California Healthcare News

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Lawmaker Revisits Drug Price Transparency Premium Content
Dec 7, 2016

A key California lawmaker has reintroduced legislation intended to make drug price increases more transparent, vowing to take up arms again with the pharmaceutical industry over runaway costs.

Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, announced a measure that would require pharmaceutical companies to notify state health programs and private insurers before they increase prices. Hernandez dropped a similar bill last session because he was dissatisfied with amendments that raised the threshold for reporting.

CDPH Fines Nursing Home $25,000 Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

The California Department of Public Health has fined a Lancaster nursing home $25,000 for contributing to the death of one of its patients earlier this year.

Sutter Health Will Pilot Needle-Free Blood Draws Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

Sacramento-based hospital operator Sutter Health will pilot the use of a technology allowing blood draws without needles.

            The technology, known as PIVO and developed by San Francisco-based Velano Vascular, uses a patient's existing intravenous line to draw blood, as opposed to continual needle pricks in the patient's arm or hands.

Medi-Cal Program in Danger of Extensive Rollback Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

California grabbed the first opportunity to expand Medicaid and ran with it, helping cut the number of uninsured people in half in a few short years.

            Thanks in part to billions of dollars in federal funding, a third of California’s residents — including half its children — are insured by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

ACA May Be Imperiled, But Most Like Current Setup Premium Content
Nov 30, 2016

Just as a Donald Trump administration could be poised to strike down the Affordable Care Act or at least give it a serious make it over, a new poll by UCLA researchers suggests that most adults are happy with the coverage they receive.

In Brief: CDPH Launches Anti-HIV Program Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

The California Department of Public Health has announced a new plan to try and reduce new HIV infections statewide.

            The plan is intended to reduce infections by increasing access to care, reducing disparities in communities that are currently underserved and create a more coordinated response to the HIV issue.

In Brief: Kaiser to Get $24 Million for in Utero Study Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

Kaiser Permanente has been awarded a significant grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how in utero exposure to chemicals influence the risks of obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders.

            The grant, initially for $3.25 million, will initially be for the first two years of a seven-year study. Total funding is expected to total $24 million over the course of the study.

DMHC Fines Anthem Blue Cross $650,000 Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

The Department of Managed Health Care has fined Anthem Blue Cross $650,000 for what it said were systematic violations of how it handles enrollee grievances, and expressed skepticism the issue has been addressed.

California's Only Certainty Is Uncertainty Premium Content
Nov 17, 2016

As California's provider community shakes off the shock that accompanied Donald Trump's election as President of the United States last week, it has begun to take a closer look at what that will mean for the future of healthcare in California.

            For now, there is little to see that they like.

In Brief: CWCI Says That Legal Marijuana Can Still Be Banned By Employers Premium Content
Nov 10, 2016

Even though voters approved Proposition 64 by a 12-point margin on Tuesday, a new report by the California Workers' Compensation Institute said workplace bans on the drug would still legal.

In Brief: Kaiser Permanente Reports Strong Third Quarter Premium Content
Nov 10, 2016

Kaiser Permanente reported healthy gains in both operating revenue and investment returns in the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

The Oakland-based Kaiser reported operating revenue for the quarter of $16.2 billion, up from $15.3 billion for the year-ago quarter, a gain of just under 6%. Operating income was $672 million for the quarter, compared to $363 million a year ago.

Medi-Cal Big Winner In Ballot Propositions Premium Content
Nov 10, 2016

California's voters overwhelmingly approved baking in a hospital bed tax, a hefty new tax on tobacco and electronic cigarettes, and an extension of a tax on its wealthiest residents, all of which will help fund Medi-Cal and other healthcare services statewide. But they narrowly defeated an initiative intended to control rising drug costs that was fought with more than $100 million in money from the pharmaceutical industry, and shot down another intended to protect the health of performers in the adult entertainment industry.

Trump's Victory Imperils ACA Premium Content
Nov 10, 2016

The stunning victory of Donald Trump on Tuesday and the GOP's continued hold on Congress likely puts the Affordable Care Act in its greatest peril since it was signed into law more than six years ago.

With the dust just settling on the election and more than two months to go before Trump's inauguration, it remains unclear as to what the ramifications will be to California's huge healthcare sector.

CDPH Has Not Issued Hospital Safety Penalties In Nearly A Year Premium Content
Nov 1, 2016

The California Department of Public Health has not issued an administrative penalty or fine to a hospital for endangering the lives of patients since January 2016, records show.

Class Action Filed Against Anthem On PPO Terminations Premium Content
Nov 1, 2016

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Anthem Blue Cross of California by the Santa Monica-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog over keeping its individual PPO plans in force in 2017.

Community Health Centers Treating Millions More Patients Premium Content
Nov 1, 2016
Community health centers, often beloved institutions in low-income neighborhoods, have thrown a bit of a wrench into the Affordable Care Act\'s efforts in increasing the ranks of the insured.
Anthem Says ACOs Saved $70.4 Million Over Year Premium Content
Nov 1, 2016

Anthem Blue Cross of California has announced that its consortium of accountable care organizations saved more than $70 million over a variety of 12-month periods that ended in September of last year.

Blue Shield Has To Refund Nearly $25 Million Premium Content
Nov 1, 2016
About 240,000 Californians with job-based health coverage may have been surprised by a recent letter from Blue Shield of California saying the company owes them money, not the other way around.
California Loses Ground On STIs, Tobacco Premium Content
Oct 26, 2016
After years of making progress regarding sexually transmitted infections and tobacco consumption, state data suggests that Californians are now losing ground.
DMHC Intervenes In Rehab Treatment Referral Scheme Premium Content
Oct 26, 2016
The Department of Managed Health Care has taken the unusual step of ordering an Orange County man to stop soliciting health insurance due to his lack of license and alleged engagement in deceptive business practices that led to Blue Shield of California paying out more than $1.2 million for substance abuse treatment claims.