– July 11, 2014

Low-cost health provider expands into Fresno

MedLionMedLionHealth care provider MedLion announced plans to expand into the Fresno area by including William Work, M.D. in its network of affiliated physicians.

Dr. Work, a board-certified family practitioner, runs the Ultimate Living Medical Clinic in Fresno.

"As people lost their jobs during this economic downturn, so too have they lost their health care coverage and have either gone without routine, preventive medical care or turned to emergency rooms for their care," Work said in a press release. "MedLion is the solution to the crisis of the under and uninsured by providing affordable, comprehensive primary care and I'm delighted to be part of this cutting-edge model of care."

MedLion offers direct primary care for $59 a month, $39 for seniors and $19 for children, with $10 office visits. As well, lab work and imaging is negotiated up to 50 percent off.

The company said it has set its sights set on Fresno where nearly one in four residents are without any kind of health coverage.

Besides Fresno, the company also offers health care services in Monterey, San Francisco, Mountain View and Oakland and hopes to have hundreds of practices nationwide in the next 10 years.

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gordonwebstergordonwebster Gordon Webster - Publisher
gordonwebstergordonwebster Gabriel Dillard - Managing Editor

Latest Local News

Written on 07/10/2014, 3:12 pm by Gordon M. Webster
A legislative proposal that would have allowed school districts to create a split roll at the local level with regard to parcel taxes has died.
Written on 07/10/2014, 2:46 pm by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer
(AP) — Stocks fell Thursday as worries about the soundness of a European bank spooked U.S. investors, prompting them to sell off stocks and snap up less risky assets like gold and governments bonds. Fears emerged overnight about the financial stability of Espirito Santo International, a holding company that is the largest shareholder in a group of firms, including the parent of Portugal's largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo. Espirito Santo International reportedly missed a debt payment this week and was cited for accounting irregularities — issues that sparked Europe's debt crisis four years ago. The bank troubles had traders and investors talking about another European debt crisis. Thursday's stock sell-off started in Europe, and spread to the U.S, where the Dow Jones industrial average plunged as much as 180 points in the first half hour of trading. But anxiety in the U.S. quickly subsided and the market steadily clawed back for the rest of the day. While stocks never fully bounced back, the decline in the Dow was roughly half of what it was at the beginning of Thursday's session. "Today's news did reignite some of those contagion fears," said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading for RBC Global Asset Management. Portugal is one of the smaller eurozone economies and, like Greece and Ireland, needed an international rescue in 2011 during the continent's debt crisis. A three-year economic recovery program was supposed to straighten out its finances. That debt crisis in Europe was largely responsible for the U.S. stock market's last decline of 10 percent or more, known as a "correction" in Wall Street parlance. Investors back then worried that the crisis would spread to the U.S., which was starting to recover from its own financial trauma. On Thursday, the Dow ended down 70.54 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,915.07. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8.15 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,964.88 and the Nasdaq composite fell 22.83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,396.20. Traders and market strategists pointed to a couple of reasons why stocks didn't continue falling in the U.S. First, it has been a relatively quiet week for Wall Street, with little economic data and only a couple companies reporting their quarterly results, so any negative news was likely to "be met with overreaction," Larson said. "After participants had time to step back and assess, many realized the U.S. is in a relatively good spot compared with (Europe)," he said. Second, even with the U.S. market trading near all-time highs, many investors are sitting on large amounts of cash that haven't been put into the market. Any noticeable fall in stock prices would likely be met by investors willing to step in. "Generally, people are willing to put money into this market when the opportunity presents itself," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank, which manages $170 billion in assets. Investors did seek out some protection Thursday. Bond prices and gold rose as investors moved money into the traditional havens. The yield on the U.S. 10-year note fell to 2.54 percent from 2.55 percent late Wednesday. Gold rose $12, or 1 percent, to $1,336.30 an ounce. In stocks, investors moved money into utility and telecommunication stocks, also common areas to invest when uncertainty emerges. Utility and telecom companies typically pay a higher-than-average dividend, which makes them attractive when investors don't expect stock prices to go higher. The Dow Jones utility index, a collection of 15 utility companies, rose 0.6 percent — the only major index to rise Thursday. Telecommunication stocks rose an average of 0.8 percent.
Written on 07/10/2014, 2:26 pm by Business Journal staff
A Visalia doctor pleaded guilty last week to prescribing large quantities of oxycodone and hydrocodone without medical necessity and hiding proceeds to avoid financial reporting requirements. Terrill Eugene Brown, 61, agreed to forfeit more than $182,000 in cash and three BMW sedans obtained through the criminal activity. He also faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for dispensing the drugs and a maximum of 10 years and a $500,00 fine for the financial transactions. According to court documents, Brown prescribed large amounts of highly addictive prescription drugs to customers without legitimate medical need, out of the usual course of his practice in Fresno, Visalia and Modesto. The cash earned from the prescriptions was placed into different personal bank accounts to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements. According to court document, Brown prescribed an undercover investigator nearly 1,100 oxycodone pills within the first six months of 2012. Brown is scheduled to be rented in Fresno's federal court on Sept. 22. He is currently out of custody until his sentencing date.
Written on 07/10/2014, 1:54 pm by Business Journal Staff
Fresno Surgical Hospital has been named one of this year’s 82 “Physician-Owned Hospitals to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review, an industry-leading publication that reports on business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems. The 82 hospitals on this year’s list have earned recognition from various reputable sources, including Truven Health Analytics, Healthgrades, The Joint Commission, Press Ganey and CareChex. They have also earned high scores from CMS’ Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team chose hospitals for inclusion on the list based on those accolades.   There are 240 physician-owned hospitals in the U.S.  “We are honored to be recognized as one of the top physician-owned hospitals in the country,” said Kristine Kassahn, chief executive officer of Fresno Surgical Hospital, in a release.  “Our founders understood the importance of providing an optimal patient experience alongside quality surgical care. That continues to be our mission today.” According to CMS’ Hospital-Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, 88 percent of patients would recommend Fresno Surgical Hospital to friends and family.  The average for California hospitals is 70 percent, while the national average is 71 percent.  Additionally, Fresno Surgical Hospital has consistently earned recognition by industry benchmarking organizations as one of the top hospitals in both California and the nation for total joint replacement and prostate surgeries as well as for outstanding patient experience. Fresno Surgical Hospital provides surgical services dedicated to orthopedic, neurosurgery-spine, ophthalmology, women’s health, urology and general surgery.
Written on 07/10/2014, 1:51 pm by 
PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press
(AP) — A California chemical engineer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $28 million after his rare economic-espionage conviction for selling China the technology that creates a white pigment. A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Walter Liew's theft of DuPont Co.'s secret recipe for making cars, paper and a long list of everyday items whiter warranted the lengthy prison sentence. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White said Liew had turned against his adopted country over greed.A jury convicted the 56-year-old Liew of receiving $28 million from companies controlled by the Chinese government in exchange for DuPont's technology. Liew acquired the technology by hiring retired DuPont engineers and paying them for their knowledge and sensitive documents they took when they left the company.
Written on 07/10/2014, 1:46 pm by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press
(AP) — A federal judge ordered the IRS Thursday to explain under oath how it lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency's tea party controversy. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency a month to submit the explanation in writing. Sullivan said he is also appointing a federal magistrate to see if lost emails can be obtained from other sources. Sullivan issued the order as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group. He said the IRS declaration must be signed, under oath, by the appropriate IRS official. "I'm going to hold tight to that Aug. 10 declaration," Sullivan said. The IRS says it lost the emails in 2011 when Lois Lerner's computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She has since retired. Lerner, who refused to answer questions at two House committee hearings, has become a central figure in several congressional investigations over the handling of tea party applications. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has testified on the lost emails before Congress at least three times. Each time he was under oath. Koskinen said he first learned there was a problem with Lerner's computer in February, but didn't learn that emails were lost until April. The IRS notified Congress June 13. Judicial Watch lawyer Ramona Cotca complained that the IRS never informed her group or the court about the lost emails, even though Sullivan had ordered the IRS to produce documents related to the information request on a rolling monthly basis. Geoffrey Klimas, a Justice Department lawyer representing the IRS, said the agency had no legal obligation to tell Judicial Watch about emails that may have been destroyed two years before the group filed its request for information. Judicial Watch filed a series of requests with the IRS shortly after the tea party controversy erupted in May 2013. Among its requests, the watchdog group wanted communications Lerner had with others concerning the handling of applications for tax-exempt status since Jan. 1, 2010. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the IRS in October, saying the agency didn't produce any documents. Since then, the IRS started to produce some documents in February, Cotca said. On Thursday, Cotca asked Sullivan to conduct a limited discovery to determine what happened to the emails, perhaps compelling testimony from IRS officials. But Sullivan said that would be premature. Klimas noted that the tax agency's inspector general is conducting an investigation into the lost emails. Klimas said the inspector general has asked the IRS not to question witnesses that may have information about the lost emails to avoid interfering with its investigation. Sullivan said the sworn IRS statement should include information about the inspector general's concerns. Sullivan said he would assign federal magistrate John Facciola to look into ways of obtaining the IRS records from other sources, though it is unclear how much information could be recovered. In 2011, the IRS had a policy of backing up emails on computer tapes, but the tapes were recycled every six months, Koskinen told Congress. He said Lerner's hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed, after technicians in the agency's criminal investigations unit tried unsuccessfully to restore it. The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because she had copied in other IRS employees, Koskinen said. As part of the congressional investigations, the IRS said it is producing a total of 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013.
Written on 07/10/2014, 1:06 pm by KATHLEEN FOODY, 
TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press
(AP) — A high-priced prostitute charged in the overdose death of a Google executive aboard a yacht in California had searched online for how to legally defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin, police in California said Thursday, as authorities in Georgia reopened a similar case. Bar owner Dean Riopelle, 53, died of a heroin overdose in September 2013 in Milton, Georgia, about two months before Google executive Forrest Hayes died of an overdose on his yacht. Both had been seeing suspect Alix Tichelman, authorities said. Milton police Capt. Shawn McCarty said Tichelman, 26, called 911 on Sept. 17 to report that Riopelle, her boyfriend, had overdosed. She told investigators that he had been drinking and using heroin throughout the day, and that she found him on the ground after she got out of a shower. According to a police report, Tichelman said she tried to revive Riopelle for about five minutes before she called 911. She told police that he had been having a rough time but did not believe he overdosed intentionally. Riopelle died a week later. Tichelman has been described as a high-end prostitute by police in California, where she is charged with manslaughter in Hayes' death. "Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses so there's just several factors we want to look at to make sure that we didn't miss anything," McCarty said. Just before Riopelle's death, Tichelman had been arrested on a battery charge after he told police that she bit his hand during an argument. Riopelle had said that the woman took pills before they went to a bar he owned in Atlanta, where she drank, dove off the stage and exposed her breasts. After they returned to his home, they fought. She scratched his face and threatened to hit herself in the face and tell police he had done it, Riopelle said at the time. In California, police say surveillance video shows Tichelman casually walking over Hayes as he lay dying on his yacht, picking up clothes and heroin and swallowing the last of a glass of wine before lowering the boat's blinds and walking back on the dock to shore. Hayes was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht last November. Police said the surveillance video from the yacht shows everything that happened from the time Tichelman came aboard to when she left. Clark said Hayes, 51, had hired Tichelman before, and that their Nov. 23 encounter was a mutually consensual encounter including the introduction of the heroin. The video shows Tichelman preparing the heroin to a liquid and injecting it into Hayes' arm, Clark said. Shortly after, Hayes started clutching his chest, near his heart, Clark said. Tichelman tries to prop him up, but he then loses consciousness. Tichelman then starts picking up her belongings, including the needle, and cleans up a counter while stepping over Hayes several times. During that time, Tichelman calmly drinks a glass of wine and surveys the scene, Clark said. Tichelman then goes outside the cabin of the boat on the dock, looks back inside, then pulls down a window blind, closes a door and leaves, Clark said. "Never does she call 911 or call out to others in nearby boats for help. She never tries to administer any aid to him," Clark said about Tichelman. "She is more concerned about getting herself out and concealing evidence than helping Mr. Hayes." Clark said that investigators learned that Tichelman later did online searches "on how to defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin." Investigators also learned that Tichelman planned to leave California late last month, possibly to Georgia and maybe even the country, Clark said. Clark said it's not clear if Hayes was a frequent drug user. He said she had other clients from Silicon Valley, home to about 50 billionaires and tens of thousands of millionaires. Tichelman was arrested on July 4 after police said a detective lured her back to the Santa Cruz area by posing as a potential client at an upscale resort. Police said Tichelman boasted she had more than 200 clients and met them through a website that purports to connect wealthy men and women with attractive companions. Her clients included other Silicon Valley executives, Clark said. Tichelman's father has ties to the tech industry. Folsom software firm SynapSense announced hiring her father, Bart Tichelman in 2012. Neither the firm nor her father responded to immediate requests for comment. She is being held on $1.5 million bail after appearing in court Wednesday wearing red jail scrubs.___Collins reported from San Francisco. Associated Press reporters Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz, California, Michael Liedtke in San Francisco, and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this story.
Written on 07/10/2014, 12:59 pm by Gabriel Dillard
You might have heard about the guy who went on the crowd funding website Kickstarter to raise money to make potato salad. Since July 3, he had collected nearly $45,000 in pledges. The number was much higher — around $70,000 — as of last night, but apparently enough people came to their senses and withdrew their support. It's hard to guess what will go viral on the Internet, but it appears the wackier, the better. So if Zack Brown of Columbus, Ohio actually does receive $45,000 to make a batch of potato salad, let me suggest a place to put it. I got a press release today from a young Michigan inventor named Justin Herd with a Kickstarter campaign of his own. Herd is the originator of the One Bowl — a microwave-safe bowl with a built-in strainer and a snap-on lid. Herd, a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, lays claim to spending thousands of hours preparing noodles. The One Bowl is geared toward the poor college student who doesn't want to wash or otherwise deal with a strainer, pot, bowl and storage container to make a batch of Ramen or macaroni and cheese — the One Bowl is all those things. Herd — whose invention has won several Michigan-area business plan contests, earning nearly $15,000 in funding — has set a $50,000 Kickstarter goal to bring the One Bowl to market. Though it's no potato salad, the One Bowl has raised more than $30,000 on Kickstarter, with another $20,000 to go before July 20. While a $20 pledge to the potato salad Kickstarter will get you a potato-salad themed haiku, your name carved into a potato that will be used in the potato salad or a signed jar of mayonnaise, a $20 pledge to One Bowl's Kickstarter will get you a One Bowl. Get yours early, as I think the One Bowl will soon be standard issue in college dorms everywhere.
Written on 07/10/2014, 12:05 pm by
Monday Edition PDF Versions Below:JANUARY: January 6, 2014 January 13, 2014January 20, 2014January 27, 2014FEBRUARY: February 3, 2014February 10, 2014February 17, 2014February 24, 2014MARCH: March 3, 2014March 10, 2014March 17, 2014March 24, 2014March 31, 2014APRIL: April 7, 2014April 14, 2014April 21, 2014April 28, 2014MAY: May 5, 2014May 12, 2014May 19, 2014May 26, 2014JUNE: June 2, 2014June 9, 2014June 16, 2014June 23, 2014June 27, 2014JULY: June 7, 2014
Written on 07/10/2014, 12:05 pm by
Wednesday Edition PDF Versions Below:JANUARY: January 8, 2014 January 15, 2014January 22, 2014January 29, 2014FEBRUARY: February 5, 2014February 12, 2014February 19, 2014February 26, 2014MARCH: March 5, 2014March 12, 2014March 19, 2014March 26, 2014APRIL: April 2, 2014April 9, 2014April 16, 2014April 23, 2014April 30, 2014MAY: May 7, 2014May 14, 2014May 21, 2014May 28, 2014JUNE: June 4, 2014June 11, 2014June 18, 2014June 25, 2014JULY: June 2, 2014June 9, 2014

Latest State News

Written on 07/10/2014, 1:51 pm by 
PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press
(AP) — A California chemical engineer...
Written on 07/10/2014, 1:06 pm by KATHLEEN FOODY, 
TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press
(AP) — A high-priced prostitute charged...
Written on 07/10/2014, 11:01 am by 
MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer
(AP) — A Silicon Valley success story...
Written on 07/10/2014, 10:46 am by MICHAEL R. BLOOD, AP Political Writer
(AP) — At a time when election...

Latest National News

Written on 07/10/2014, 2:46 pm by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer
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Written on 07/10/2014, 1:46 pm by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press
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Written on 07/10/2014, 11:04 am by The Associated Press
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