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Friday Favorites: 4 health stories you might've missed



If you're lying awake at night, flooded with questions about antibiotic-resistant superbugs or hospital sales, you might want to try meditation.
If you're lying awake at night, flooded with questions about antibiotic-resistant superbugs or hospital sales, you might want to try meditation.

This may have been a short workweek. But that doesn't mean there was less news!

KPCC's best health stories of the week help you understand the superbug outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the proposed sale of the Daughters of Charity hospitals. We also offer you some research that could help you clear your mind of these complex stories.

Superbug FAQ: Where did it come from? What's the risk?

A type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria – known by its acronym, CRE – was reportedly transmitted at UCLA,  between October and January, during endoscopic procedures that use a particular kind of scope that's hard to clean.

This is what gets me: Los Angeles County health officials say UCLA was cleaning these scopes appropriately. And since late January, UCLA  says it's stepped up its game: It's been using gas sterilization to clean the devices – an extra measure that goes beyond recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and from the manufacturer, Olympus Medical Systems Group.

How the Attorney General will decide on the Daughters of Charity hospitals sale

Today is the deadline for Attorney General Kamala Harris to decide whether to approve the sale of the non-profit Daughters of Charity hospitals to for-profit Prime Healthcare.

KPCC's Elizabeth Aguilera compiled this Q&A to help you understand why Harris – who's running for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat - is involved in this deal, why it's controversial, and whether the decision could be influenced by politics.

Pregnant and uninsured? Don't count on Obamacare coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, women can sign up for coverage outside of the three-month open enrollment periods -- after they've given birth.

But advocates say that creates a gap: Uninsured women who learn they're pregnant outside of the enrollment period can get stuck paying thousands of dollars for prenatal care and delivery – or going without care.

Trouble sleeping? UCLA researchers say meditation might help

If you're lying awake at night, flooded with questions about antibiotic-resistant superbugs or hospital sales, you might want to try meditation.

UCLA researchers, working with colleagues from USC, found that for older adults with moderate sleep problems, a meditation course led to better quality sleep and fewer bouts of insomnia. The improvements were on par with those conferred by clinical sleep therapy or sleeping pills, though without the side effects, reports KPCC’s Adrian Florido.

Which health stories are you reading and talking about this week? E-mail us at Impatient@scpr.org or ping me on Twitter at @rebeccaplevin.