California Healthcare News

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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.

Senate Approves Single-Payer Bill Premium Content
Jun 8, 2017

The California Senate last week approved a bill that would create a single-payer healthcare system for the state’s 40 million residents. However, no apparatus has been set up to pay for the new system.

            The bill, SB 562, passed 23-14. It now heads to the Assembly for revisions and a potential vote. However, it is likely the Assembly version would include new taxes, meaning a two-thirds majority would be required for passage of such an amended bill in both houses.

Cardiac Surgeons Push Back On CABG Mortality Data Premium Content
Jun 1, 2017

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has released new data on the outcomes of patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft procedures in 2013 and 2014, and some of the surgeons are not happy with how they fared.

UCLA Hospitals Create No-Handshake Zones Premium Content
Jun 1, 2017

Mark Sklansky, M.D., a self-described germaphobe, can’t stop thinking about how quickly those little microbes can spread.
            “If I am at a computer terminal or using a phone or opening a door, I know my hands are now contaminated, and I need to be careful and I need to wash my hands,” said Sklansky, professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

CAHP Comes Out Against Single Payer In California Premium Content
Jun 1, 2017

The California Association of Health Plans (CAHP) has come out strongly against a proposal that is gaining momentum among lawmakers to explore creating a single-payer health plan.

            CAHP issued a two-page graphic fact sheet entitled, “Single-Payer In California Is Not The Answer.” It contended that single-payer would be a “step backwards” for the state’s healthcare system.

Prime Acquires Another Hospital in Texas Premium Content
Jun 1, 2017

Prime Healthcare has announced the acquisition of a medium-sized Southern Texas hospital through its non-profit arm.

            The Ontario-based Prime Healthcare Foundation has acquired 297-bed Mission Regional Medical Center in Mission, Texas for an undisclosed amount, it was announced last week. The deal is expected to close in July.

Covered California Attracting Healthier Enrollees Premium Content
May 25, 2017

As debate in Congress continues to swirl about whether to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the Covered California health insurance exchange has released a report that its enrollee mix has gotten healthier in the past year.

            The data, which was compiled by Covered California Chief Actuary John Bertko, who works as an independent contractor, and two of the health exchange’s analysts, was published last week on the website of the public policy journal Health Affairs.

CBO Score Changes Little For ACA Repeal Bill Premium Content
May 25, 2017

An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of the American Health Care Act, passed by the House of Representatives last month, estimates it would lead to modest cuts in the deficit but still cut tens of millions of Americans off the insurance rolls over the next decade.

Single-Payer In California Could Carry Huge Cost Premium Content
May 25, 2017

A proposed single-payer health system in California would cost about $400 billion annually, with up to half of that money coming from a new payroll tax on workers and employers, according to a state analysis.

DMHC Fines Humana $25,000 Premium Content
May 25, 2017

The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has fined Humana $25,000 for failing to notify the agency of material changes to its products and provider networks in a timely manner, often taking years to do so.

Kaiser Gets High Marks In J.D. Power Survey Premium Content
May 25, 2017

Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan reaped among the highest scores in J.D. Power’s annual survey of health plans.

            According to Power, Kaiser received the highest ratings for its health plans in California, Virginia, Maryland, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and the South Atlantic. It was the only payer in California to get a top ranking. Power surveyed 33,624 commercial health plan members between January and March of this year.

The Avis Of Hospital Accreditation Agencies Premium Content
May 17, 2017

In another in an occasional series of interviews, Payers & Providers editor Ron Shinkman spoke with Patrick Horine, chief executive officer who co-founded what is now known as DNV GL- Healthcare (DNV GL) with his mother-in-law Becky Wise in the basement of their home.

California Lawmakers Move To Preserve Family Planning Services Premium Content
May 17, 2017

As national Republican leaders continue to try to defund  Planned Parenthood, California and other states are considering steps to protect access to family planning services.

Kaiser Family Foundation Say 6.3 Million With Pre-Existing Conditions Could Be Vulnerable Premium Content
May 17, 2017

A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) say 6.3 million Americans could be forced to pay more for insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions.

DMHC Fines Anthem Blue Cross $65,000 Premium Content
May 17, 2017

The Department of Managed Health Care has issued an administrative penalty against Anthem Blue Cross of California and fined the insurer $65,000 for dropping coverage of 224 members without providing them an appropriate grace period.

California Healthcare Leaders Unhappy With AHCA Premium Content
May 11, 2017

California’s healthcare leaders expressed disappointment at the passage of the American Health Care Act by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives last week, the first step toward what the Republican party has promised would be a “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

            The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed narrowly through the House on a party-line vote. It is now headed to the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to be extensively rewritten to gain any hope of passage in that more deliberative body.

Bill Would Restrict Drug Company Influence Premium Content
May 10, 2017

A new California bill aims to reduce the pharmaceutical industry’s influence in medical decision-making by restricting payments and gifts from drug companies to doctors and other medical providers.
            State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), who authored the bill, said that when drugmakers woo physicians with meals and other enticements they generate brand loyalty, which can raise health care costs and even compromise patient safety.

Sutter Health Creates Initiative To Improve Mental Health Services Premium Content
May 10, 2017

Sacramento-based hospital system Sutter Health is teaming with the employer coalition One Mind at Work and the Steinberg Institute to rethink how employee mental health services are delivered.

            The three organizations said they would develop and provide education and training resources; advocacy services; and help employers improve and transform their employee assistance programs. No specifics were immediately disclosed. May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.

Journalist Arrested For Questioning HHS Secretary Premium Content
May 10, 2017

A journalist for the Public News Service was arrested at the West Virginia Capitol building on Tuesday for allegedly breaching security protocols while asking a question of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

            Daniel R. Heyman was taken into custody after repeatedly asking Price whether or not domestic violence would be considered a pre-existing condition as part of the proposed Republican overhaul of the Affordable Care Act.

A Shakeup At Molina Healthcare Premium Content
May 4, 2017

The chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Long Beach-based Molina Healthcare have left abruptly, the company announced on Tuesday.

            CEO J. Mario Molina, M.D. and his brother CFO John Molina departed after working for decades at the health insurer their father C. David Molina founded 37 years ago. Both remain on the Molina board of directors.