels

    A bill in California (SB 1390) would create a minimum of 12-point font for the most crucial information on medication labels and would require translation of medication label information into commonly used non-English languages.

  • California Moving Too Slow On Patient Safety Progress

    Since 2006, California lawmakers have passed laws to improve patient safety, yet the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been moving at turtle speed to enforce these laws.

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News Articles

  • Addicted-doctors bill dies in committee -- and good riddance
    Source: Los Angeles Times (Friday May 23, 2014)

    A bad bill in CA that would have resurrected the “doctor diversion” program has been stopped in its tracks. CA patient safety activists had a lot to do with that!

  • Former hospital owner will say he bribed senator
    Source: UT San Diego (Friday February 21, 2014)

    “LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former owner of a tiny orthopedic hospital with an unusually heavy roster of spinal surgery patients was charged Friday with health care fraud in a $500 million scheme to defraud workers’ compensation insurance providers with the help of a California state senator.”

  • Former Owner of Long Beach Hospital Charged in Health Care Fraud Scheme That Paid Tens of Millions of Dollars in Kickbacks for Referrals for Spinal Surgeries Billed to Workers’ Comp Programs
    Source: FBI (Friday February 21, 2014)

    FBI: “The former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach was charged today in a long-running health care fraud scheme that involved tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks in exchange for referrals of thousands of patients who received spinal surgeries.”

  • How to research your doctor's ratings and record
    Source: Los Angeles Times (Sunday February 9, 2014)

    Where can California consumers go to find information about their doctors? Patient safety advocate Michele Monserratt-Ramos, a member of Consumers Union’s activist network, said consumers should look beyond a doctor’s resume and investigate civil and criminal records, although some important information isn’t available to the public. Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center Director, Dr. John Santa, said to be wary of doctor rating websites that rely on a small sample of patients.

  • DPH Issues Nearly $300K in Penalties to Five California Hospitals for Undisclosed Reasons
    Source: California Healthline (Friday February 7, 2014)

    Why did the California Department of Public Health issue fines against five California hospitals? The public would like to know.

  • Hospital-Acquired Infections Decreased in Calif. Hospitals, Data Show
    Source: California Healthline (Thursday December 5, 2013)

    “The number of hospital-acquired infections reported at California health care facilities dropped slightly from 2011 to 2012, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health, Payers & Providers reports.”

  • Report: California Earns 'C' Grade for Physician Quality Data
    Source: California Healthline (Tuesday December 10, 2013)

    California has received a “C” grade for the accessibility of data on physician quality, according to a national report released Tuesday by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Kaiser Health News’ “Capsules” reports.

  • Carole Moss on Huffington Post Live: How To Stop Hospitals From Killing Us
    Source: Huffington Post Live (Tuesday December 3, 2013)

    Hear CA advocate Carole Moss, who founded Nile’s Project, discuss “how to stop hospitals from killing us.”

  • Medical board suspends doctor faulted in Lap-Band surgery death
    Source: Los Angeles Times (Thursday August 22, 2013)

    The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of an anesthesiologist faulted in the care of a patient who died after weight-loss surgery at a clinic tied to the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign.

  • Lap-Band surgery center tied to 1-800-GET-THIN loses accreditation
    Source: Los Angeles Times (Wednesday August 21, 2013)

    Following patient deaths, a Beverly Hills lap-band outpatient surgery center has lost its accreditation, which under California law, prohibits the center from performing surgeries on patients under general anesthesia. The operators of these lap-band surgery centers have disciplinary records with the California Medical Board and face a joint criminal investigation involving both state and federal law enforcement agencies.

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Research and Reports

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