California Healthcare News

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Kaiser’s Earnings Come On Strong Free
Nov 14, 2012
Kaiser Permanente reported strong earnings for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, bounding back into profitability.
Health Net Enters ACO-Like Deal Free
Nov 14, 2012
Health Net, Hill Physicians Group and two major hospital operators in the Bay Area have entered into an ACO-style arrangement to provide care for nearly 6,500 University of California employees and retirees in San Francisco. The goal of the arrangement, which was announced earlier this week and will be implemented beginning in January, is to prevent any increases in the cost of care for the 6,100 UC employees and 380 non-Medicare retirees during 2013, officials said.
ER Insurance Initiative Saves Millions Free
Nov 14, 2012
A pilot project to obtain coverage for uninsured patients when they enter the emergency rooms of Sharp Healthcare has saved the San Diego-based hospital operator $5 million, prompting its permanent adoption. The pilot, launched in 2010 in conjunction with the San Mateo-based healthcare finance firm PointCare, was expected to run for just two months. It ran for slightly more than two years, and officials say the software will likely be installed at other hospitals outside of the four-hospital Sharp system.
Anthem, UC Enter Into Alliance Free
Nov 14, 2012
Anthem Blue Cross of California and the University of California have joined forces to create an alliance that will focus on developing healthcare policy and improving access to care for the state’s residents. The collaboration, which will be known as the California Health Alliance, will focus on areas such as the development of accountable care models to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, and the expansion of telemedicine networks in order to improve care for residents of rural areas.
In Brief: Meridian Wins Dual-Eligibles Contract; Link Between Obesity, Ankle Injuries; New CSO For Minnesota Children\'s Free
Nov 12, 2012

Meridian Wins Illinois Dual-Eligibles Contract

Chicago-based Meridian Health Plan has received a contract from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to provide coverage to the dual-eligible population – those who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

Healthcare Cultural Gaps Probed Free
Nov 12, 2012
A new study by the Minneapolis-area firms Cejka Search and Physician Wellness Services concluded that there is often a fundamental disconnect between the expectations of physicians and the healthcare organizations they work for.
Illinois For-Profit Hospitals Get Tax Break Free
Nov 12, 2012
A bill signed into law by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this year meant to cut costs in the Medicaid program contained a minimum $10 million annual tax benefit to the state’s 28 for-profit hospitals, the Associated Press reported earlier this week in a special investigation.
Ford Merger Likely To Disappoint Free
Nov 12, 2012
When Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System announced their intent to merge last week into 10-hospital system expected to dominate much of the healthcare landscape of the Detroit area, officials with both systems said that it was expected to cut costs and leverage prices from area insurers. Although it is too early to know what the impact of the merger might be on the community, history and studies have shown that hospital mergers often don’t achieve the positive results often expected by both parties.
Health Net, DHCS Settle Rates Lawsuit Free
Nov 11, 2012
Health Net has settled a long-running lawsuit with the Department of Health Care Services over the rates the agency paid for providing services to Medi-Cal managed care enrollees for much of the last decade. The terms reached between Health Net and the DHCS, which administers the Medi-Cal program, are unusual: they will be based entirely on the insurer’s pre-tax profit margins from managing its Medi-Cal population over the next seven years.
Voters Cap Pay At El Camino Hospital; Adult STI Initiative Passes; SCAN Launches Health Literacy Program Free
Nov 7, 2012

Santa Clara County Voters Pass Initiative To Limit Executive Pay At El Camino Hospital

Santa Clara County voters narrowly passed an initiative that would cap the salaries of executives at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View at twice the salary of the sitting California governor.


Kaiser Names Tyson Incoming CEO Free
Nov 7, 2012
Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente made swift work of a national search to replace its outgoing CEO and chairman, naming its number two executive to the top spot earlier this week. The succession of Bernard J. Tyson, 53, Kaiser’s current president and chief operating officer, was made just a few weeks after George Halvorson announced he would be retiring next year.
Obama’s Reelection Bakes In ACA Free
Nov 7, 2012
The reelection of President Barack Obama to a second term virtually guarantees that the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act he signed into law nearly three years ago will remain intact, with its biggest provisions and changes coming in 2014. That has cheered policymakers who are concerned about the millions of Californians who lack health insurance, but has stoked concerns among providers that they will likely not get paid enough to care for them.
In Brief: Saint Anthony Challenges Illinois Regulators; Michigan Blues Grant $1 Million Plus To Clinics; Michigan Judge Stays Contraception Mandate Free
Nov 5, 2012

Saint Anthony Hospital Challenges Illinois Regulators

Chicago-based Saint Anthony Hospital is butting heads with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, claiming the agency is unlawfully holding back supplemental Medicaid payments.

Henry Ford, Beaumont To Merge Free
Nov 5, 2012
Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System have signed letters of intent to merge their organizations and create a powerhouse hospital network in the greater Detroit area. The combined organization would include 10 hospitals and 200 other sites, such as clinics and medical offices, where patients receive care. The system would have revenues of more than $6.4 billion a year and nearly 40,000 employees.
Blues Conversion Hits A Few Bumps Free
Nov 5, 2012
The legislation that would convert Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan into a mutual insurer from its current role as the state’s insurer of last resort is slowly making its way through the give-and-take of compromise, with some moderate resistance from consumer advocates and its market competitors. The pending legislation would alter the 32-year-old Public Act 350, which allows the Blues to avoid paying state and local taxes in exchange for taking on beneficiaries who would otherwise be uninsurable. Michigan is one of the last states to operate in this way – most other states have high-risk pools to insure these individuals.
IN BRIEF: Former Blue Cross CEO Endows USC Center; Kaiser Sponsors Digital Startup Incubator; Sutter Health Donates $500,000 Toward Storm Relief Free
Oct 31, 2012

Former Blue Cross CEO Endows USC Center With $25 Million

Former Blue Cross of California/WellPoint Chief Executive Officer Leonard D. Schaeffer has pledged $25 million toward the endowment of the Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California.

Molina Reports Lower Net Income Premium Content
Oct 31, 2012
Medicaid managed care firm Molina Healthcare reported significantly lower net income for the third quarter ending September 30, as the company continues a brisk expansion while facing ongoing rate cuts.
Blue Shield To Credit $50 Million Free
Oct 31, 2012
As it continues to operate more in line with the expectations of a not-for-profit company, Blue Shield of California will credit back millions of dollars to its policyholders by the end of the year, although the total is far smaller than what it has given back in the prior two years.
Job-Based Plans Continue To Shrink Free
Oct 31, 2012
The 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession that succeeded it has steadily eroded the number of Californians with job-based healthcare insurance coverage, with their numbers dropping below half of the state’s residents for the first time last year.
Sequester May Hit Health Research Free
Oct 29, 2012
Unless Congress amends The Budget Control Act of 2011 during the lame duck session this winter, the legislation will cut a total of $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade. The budget sequester will trim $55 billion in defense and another $55 billion in non-defense spending. Cuts from the bill that Congress passed are set to go into effect January 2013. One area that will be hit is federal funding that goes toward university research. There will be an estimated 8.7% ($12.5 billion) cut in 2013.