California Healthcare News Jun 28, 2016

California Healthcare News

  • 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...

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Theranos Issues Thousands of Corrected Tests; Sharp Grossmont Admits Privacy Breach

    May 19, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleAsthma Study Illuminates Disparities

    African-American Kids Are Different, And Mostly Uncharted

    May 19, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    When it comes to asthma research, apparently all bets are off when it comes to African-American children.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines Aetna $125K For Denials

    Plan Used Incorrect Criteria For Not Paying ER Claims

    May 19, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Aetna Health of California was fined $125,000 last week by the Department of Managed Health Care for systematically denying payments for emergency care.

  • Paid news articleDignity Part Of New Greenhealth GPO

    Intent is Push For More Environmentally Friendly Products

    May 19, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    San Francisco-based Dignity Health is one of several major healthcare chains that has started up a group purchasing organization for providing environmentally friendly products to hospitals and other providers.

  • Paradise Valley Hospital Pharmacy Cited

    Inspectors Found Compounding Area Was Contaminated

    May 19, 2016 By Chad Terhune


    More than 7,300 patients at a San Diego-area hospital may have been exposed to infection from contaminated medications last year, state records show.

    The problems were traced to the compounding pharmacy lab at Paradise Valley Hospital in National City where inspectors found “dust, stains and foreign material” in a supposedly sterile environment in which thousands of intravenous medications were prepared over eight months — from Jan. 1 to Aug. 18.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Theranos Dumps President; Sutter, Stanford Operate Nation's Most Profitable Hospitals

    May 12, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleMedi-Cal ER Encounters Zoom Upward

    OSHPD Says They Have Risen About 70% Since 2013

    May 12, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    The expansion of the Medi-Cal program under the Affordable Care Act has fundamentally reshaped how emergency room encounters are paid for in the state, acording to new data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

  • Paid news articleSmall Smoking Drop Is Big Cost-Cutter

    UCSF Says Just a 10% Reduction Could Save $63B

    May 12, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    One solid way to compel a dramatic drop in healthcare costs is to get Americans to stop smoking, according to a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

    The study compared the 50 states to the nationwide smoking average in 2009.

  • Exchange Could See Big Premium Bump

    Covered California Forecasts 8% Average Increase in 2017

    May 12, 2016 By Chad Terhune


    California’s health insurance exchange estimates that its Obamacare premiums may rise 8% on average next year, which would end two consecutive years of more modest 4% increases.

    The projected rate increase in California, included in the exchange’s proposed annual budget, comes amid growing nationwide concern about insurers seeking double-digit premium hikes in the health law’s insurance marketplaces.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Three Scope Deaths Linked To Huntington Hospital; HHS Awards $36.8 Million For Health Center Constrution, Renovation

    May 5, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleKaiser Questions Heart Attack Model

    New Study Says Risk Predictor Makes Big Overestimates

    May 5, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleRegulator Fines Anthem $415,000

    DMHC Penalty is For Handling Enrollee Grievances

    May 5, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    The Department of Managed Health Care has fined Anthem Blue Cross of California $415,000 for what the agency said was a series of violations of rights of enrollees.

  • Jones Grills Aetna, Humana On Deal

    Commissioner Expresses Doubts of Merger Benefits

    May 5, 2016 By Ana B. Ibarra


    California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones put executives of insurance giants Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. in the hot seat last week over their proposal for a merger that could create the nation’s third largest insurer.

    Jones heard testimony from opponents and proponents of the plan, and he administered a dose of his own doubt.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: CMA Joins Reproductive Rights Lawsuit Against Dignity Health; Colusa Regional Medical Center Closes

    Apr 28, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleOverweight Moms, Overweight Kids

    Study Reveals Warning Signs For Childhood Obesity

    Apr 28, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    If a an expectant mother was obese and put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy, the chances are her child is much more likely to be overweight.

  • Undocumented May Get Coverage

    Bill Would Allow Immigrants to Use Health Exchange

    Apr 28, 2016 By Ann M. Ibarra


    California legislators are attempting to clear the way for undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance through the state’s insurance exchange — potentially setting a national precedent.

    Immigrants living in the country illegally are excluded from the insurance-expanding provisions of Obamacare. They are not eligible for Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California), and they are not allowed to purchase a health plan from the federal marketplace or any of the state exchanges.

  • Paid news articleState’s Vets Have Mental Health Issues

    Many do Not Have Regular Access to Professional Services

    Apr 28, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    California's veterans need mental health services at a lower rate than the rest of the state's population, but the vast majority are not receiving them or are getting inadequate care.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: Aetna Wins $37.4 Million Judgment, CMS Backs Off New Hospital Quality Rating

    Apr 21, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleCDPH Warns Hospitals On Fentanyl

    String of Overdoses, Deaths Linked to Counterfeit Pills

    Apr 21, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    In response to a large number of drug overdoses and deaths recently reported in Sacramento County, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a health alert regarding use of the anesthetic drug fentanyl.

  • Covered California’s Enrollee Dump

    Some Are Moved to Medical After Reporting Pregnancy

    Apr 21, 2016 By Emily Bazar


    Lynn Kersey has some advice for pregnant women who bought health insurance policies from Covered California and want to keep them: Don’t report your pregnancy to the agency.

    “It’s not a requirement … and it’s actually worse to do so,” said Kersey, executive director of Maternal and Child Health Access, a Los Angeles County advocacy group.

  • Paid news articleMental Health Diagnoses Differ By Race

    Kaiser-Led Study Also Suggests Differing Treatments as Well

    Apr 21, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Most minorities are less likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than white patients and less likely to receive specific treatments if they actually have an affliction, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente.

  • In Brief: Sutter Leans On Employer Groups To Accept Arbitration Clause; Hospitals Give $8.5 Million For Ballot Initiativeill

    Apr 7, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines Health Net, Kaiser $82,500

    Penalties Related to Disenrollments Without Grace Periods

    Apr 7, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has fined Woodland Hills-based Health Net $55,000 and Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $27,500 for canceling enrollees coverage without allowing for proper grace periods.

  • Paid news articleDeath Rates Drop For AIDS, Cancer

    But State’s Mortality Numbers Differ Greatly by Counties

    Apr 7, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    New data released from the California Department of Public Health shows that the state is making advances in reducing the death rate from cancer, AIDS and heart disease.

    However, the granular data shows that there is a distinct difference in the death rates between regions of the state. In many rural counties in the far north of the state and in economically distressed areas such as San Bernardino County, Californians die at a significant higher rate.

  • Paid news articleMany Uninsured Eligible For Coverage

    Californians Often Believe They Can’t Afford Premiums

    Apr 7, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Two out of three Californians who went without health insurance in 2014 were actually eligible for coverage, but they did without primarily because they could not afford its cost, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley.

    The study placed the uninsured into four groups: Those who were undocumented (32%), those eligible for Medi-Cal (28%); those eligible to buy subsidized coverage through the state health insurance exchange (31%), and those eligible for coverage but not qualifying for subsidies (9%). Slightly more than a quarter of all of those without coverage had one or more chronic health conditions.

  • Paid news articleIn Brief: DMHC Fines Anthem $15,000; ACEP Issues Warning About Emergency Care

    Mar 31, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


  • Paid news articleStanford Performs Rare Transplant

    Only Eighth Heart-Lung-Heart Procedure Since 1994

    Mar 31, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    Stanford Health Care has performed a rare heart-lung-heart “domino” transplant last month, hospital officials said this week.

  • Paid news articleOnset Of Dementia Tied To Depression

    UCSF Researchers Find Link in Long-Term Aging Study

    Mar 31, 2016 By Payers & Providers Staff


    Researchers at UC San Francisco have discovered that depression in older patients is far more likely to lead to cases of dementia as the age.

    The study tracked nearly 2,500 adults over the age of 70 who did not have any dementia. The cohort was categorized as either having consistent minimal symptoms of depression, moderate and increasing symptoms of depression, and those with high and increasing symptoms of depression.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Grants $6.2M To Fight Obesity

    Money is to Continue HEAL Initiative, Lifestyle Promotion

    Mar 31, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Kaiser Permanente's Southern California region has granted $6.2 million to five government entities and community organizations to continue a battle against obesity and other signs of unhealthy living.

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