News of the Month — October 2021

October 27th, 2021

California Healthline/Kaiser Health News wrote about SB 221 and the long waits for care at Kaiser Permanente that bill seeks to remedy.

NUHW members from Kaiser Permanente were quoted in coverage about the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Government Audit and Oversight Committee hearing on how city employees, retirees face months-long wait for mental health care. 

NUHW was featured in an article in The Progressive Magazine about how unions have devoted more attention to getting better contracts, PPE and training for healthcare workers amid the pandemic.

A story in the North Bay Bohemian highlights NUHW calls for more oversight of Wellpath’s contract at the Sonoma County Jail, where the contractor has racked up “over 4,000 unstaffed hours” of mental health services between November 2018 and February 2021. 

NUHW is quoted in a Fierce Healthcare article on whether bonuses and benefits will be enough to tackle healthcare’s workforce shortages. 

A NUHW Kaiser Vallejo member was quoted in a San Francisco Examiner article about delays for services at Kaiser’s mental health care system and SB 221, which would create new standards for follow-up appointments within 10 business days and awaits Gov. Newsom’s signature. 

A NUHW member from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital was interviewed by ABC7 News in San Francisco after the hospital granted her a vaccine medical exemption but placed her on an unpaid leave of absence.

Alameda County will allow fully vaccinated people to remove their masks in a limited number of indoor settings — bringing its policies into line with those of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Contra Costa counties. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, starting Nov. 1,  people in offices, gyms, churches and other indoor venues that host groups of people who gather regularly will be able to remove their masks, provided all are vaccinated and no one has COVID-19 symptoms.

Kindred Hospital Brea has spent 55 weeks at or above operational capacity and places among the list of the 10 Southern California hospitals that have spent an extended amount of time with full ICUs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

In a complaint filed on Oct. 26, the Department of Justice alleges that Kaiser Permanente defrauded Medicare out of about $1 billion by altering Medicare Advantage patients’ medical records to add diagnoses after the fact that didn’t exist or were unrelated to patient visits.