GMO and pesticide battle heats up legislative activity
After their surprise and stunning victory against Monsanto and the big agrochemical companies in the Maui ballot initiative in November 2014, the Center for Food Safety and the entire anti-GMO, anti-pesticide movement decided to pursue their policy agenda aimed at environmental health and safety with initiatives that establish pesticide buffer zones around schools and hospitals in Hawaii and require notification disclosure of restricted-use pesticides near sensitive populations.
In fact, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii island all have passed legislation at the county level that regulates the seed industry, but the federal courts assert that it is the state government, not counties, that holds this power. The result is tumultuous legislative activity at the state level.
Kaiser will provide 24/7 pediatric care at Maui Memorial
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii for the first time will be providing round-the-clock pediatric care at the state-owned Maui Memorial Medical Center.
More than a half-dozen Maui pediatricians recently announced they were going to resign staff privileges at the hospital, effective May 1, because of the difficulty in running an office practice and covering the hospital.
"It's hard working at the hospital and running an office practice," said Wesley Lo, Maui Memorial's chief executive officer. "Attending all these births and emergencies disrupts continuity of care, economics and lifestyle. It's a quandary for me because we are facing unprecedented deficits. I was faced with entering into a contract (with Kaiser) that increased my costs but covers the community. We're really grateful that Kaiser stepped up to the plate."
Hackers snag HMSA patient data
Members who received out-of-state care may be affected by the theft at Anthem
An estimated 18,000 current and former members of the Hawaii Medical Service Association had their personal information stolen during a cyberattack on Anthem Inc., a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan that serves residents in 14 states.
HMSA, the state's largest health insurer, said in a post Monday on its website that the number of affected members could increase as it determines whether 2,000 unknown names in Anthem's database are or were HMSA members.
HMSA slams bill to force small-business Obamacare policies
Hawaii Medical Service Association, which in August stopped selling small-business insurance on the Hawaii Health Connector, is opposing a bill that would force it to reverse that decision.
The bill would require all Hawaii health insurers with a 20 percent market share to offer small business plans via the Hawaii Health Connector, the state's version of Obamacare.
Boy’s death confirmed as first case of brain-eating amoeba in tap water
On a sunny summer day in July 2013, a 5-year-old boy and his family visited relatives in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The last thing on their mind was a brain-eating amoeba. The boy played outside for much of the day on a slip 'n slide, as kids do. All was well until nine days later, when he started to vomit and complained of an excruciating headache. He developed a high fever: 104 degrees. Tylenol didn’t help.