California Healthcare News Aug 26, 2016

California Healthcare News

  • Paid news articleBerkeley Soda Tax Cuts Consumption

    Aug 25, 2016

     

    The Recently enacted soda tax in the city of Berkeley appears to be working.

  • Paid news articleBlue Shield Creates ACO for Inland Empire

    Aug 25, 2016

     

    San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California has entered into an accountable care organization (ACO) arrangement with providers in the Inland Empire.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Says Norcal Heart Attack Rates Have Dropped Dramatically

    Aug 25, 2016

     

    Heart attack rates among Kaiser Permanente's Northern California enrollees dropped 23% between 2008 and 2014 and 40% since 2000.

  • Paid news articleLatinos Age More Slowly Than Other Californians

    Issue Could Shape Future Healthcare Policies

    Aug 25, 2016

     

    UCLA researchers have concluded California's largest minority group ages more slowly than other ethnicities, a finding that may shape healthcare policy and delivery in the coming decades

  • Paid news articleBill To End Surprise Medical Bills Has Traction

    Patient Advocates Believe Passage Likely

    Aug 25, 2016 By By Ana B. Ibarra

     

    Earlier this year, Laurie Kirkland of Laguna Beach was taken by surprise when she received medical bills for her husband’s spinal surgeries. Their Blue Shield insurance deductible had been met, and the surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was in-network.

  • Paid news articleACA Continues To Thin Ranks Of Uninsured In California

    But Affordability is a Nagging Issue

    Aug 25, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    The Affordable Care Act has continued to thin the ranks of the uninsured in California, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • Paid news articleAnthem Blue Cross Offers Virtual Physician Consults In Spanish

    Aug 18, 2016

     

    Anthem Blue Cross of California has introduced a virtual physician service for its large pool of Spanish-speaking enrollees.

  • Paid news articleTreatment Centers Sue Health Net For Alleged Nonpayment Of Claims

    Aug 18, 2016

     

    Six alcohol and substance abuse treatment centers in California have filed suit against Health Net, claiming the Woodland Hills-based insurer stopped paying claims to treat its insured patients earlier this year.

  • Paid news articleCovered California Permitting Different Policies Among Families

    Enrollment Process Will be Automated

    Aug 18, 2016 By By Emily Bazar

     

    All five members of the Wadstein family have Covered California’s most comprehensive — and expensive — level of health insurance, even though the two youngest children are the only ones who need that kind of plan.

  • Paid news articleCDPH Cites 10 Hospitals For Patient Privacy Breaches

    Many of The Incidents Date Back to 2010

    Aug 18, 2016

     

    The California Department of Public Health has recently disclosed 12 citations against 10 hospitals for breaches of confidential patient information. They are the first such disclosures of 2016.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Reports Stronger Revenue, Smaller Net Income Numbers

    Aug 11, 2016

     

    Kaiser Permanente reported strong revenue growth for the second quarter ending June 30, but net income was flat for the Oakland-based insurer and healthcare system operator.

  • Paid news articleUCSF Receives $85 Million Grant for Precision Medicine

    Aug 11, 2016

     

    UC San Francisco's Clinical and Translational Science Institute is the recipient of an $85 million grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health to launch new initiatives related to precision medicine.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Finds Strong Autism Link Among Siblings

    If One Child Has Disorder, Risk is Much Higher For The Next Born

    Aug 11, 2016 By By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    Kaiser Permanente has released a new study showing that incidences of autism are much higher in newborns who have siblings with the disorder.

  • Paid news articleCalifornia's Teen Birth Rate Drops To New Low

    Declines Have Been Dramatic Since 2007

    Aug 11, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    The statewide rate of adolescent births has dropped to its lowest level every recorded, according to new data from the California Department of Public Health.

  • Paid news articleState May Demand More Drug Transparency

    Wants Spending, R&D Data From Insurers, Pharma

    Aug 11, 2016 By By Pauline Bartolone

     

    Will forcing drugmakers to disclose big price hikes and new high-cost treatments help keep medications affordable for consumers?

  • Paid news articleReadmission Penalties Will Rise For State's Hospitals

    Aug 5, 2016

     

    A total of 225 hospitals in California will be penalized by the Medicare program in the next fiscal year for having too many inpatients being readmitted with 30 days of discharge for certain medical conditions.

  • Paid news articleL.A. Nursing Home Fined $75K

    Aug 5, 2016

     

    The California Department of Public Health has fined a Los Angeles nursing care facility $75,000 for the death of a resident in 2013.

  • Paid news articleUC Pays Nearly $8.5 Million To Settle Conflict-Of-Interest Suits

    Litigation Claimed UCLA Surgeon Failed to Disclose Medtronic Ties to Patients

    Aug 5, 2016 By By Chad Terhune

     

    The University of California regents have agreed to pay nearly $8.5 million to settle two lawsuits alleging a well-known UCLA spine surgeon failed to disclose his conflicts of interest with a leading device maker before using the company’s products in harmful surgeries.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Criticizes Anthem, Blue Shield On Directories Again

    Agency Says Little Progress Has Been Made In Fixing Errors

    Aug 5, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    A survey of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California released late last month by the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) concluded that neither made substantial progress in providing updated provider directories to enrollees who purchased coverage through the Covered California health insurance exchange.

  • Paid news articleUCSF Will Make $.7.2 Million Available To Pursue Precision Medicine

    Jul 28, 2016

     

    UC San Francisco, which is pushing to increase initiatives in precision medicine, has announced up to $7.2 million in grants for new pursuits in that area.

  • Paid news articleCDPH Grants $13 Million To Help Combat Mental Health Disparities

    Jul 28, 2016

     

    The California Department of Public Health will award $12.99 million to 11 organizations to provide mental healthcare services to underserved communities throughout the state.

  • Paid news articleAetna, UnitedHealth To Join Medi-Cal Program

    Will Begin Offering Managed Care Coverage in 2017

    Jul 28, 2016 By By Anna Gorman

     

    Two of the nation’s largest insurers are reaching out to doctors as they prepare to offer health coverage to low-income residents in California’s Medicaid program.

  • Paid news articleACA Initiative Powers Big Readmissions Drop

    Rates For Heart Attack, Heart Failure And Pneumonia Down Significantly

    Jul 28, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    Hospital readmissions for patients with serious cardiac conditions and pneumonia declined significantly for Californians under the auspices of a federal mandate, but overall costs for treating those conditions also increased considerably.

  • Paid news articleUCSF Study Questions Mobile Healthcare Apps

    Jul 21, 2016

     

    A new study by researchers at UC San Francisco questions whether popular mobile healthcare apps are actually helping vulnerable populations.

  • Paid news articleTheranos Loses Lab Accreditation

    Jul 21, 2016

     

    Theranos has confirmed that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had issued sanctions that included the loss of its federal certification for its laboratory in Newark, and the concurrent barring of Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes from being involved with laboratory operations for at least two years.

  • Paid news articleUCSF Will Begin Training Residents In Lean Processes

    Intent is to Improve Quality of Care Delivery

    Jul 21, 2016

     

    UCSF Health plans to get Lean.
    Officials with the San Francisco-based teaching hospital announced this week that it would begin training its medical residents in the principles of what is called “Lean Management.” That concept, originally applied to manufacturing and other businesses, focuses on continuous improvement processes that lead to higher quality.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines Kaiser $195,000

    Related to Mishandling of Enrollee Grievances

    Jul 21, 2016

     

    The California Department of Managed Care (DMHC) has fined Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $195,000 for 35 violations of state regulations regarding the handling of enrollee grievances.

  • Paid news articleCovered California's 2017 Rates Skyrocket

    Average is More Than Triple Past Hikes

    Jul 21, 2016

     

    The abbreviated era of single-digit annual premium increases for consumers who buy their coverage through the Covered California health insurance exchange has come to an end.

  • In Brief: Sacramento, San Francisco Most Expensive Cities In U.S. To Give Birth; ECG Acquires Kirk Salmon

    Jul 14, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

  • Hospitals Supporting Medi-Cal Initiative

    Prop. 52 Would Continue Fee to Leverage Federal Dollars

    Jul 14, 2016 By Pauline Bartolone

     

    California voters will be asked to weigh in this November on a hospital financing measure so politically and financially complicated that they might be tempted to avoid it altogether.
    Proposition 52 would make permanent the “Hospital Quality Assurance Fee,” which the state collects from private hospitals to help levrage additional federal matching funds for Medi-Cal.

  • DMHC Orders Blue Shield To Reinstate Policies

    Insurer Accuses CenCal of Patient Dumping

    Jul 14, 2016 By Ron Shinkman

     

    The Department of Managed Health Care has ordered Blue Shield of California to rescind warnings of coverage cancellation for some 21 enrollees whom the agency said were erroneously informed their premiums had gone unpaid.

    The order is apparently tied to litigation disclosed today between Blue Shield and CenCal Health, the public Medi-Cal plan for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

  • Paid news articleCedars-Sinai Forms Orthopedics Department

    Jun 30, 2016

     

    Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has established a full orthopedics department to fulfill clinical demand.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Says Improvements In Heart Disease, Stroke Mortality Leveling Off

    Jun 30, 2016

     

    A new study conducted by researchers at Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente and published in the journal JAMA Cardiology has concluded that the improvements in mortality rates for heart disease and strokes are leveling off.

  • Paid news articleCAPG Chimes In On MACRA

    Its Remarks Are More Upbeat Than From Other Physician Groups

    Jun 30, 2016

     

    The California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) has mostly praised the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

  • Paid news articleHomeless Patients Recuperate In Old Motels

    Illumination Foundation Focuses on Low-Cost Model

    Jun 30, 2016 By By David Gorn

     

    Just up the freeway from Disneyland Paul Leon stood outside the beat-up remnant of a seedy motel. Above him, a faded pink sign advertised the Coral Motel, whose rooms back in its prime cost 35 bucks a night.

  • Paid news articleFirst 5 Initiative Greatly Boosted Oral Care For Kids

    UCLA Study Said It Tripled Preventative Care Visits

    Jun 30, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    A new study by UCLA researchers has found that a program supporting oral care for young low-income children has dramatically increased the number of visits for preventative dental care.
    The data from the Los Angeles-based dental homes project comes as more research indicates that oral care is tied into a patient's overall health and that such services are needed both early and later in life.

  • Paid news articleBoeing, MemorialCare Enter Into Care Deal

    Aerospace Giant Turns to Direct Contracting to Control Costs

    Jun 23, 2016 By By Chad Terhune

     

    In another sign of growing frustration with rising health costs, aerospace giant Boeing Co. has agreed to contract directly for employee benefits with a major health system in Southern California, bypassing the conventional insurance model.

  • Paid news articleEast Bay Hospitals Team Up To Reduce Unnecessary ED Use

    Sutter, Alameda Health Will Use Specialized Tracking Software

    Jun 23, 2016

     

    A coalition of public and private hospitals in the East Bay have agreed to extensive real-time sharing of patient records in an attempt to reduce the number of “frequent fliers” to their emergency departments.

  • Paid news articleOpposing Views On Two Pending Insurance Deals

    Jones Blasts Anthem-Cigna Merger; DMHC Okays Humana-Aetna

    Jun 23, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    Two big insurance mergers. Two different regulatory takes.
    That is what is occurring in California, as the state Department of Insurance tries to block the merger between Anthem and Cigna, while the Department of Managed Health Care has approved another merger between Humana and Aetna.

  • Paid news articleBlue Shield of California Foundation Grants $14.5M This Quarter

    Jun 23, 2016

     

    The San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California Foundation has granted $14.5 million in the second quarter to help beef up services for victims of domestic violence statewide, as well as to provide healthcare services to low-income Californians.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: UCSF: Chest Pain May Lead To Overtesting

    Jun 16, 2016

     

    The vast majority of patients who visit hospital emergency rooms complaining of chest pain are in no danger at all, but often undergo overtesting and other inappropriate utilization of resources, UC San Francisco researchers have concluded.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Cedars-Sinai Receives Ebola Treatment Center Designation

    Jun 16, 2016

     

    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has been named an Ebola treatment center by the California Department of Public Health.

    The CDPH has given Cedars-Sinai a $3.25 million federal grant to purchase equipment to support its work as an Ebola treatment center.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines Blue Shield $140,000

    Plan Had Cancelled Policies Without Proper Notification

    Jun 16, 2016

     

    The California Department of Managed Care has fined Blue Shield of California $140,000 for repeated cancellations of policies without providing the appropriate grace period...

  • Paid news articleLabor Union Pushes For Hospital CEO Pay Cap

    Ballot Initiative Would Limit Pay to $450,000

    Jun 16, 2016 By Ron Shinkman

     

    The SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West is pushing to have an initiative put before California voters later this year to cap non-profit hospital CEO compensation and benefits at $450,000 a year...

  • Paid news articleState's Biggest Hospital Chains Systematically Bump Up Prices

    Sutter and Dignity's Prices 25% Higher Than Other Hospitals

    Jun 16, 2016 By Chad Terhune

     

    As healthcare consolidation accelerates nationwide, a new study shows that hospital prices in two of California’s largest health systems were 25 percent higher than at other hospitals around the state...

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Gardens Regional Hospital Files For Bankruptcy Protection

    Jun 9, 2016

     

    A Southern California hospital known for treating a large number of indigent and homeless patients has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    The 137-bed Gardens Regional Hospital and Medical Center filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, claiming more than...

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Huntington Hospital Linked To More Scope Deaths

    Jun 9, 2016

     

    Huntington Hospital in Pasadena has been linked to as many as 11 patients who died after being infected with improperly sterilized duodenoscopes.

    A report issued by the City of Pasadena's Public Health Department linked...

  • Paid news articleSenate Rejects Doctor Disclosure Bill

    Would Have Required Telling Patients of Serious Disciplinary Action

    Jun 9, 2016 By Ana B. Ibarra

     

    The state Senate last week rejected legislation that would have required medical practitioners to notify their patients if they were on probation for serious infractions.

    The bill’s supporters said consumers were ill-served by the Senate’s decision...

  • Paid news articleAnthem, DMHC Butt Heads Over Big Fine

    Plan Is Disputing $200K Penalty Levied Last Month

    Jun 9, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman

     

    The health plan in California with by far the most number of regulatory fines appears ready to battle the Department of Managed Health Care over a $200,000 penalty the agency levied late last month.

  • Paid news articleVITALS: California Health Plan Total Enrollment as of 12/31/2015

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    California Health Plan Total Enrollment as of 12/31/2015

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Stanford Children's Health Opens Up Specialty Services Center

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    Stanford Children's Health has opened a new 80,000 square-foot specialty ...

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Kaiser Grants Another $6.2 Million For HEAL Initiatives

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    Kaiser Permanente's Southern California division has invested an additional $6.2 million in its Healthy ...

  • Paid news articleBlue Shield of California Discloses Pay Of Top Execs

    CEO Markovich Earned $3.52 Million Last Year

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    Under pressure from consumer
    activists and other critics, Blue Shield of
    California has released compensation data
    for its top executives...

  • Paid news articleFeds Join Prime Healthcare Billing Suit

    2011 False Claims Litigation Alleges Systematic Overbilling of Medicare

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    The federal government late last month joined a civil false claims lawsuit against Prime Healthcare Services, accusing the Ontario-based hospital chain of engaging in questionable business practices intended to maximize its bottom line.

    The U.S. Justice Department...

  • Paid news articleHospitals, Patients May Not Be Prepared For New Aid-In-Dying Law

    UCLA Study Recommends Outreach Campaign

    Jun 2, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff

     

    A week from today, physician-assisted suicide will be legal to perform in California. But researchers have concluded that many providers...

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