Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Pacific Grove Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Pacific Grove Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

What Does California’s Proposition 61 Mean For Riverside?

What is Proposition 61?

The Legislative Analyst’s Office for the California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor reports that Proposition 61 was an initiative designed to prohibit state agencies from paying more for prescription drugs than “the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the same drug.”

Following the election on November 8, 2016, however, residents in California voted in opposition of Proposition 61, which means that, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, state agencies will “continue to be able to negotiate the prices of, and pay for, prescription drugs without reference to the prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the only government agency that currently possesses the ability to negotiate the price of prescription medications, therefore allowing them to pay the least amount for certain prescription drugs than any other agency. Presently, the VA pays approximately 24 percent less for prescription medications than the rest of the country, and they have the ability to negotiate more discounts on top of that. If Proposition 61 had come to fruition, it would have allowed everyone to benefit from the same price reduction.

Increase in Prescription Medication Costs

Proposition 61 was brought forth as a result of the continual increase in prescription drug costs. In October of 2016, Business Insider reporter, Lydia Ramsey, noted that the price that Americans have paid for prescription drugs thus far in 2016 is seven percent higher than that which was paid in 2015. This rise in costs marks the largest change in the country over the past 24 years.

With this constant increase, individuals throughout the state of California, and the rest of the country as a whole, have had to find ways to afford the medications that they are prescribed. It was the hope of those in favor of Proposition 61 that the implementation of the law would lessen the financial strain for individuals who are in need of prescription medications.

Pharmaceutical companies, however, made a concerted effort to prevent Proposition 61 from passing. As noted in The New York Times, the “pharmaceutical industry [contributed] $109 million to defeat Proposition 61, the most money raised for or against any of the 17 statewide ballot initiatives this year.” Their efforts proved successful.

Positives and Negatives

One of the most obvious negatives of Proposition 61 being opposed is that individuals in Riverside, and throughout the rest of California, face the risk of prescription drug costs potentially continuing to skyrocket. Those who struggle to afford them now will continue to struggle and may, unfortunately, face greater struggles should the prices increase.

That being said, however, there can be one benefit found in Proposition 61’s failure to pass. A drop in the cost of prescription drugs could make it easier for individuals who do not possess a medical need for such medications to acquire them. In other words, if the proposition had passed, individuals who abuse various types of prescription medications in order to achieve a recreational high or to self-medicate outside of the guidelines of a physician, could have had a higher likelihood of getting their hands on these substances. Lower costs can mean easier access, which, in the state of the country’s current drug addiction epidemic, can mean an increase in the prominence with which these substances are abused. The abuse of opioids, in particular, has placed the country in a state of heightened crisis as addictions to these substances have overwhelmed countless communities.

Opioids are found in many prescription painkillers, and if the cost of those medications decreased, it is probable that they would become even more widely abused.

Regardless of the costs of prescription medications, it is imperative for treatment centers in Riverside and its surrounding communities to remain abreast of the prominence of prescription drug abuse in the area. Heightening awareness and making options for care readily available can be a positive step in helping to alleviate this crisis.

Unsure of the help you need?

My son was admitted here and through the care, compassion & medical treatment he has been clean & sober. Because of this facility, he is alive and very happy. We are all grateful that he went to Pacific Grove Hospital.

– Cindy A.
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