California Healthcare News

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Covered California Critiques ACA Alternatives Again Premium Content
Jul 13, 2017

The Covered California health insurance exchange has released another in a series of reports critical of GOP-backed Congressional bills that would repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

            The latest report, issued in conjunction with the National Academy for State Health Policy, concluded that out-of-pocket costs for many Californians would soar to multiples of what they currently pay, forcing many to forego their coverage.

Blue Shield Of California Sued Over Access To Mental Health Services Premium Content
Jul 13, 2017

Blue Shield of California and its claims administrator wrongly restricted patients’ access to outpatient and residential mental health treatment, a class-action lawsuit says.

CHA Taps Carmela Coyle As New President Premium Content
Jul 13, 2017

Carmela Coyle, a longtime hospital lobbying executive who played a significant role in reshaping the healthcare payment landscape in Maryland, has been named the new president of the California Hospital Association.

Tweaked ACA Repeal Bill Introduced In Senate Premium Content
Jul 13, 2017

Another bill to repeal and replace significant parts of the Affordable Care Act was unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday.

Seventeen Charged In Medicare Fraud Premium Content
Jul 13, 2017

Seventeen Californians have been charged with defrauding the Medicare program out of about $147 million, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.

            Little information about the charges were made available at presstime. The Justice Department said the fraud occurred in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

California Could Face $115 Billion Hit On Medi-Cal Premium Content
Jun 29, 2017

California risks losing $114.6 billion in federal funds within a decade for its Medicaid program under the Senate health care bill, a decline that would require the state to completely dismantle and rebuild the public insurance program that now serves one-third of the state, health leaders said Wednesday.

            The reductions in the nation’s largest Medicaid program would start at $3 billion in 2020 and would escalate to $30.3 billion annually by 2027, according to an analysis released by the state departments of finance and health care services.

Medicaid Waiver Was Boon To Care At Public Hospitals Premium Content
Jun 29, 2017

The Affordable Care Act may be under fire in Congress, but a new report from UCLA researchers has concluded that California’s waiver to get an early start on Medicaid expansion was a boon for better preventative and coordinated care at county and UC-operated public hospitals.

Pacific Alliance Medical Center Agrees To $42M Settlement With Feds Premium Content
Jun 29, 2017

Los Angeles-based Pacific Alliance Medical Center has agreed to pay $42 million to federal and state regulators in order to settle charges of improper financial relationships with physicians.

CDPH Says Rates Of Hepatitis C On The Rise Premium Content
Jun 29, 2017

New data released by the California Department of Public Health has concluded that rates of hepatitis C have risen significantly among younger state residents.

Covered California Blasts AHCA Again Premium Content
Jun 22, 2017

Covered California has continued to campaign against efforts by Congress and the Trump administration to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with the health insurance exchange saying on Wednesday that proposals being floated in Washington could lead to some individuals facing out-of-pocket costs approaching $60,000 a year.

Californians Anxious Over Possible ACA Repeal Premium Content
Jun 22, 2017

More than half of Californians fear they or their loved ones will lose health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced, a new statewide poll shows.

            A poll by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the UC Berkeley, released Tuesday, unmasks a deep sense of insecurity across the Golden State, especially among low-income residents and people enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program.

Kaiser Names Chief Nursing Exec Premium Content
Jun 22, 2017

Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente has named Linda Knodel its chief nursing executive and senior vice president of national patient care services.

            Knodel previously served as senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Mercy Health System, which includes 45 hospitals and 16,000 nurses in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Torrance Memorial Medical Center Discloses Phishing Incident Premium Content
Jun 22, 2017

Torrance Memorial Medical Center has disclosed a phishing incident that occurred in April that allowed access to two employee e-mail accounts.

            Although the hospital has provided few specifics, a statement it issued this week suggested that patient data was likely compromised.

Kaiser Fined For Improper Policy Cancellations Premium Content
Jun 15, 2017

The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has levied a six-figure fine against Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan for canceling health coverage for nearly 1,200 policyholders while failing to provide an appropriate grace period. In some instances Kaiser inappropriately canceling coverage even when payment, the regulator concluded.

Under Expanded Medi-Cal, ER Visits Soar Premium Content
Jun 15, 2017

Medi-Cal patients are swamping California emergency rooms in greater numbers than they did before the Affordable Care Act took effect, despite predictions that the health law would ease the burden on ERs.

            Emergency room visits by people on Medi-Cal rose 75% over five years, from 800,000 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.4 million in the last quarter of 2016, according to data recently released by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

CDPH Fines Nursing Home Facility $100,000 Premium Content
Jun 15, 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has fined a Bellflower nursing home $100,000 after a patient died following five separate falls on his head at the facility last year.

UCSF Launches Diversity Campaign Premium Content
Jun 15, 2017

The University of California at San Francisco healthcare system has launched an institution-wide diversity campaign. The initiative appears to be in response to rising hostilities against immigrants in the United States.

            The campaign includes posters that are being posted inside UCSF facilities saying that it welcomes all races, religions, genders, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and countries of origin, among others. The posters are also available to download and be printed.

AVH District Sues Alecto, Accuses It Of Fraud Premium Content
Jun 8, 2017

Accusing it of malfeasance and fraud, the Antelope Valley Healthcare District has sued Long Beach-based hospital management company Alecto Healthcare, claiming its brief tenure running the 422-bed hospital left it in disarray and led to millions of dollars in extra costs.

Covered California Tells Insurers To Prepare For The Worst Premium Content
Jun 8, 2017

Amid growing uncertainty over federal health care funding, Covered California is calling on health insurers to prepare for the worst.

            The state health insurance exchange last week instructed participating insurers to submit alternative premium hike proposals for 2018 in the event they lose federal payments for subsidies that reduce some consumers’ out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Molina Health Investigates Potential Data Breach Premium Content
Jun 8, 2017

Long Beach-based Molina Healthcare has temporarily shut down its patient portal as it investigates a potential breach of patient data.

            The Medicaid insurer disclosed late last month that it had shut down its portal for medical claims and customer information while it investigated a potential breach.

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