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Rebecca Plevin

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A new collaboration among media outlets is building a new database of health care prices by asking people to share how much they paid for common procedures. The results could shed light on how much services typically cost, and eventually help bring costs down.

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As with much of the science around valley fever, the evidence base is still being built -- studies are scarce; data collection was erratic for years and continues to be spotty; and understanding the health effects of weather is a big, complicated task.

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Community members are invited to attend Valley Fever Research Day Saturday at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research. The event is an opportunity for researchers to connect with community members who have been impacted by the fungal disease.

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The sustained fire power and reach of seven news outlets – combined with community outreach efforts – have yielded results as we approach the one-year anniversary of the new Reporting on Health Collaborative and its series on the toll of valley fever.

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California's Attorney General has questioned the feasibility of the federal order to move more than 3,000 inmates especially vulnerable to valley fever from two Central Valley prisons.

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State and experts are now digesting the directive for California's Department of Corrections to remove inmates from two Central Valley prisons, who are especially at risk of contracting valley fever.

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Still, moving thousands of prisoners is a massive endeavor complicated by factors such as inmates’ security levels, and medical, mental health and rehabilitation needs.

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Over the last seven years, 40 California state prisoners have died with valley fever as either the primary or the secondary cause of death. For this reason, the prison system has been ordered to transfer at risk inmates from two facilities in endemic areas.

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Legislators are poised to take action on valley fever, a long-ignored disease that is the subject of a Reporting on Health Collaborative project.

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Just how well is California doing transitioning children from the outgoing Healthy Families low-cost health insurance program to Medi-Cal? The state's version of its progress is rosier than what children's health advocates are seeing on the ground.

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Announcements

Got a great idea for a reporting project on the health of underserved communities in California or on the performance of the state's health and social safety nets?  We're offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000, plus six months of mentoring, to up to eight individual journalists, newsrooms or cross-newsroom collaboratives.  Deadline to apply:  September 20.

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