California Healthcare News

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More State Reports Slam ACA Repeal Scenarios Premium Content
May 4, 2017

As the Republican-controlled Congress voted narrowly on Thursday to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, the state that has perhaps embraced the healthcare reform law the most vigorously continues to generate unsettling analyses of what changes might wreak.

AHCA Narrowly Passed In House Premium Content
May 4, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives voted narrowly on Thursday to replace portions of the Affordable Health Care Act.

            The House voted along party lines to pass the American Health Care Act. The final vote tally was 217-213. Twenty Republicans voted against passage. All 193 Democrats voted against the bill.

Blue Shield CEO Blasts AHCA Premium Content
May 4, 2017

The top executive at one of California’s largest health plans openly criticized the American Health Care Act this week, saying it would likely leave millions of state residents without health insurance.

            Paul Markovich, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California, said he and his organization could not support the American Health Care Act, the putative legislation intended as a “repeal and replace” vehicle for the Affordable Care Act.

CDPH Issues 17 Penalties To 14 Hospitals For Medical Errors Premium Content
Apr 26, 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) last week issued 17 penalties to 14 hospitals in Northern and Southern California that included fines topping $1.1 million, among the largest sums ever assessed by the agency in a single period.

            It’s the second set of fines and penalties issued by the agency this year, after going nearly a year without announcing any penalties or fines at all. In January, it issued 15 penalties to 14 hospitals and fines totaling $913,550.

Kaiser Study Raises Warning For Those At Risk of Colorectal Cancer Premium Content
Apr 26, 2017

A new extensive study of Kaiser Permanente enrollees has concluded that the risk of colorectal cancer rises when there is a significant delay between a positive fecal screening test and a followup colonoscopy.

DMHC Fines Health Plan of San Mateo $17,500 Premium Content
Apr 26, 2017

The California Department of Managed Care (DMHC) has fined the Health Plan of San Mateo $17,500 for the mishandling of enrollee grievances.

Covered California Raises Concerns About Fate of Cost-Sharing Reductions Premium Content
Apr 20, 2017

The Covered California health insurance exchange has estimated that its enrollees would encounter double-digit premium increases should the Trump administration eliminate cost-sharing reductions that were introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act.

California Hospitals Lose Ground On Safety Premium Content
Apr 20, 2017

Nearly half of California hospitals received a grade of C or lower for patient safety on a national report card aimed at prodding medical centers to do more to prevent injuries and deaths.

DMHC Issues Additional Missed Deadline Penalties Against Arcadian Health Premium Content
Apr 20, 2017

The Department of Managed Health Care has fined Medicare Advantage insurer Arcadian Health Plan $50,000 for failing to inform the regulator of multiple material changes in its operations in a timely manner.

            The penalty was imposed after the DMHC determined that Arcadian had failed to notify it of three plan-to-plan transactions, primarily to expand the number of in-network providers.

California Cities Lead Nation With Polluted Air Premium Content
Apr 20, 2017

Cities in California held the majority of the top 10 cities in the United States with ozone and particulate matter pollution, according to new data from the American Lung Association.

Consumer Complaints To DMHC Double Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

The Affordable Care Act has delivered health insurance to millions of Californians over the past four years, but that does not necessarily mean the recipients are completely happy with their change in situation.

            That’s borne out by data from the Department of Managed Health Care, which indicated that complaints to the agency about health plans essentially doubled between 2013 and 2015.

California Lawmakers Trying To Rein In Big Pharma Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

In November, California voters defeated a ballot proposal that would have given state government more control over drug prices. It was a victory for pharmaceutical companies, which spent more than $100 million campaigning against the measure.

Hospitals Receive Healthgrades Awards For Patient Safety Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

Fifty-one hospitals in California have received awards from Healthgrades for excellence in patient safety.
            The hospitals were rated in five different areas for patient outcomes, including joint replacement, orthopedics, spinal surgery, cardiology and pulmonary care. The hospitals selected for the award were at least 1.6 times more likely to have outcomes above the nationwide average.

FDA Grants 23andMe Right To Perform Risk-Assessment Genetic Tests Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

23andMe, the Mountain View-based genetics laboratory, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to perform direct-to-consumer genetic risk reports.

            23AndMe received clearance from the FDA to perform tests to assess the risks of 10 different partly genetic-predictive conditions, including late-onset Alzheimer's disease, celiac disease, Gaucher disease and Parkinson's disease, among others.

Kindergarten Vaccination Rates Rise Significantly Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

The California Department of Public Health has announced that the rate of kindergarten students vaccinated statewide rose to 96% for the 2016-17 school year, up from 93% during the prior school year.

            CDPH officials credited the increase to a recently enacted state law that eliminated the personal belief exemption for vaccinations, as well as campaigns to increase public awareness about vaccinations.

Health Net Says It Is Addressing CFO Issue Premium Content
Apr 13, 2017

A spokesperson for Woodland Hills-based Health Net said it would work with the Department of Managed Health Care after the insurance regulator issued a cease-and-desist order related to its acquisition last year by Midwest health insurer Centene.

Study Closely Ties California Hospital Pricing To Revenue Premium Content
Apr 6, 2017

Few patients pay a hospital’s full price for a procedure or test. But a new study shows why those charges still matter.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Board and the American Enterprise Institute found that list prices, often dismissed as meaningless by the hospital industry, are a critical gauge of which hospitals ultimately receive higher payments.

New UCSF Study Shows Some Ethnic Groups May Not Get Proper Health Screenings Premium Content
Apr 6, 2017

A new study led by researchers at UC San Francisco concludes that Americans of Latino and South Asian descent are far more likely than whites to be at high risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, even when their weight is in a normal range.

DMHC Says Centene, Health Net Violated Merger Terms Premium Content
Apr 6, 2017

The Department of Managed Health Care has issued a cease and desist order against Health Net and its parent company, St. Louis-based insurance giant Centene, claiming they violated a key provision of the agency's terms and conditions pertaining to their merger last year.

Kaiser Names New Norcal CFO Premium Content
Apr 6, 2017

Chandrika “C.J.” Bhalla has been named the new chief financial officer for Kaiser Permanente's Northern California division.