California Healthcare News Sep 30, 2016

California Healthcare News

  • Paid news articleCDPH Rejects Receivership For Humboldt County SNFs

    Sep 29, 2016


    The California Department of Public Health rejected on Wednesday a request from the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman to take three skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County into receivership.

  • Paid news articleBrown Signs Opioid Bill Into Law

    Sep 29, 2016


    Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that would require physicians to undertake closer scrutiny of their patients' prescription history when they consider prescribing opioid painkillers.

  • Paid news articleDave Jones Floats Public Option For California

    But Insurance Commissioner Provides Few Specifics

    Sep 29, 2016 By By Chad Terhune


    With major insurers retreating from the federal health law’s marketplaces, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said he supports a public option at the state level that could bolster competition and potentially serve as a test for the controversial idea nationwide.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Levies Six-Figure Fines Against Kaiser, Anthem

    Penalties Are For Second-Opinion Denials And Claims Payment Issues

    Sep 29, 2016 By By Ron Shinkman


    The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has levied six-figure fines against Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross for failing to respond to a seriously ill child's request for a medical second opinion and lapses in addressing payment delays to providers.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines L.A. Care $18,000

    Sep 22, 2016


    The California Department of Managed Health Care has fined L.A. Care Health Plan $18,000 for delays for providing an enrollee with a primary care physician closer to their home.

  • Paid news articleZuckerberg Pledges $600 Million To Create Bay Area Biohub

    Sep 22, 2016


    UC San Francisco, Stanford University and UC Berkeley said they would collaborate in a new biomedical research center funded with $600 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, M.D.

  • Paid news articleState Agency Takes Unprecedented Action Against SNFs

    Department of Aging Wants Three Rural Facilities Brought Into Receivership

    Sep 22, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    The California Department of Aging has taken the highly unusual step of asking the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to place three Humboldt County nursing homes into receivership to ensure they remain open.

  • Paid news articleDMHC Fines Dental Plan $40,000

    Sep 15, 2016


    The California Department of Managed Health Care has fined Sacramento-based Access Dental Plan $40,000 for missing a series of financial filings and notifications after its acquisition by Chicago-based First Commonwealth, Inc.

  • Paid news articleCalifornia's Uninsured Rate Plunges

    Sep 15, 2016


    Thanks to California's earnest embrace of the Affordable Care Act, the state's rate of uninsured dropped by half between 2013 and last year.

  • Paid news articleNursing Board Tries To End Licensing Logjam

    Delays Have Led to Some Forfeiting Jobs

    Sep 15, 2016 By Eryn Brown


    The newly appointed head of California’s nursing board says his ratcheted-up effort to clear a persistent licensing backlog has been successful.

  • Paid news articleKaiser Says Coordinated Diabetes Care Can Also Reduce Depression

    Mental Health Often an Issue in Managing Chronic Illness

    Sep 15, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Coordinating the care of diabetic patients with cardiovascular and mental health treatments has improved their overall outcomes as well as reduced incidents of depression, Kaiser Permanente has reported.

  • Paid news articleOSHPD Offers New Seismic Compliance Option

    Could Prove Big Cost Cutter For Rural Hospitals

    Sep 15, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has provided an opportunity for some of the state's older hospitals to find new ways to seek structural seismic compliance.

    The agency has introduced a new category known as Structural Performance Category 4D, or SPC-4D. It joins five other categories of seismic compliance for buildings that provide acute care services.

  • Paid news articleUSC Says Stem Cells Restored Limb Movement To Paraplegic

    Sep 9, 2016


    USC Keck Medical Center has claimed to restore partial limb control to a 21-year-old man who was paralyzed below the neck in a traffic accident earlier this year.

  • Paid news articleCDPH Fines L.A. Nursing Home

    Sep 9, 2016


    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has fined Country Villa Los Feliz Nursing Home in Los Angeles $75,000 in connection with the 2014 death of a resident who had fallen.

  • Paid news articleHuge Amount Of Surgical Medical Supplies Wasted

    UCSF Study Says it is Nearly $1,000 a Procedure

    Sep 9, 2016 By Ana A. Ibara


    It’s long been a problem for the nation’s hospitals: A staggering number of medical supplies — from surgical gloves to sponges to medications — go unused and are discarded after surgeries.

  • Paid news articleVast Majority Of State's Healthcare Is Publicly Funded

    UCLA Study Suggests Single Payer May Be Logical End

    Sep 9, 2016 By Ron Shinkman


    Despite an ongoing debate about using government funds to finance healthcare delivery, a large majority of California's system is already publicly financed, suggesting a move toward a single-payer system would be a logical – rather than radical – step.

  • 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.


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