California Healthcare News

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Hospital, Insurer Crossover Rising Premium Content
Jan 28, 2013
Ramanathan Raju, M.D., chief executive officer of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, recently announced he would like the organization to get into the insurance business. Cook County’s move is just one more of an increasing number of large hospital systems that are dipping their toes into the payer sector.
In Brief: IEHP Launches Medical Home Initiative; CHOC Receives $27M Gift Free
Jan 23, 2013

IEHP Launches Medical Home Initiative

Inland Empire Health Plan has launched medical homes for 12,500 patients at 10 community clinics in Riverside County.

CHA Marshals Hospitals on Quality Free
Jan 23, 2013
Hundreds of California hospitals have agreed to join a federally-directed initiative to improve patient care. The hospitals have agreed to participate in the “Partnership for Patients” initiative, which is operated under the direction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Seven-Figure Club Continues To Grow Free
Jan 23, 2013
More than one in five non-profit hospital chief executive officers in California received compensation totaling $1 million or more in 2010, according to a new pay survey by Payers & Providers. Altogether, 32 CEOs of the 154 surveyed received pay packages that ventured into the seven figures. That compares to 19 CEOs who received seven-figure pay packages in the only prior survey Payers & Providers conducted. That survey was published in June 2010, and relied primarily on data from 2007 and 2008.
Kaiser Links ADHD, Demographics Free
Jan 23, 2013
A new study by Kaiser Permanente researchers suggests a cultural link to the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in California\'s children.
In Brief: New Michigan Blues Bill Introduced; Indiana Unsure On Medicaid Expansion Free
Jan 21, 2013

New Michigan Blues Reform Bill Introduced

The financial remaking of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has begun anew, with bills introduced into the state's Legislature that does not contain language that led to its veto late last year.

UM Health System Heads New ACO Free
Jan 21, 2013
The University of Michigan Health System is teaming with other medical groups in the state to create a large-scale accountable care organization that will contain more than 1,000 physicians and serve the state\'s Lower Peninsula. The Physician Organization of Michigan, or POM, is among the 106 new ACOs approved earlier this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and among the largest. Along with the UMHS System, eight other medical groups in the Wolverine State will participate.
Ohio Changes Dual Eligible Program Premium Content
Jan 21, 2013
Ohio recently became one of only three states that have received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to revamp the way it provides care for individuals enrolled in both programs. Next September, dual eligibles in the state will be taking part in a demonstration using managed care to coordinate services and reduce the costs of treating this high-touch population.
In Brief: Anthem Sued on Mail Order Drug Plan; CHCF\'s Smith to Step Down; Naked Family Touts Medi-Cal Expansion Free
Jan 16, 2013

Anthem Sued On Mail-Order Drug Plan

The Santa Monica-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross of California, claiming its plan to fill the specialty drug prescriptions of enrollees who are HIV-positive or suffer AIDS via mail order places their lives in danger.

Brown’s Budget Sunniest In Years Free
Jan 16, 2013
For the first time in many years, California is moving toward a budget surplus. However, the provider community has raised concerns that they will not escape funding cuts for their services. Gov. Jerry Brown\'s $97.7 billion 2013-2014 budget, unveiled late last week, includes not only a $1 billion budget reserve, but a planned gigantic expansion of the Medi-Cal program.
California Losing Ground On Tobacco Control Free
Jan 16, 2013
The American Lung Association issued a harsh assessment Wednesday of California\'s regulation of tobacco use, slamming the Golden State for its more than decade-long failure to raise cigarette taxes and what the non-profit says is a lackluster effort to fund smoking cessation programs. “Once a national leader in tobacco control policies, California\'s efforts are now lagging,” the ALA said in a statement it issued to accompany its annual report, “The State of Tobacco Control 2013.”
In Brief: Kasich Playing Close to Vest on Medicaid; Univ. of Kansas Performs 1,000 Liver Transplants Free
Jan 14, 2013

Kasich Playing Close To Vest On Medicaid Expansion

Although the primary reforms in the Affordable Care Act roll out in less than a year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has yet to indicate whether he supports expanding the Medicaid program.

Saint Luke’s Opens Neuroscience Wing Free
Jan 14, 2013
Saint Luke\'s Hospital in Kansas City has opened a neuroscience institute. The hospital dedicated $52 million in existing capital and fundraising to open the 68-bed, 88,000-square-foot institute, which replaces the Saint Luke\'s Brain and Stroke Institute. It features four neurological operating rooms, a neuroscience intensive care unit, a 13-bed recovery unit, three neurointerventional suites and an expanded epilepsy monitoring unit.
Northwestern Medicine’s $1 Billion Pledge Free
Jan 14, 2013
Northwestern Medicine has launched a $1 billion effort to beef up its biomedical facilities, part of what officials say will be an effort to put Chicago at the forefront of U.S. medical research.
Mental Heath Comes To The Fore Premium Content
Jan 14, 2013
Recent acts of violence across the nation have brought the issue of mental healthcare to the fore. News pundits have repeatedly made calls for reforming the mental health system in this nation as one way to reduce future episodes of violence. But in recent years, state mental health systems have only seen cuts, and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change. There are some things that can be done, however, to strengthen the system.
In Brief: Children\'s Hospital L.A., Providence Tarzana in Deal, CalHIPSO Moves More Providers To Meaningful Use Free
Jan 9, 2013

Chilidren Hospital Los Angeles, Providence Tarzana Enter Into Agreement

Children's Hospital of Los Angeles has entered into an agreement with Providence Tarzana Medical Center to improve pediatric care in the San Fernando Valley section of L.A.

Kaiser Study Discounts Cancer Tests Free
Jan 9, 2013
Cancer detection tests routinely performed after microscopic levels of blood are detected in the urine may be unnecessary, according to research undertaken by Kaiser Permanente.
Jones May Move On Early ACA Fees Premium Content
Jan 9, 2013
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has no legal authority to block California\'s insurers from imposing premium increases on consumers, but he bluntly noted at a press conference earlier this week that he might take legal action against Anthem Blue Cross of California and other health insurers to halt early collection of fees associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Jones, who has repeatedly made his inability to regulate health insurance premium increases an issue since he was elected commissioner by California\'s voters in 2010 and has backed ballot measures to expand his authority, condemned Anthem last Tuesday for its premature collection of ACA-related fees. The fees are not mandated until 2014, but Anthem is collecting them during the 2013 calendar year anyway, Jones said.
Race Linked To Appendicitis Care Free
Jan 9, 2013
UCLA researchers have discovered a troubling link between the appendicitis treatment California children receive and their ethnicity, suggesting those in certain minority groups are far more likely to experience life-threatening complications.
UCSF Receives $36 Million NCI Grant Premium Content
Jan 8, 2013
The cancer center at the University of California San Francisco has received a $36 million grant from the NCI. The National Cancer Institute’s grant announcement made note of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center\'s “solid record of important discoveries in basic, translational, population-based and clinical research. The strong cancer focus, substantial institutional commitment, and sustained high level of research funding base with a significant number of multi-investigator, team-based programmatic grants have positively influenced the research programs at the center.