October 9, 2012California HealthlineOctober 9, 2012
In California, the risk of going to the emergency department for
certain conditions increases slightly as temperature and humidity
rise, according to a study published in the journal Epidemiology,
One in five patients who went to the emergency room were not sick
enough to require an inpatient bed, but said they sought the
emergency department because their primary care doctor told them
to go there, according to a federal survey.
Attempts at health care reform have aimed to increase access. The
U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations in the world that
does not provide universal health care to its citizens, and the
emergency department (ER) is widely believed to be the place
where no one can be denied care there. So — in essence –
everyone can get free health care if they need it. That, of
course, is not true.
According to a recent study, California was sixth lowest among
the states in public and private health care spending as a
proportion of its economy. The state’s relative spending, 12.5
percent of its economy, was just 84 percent of the national
California could cut $110 billion in healthcare spending over the
next decade, saving the average household $800 a year, by quickly
moving away from conventional fee-for-service medicine and
embracing more coordinated care, a new report says.
California’s health industry heavyweights, warning that insurance
premiums will soon consume a third of people’s incomes, today
threw their weight behind a plan to revamp the health care
About 55% of California residents support the Affordable Care
Act, a record high for the state, according to a new poll by the
Public Policy Institute of California, HealthyCal reports
(Weintraub, HealthyCal, 1/30).
September 17, 2012New York TimesSeptember 14, 2012
Delay and outright resistance to the health care overhaul might
be the norm in much of the country, but not here. California —
home to seven million uninsured people, more than any other state
— is at the forefront of preparations for January 2014, when a
controversial requirement that most Americans have medical
coverage or pay a penalty takes effect.
Hospitals continue to be challenged by the ongoing
recession. California’s community hospitals and emergency rooms
provide life-saving care to anyone needing it, despite their
ability to pay for the health care services received.
February 10, 2012California HealthlineFebruary 09, 2012
In 2012, California hospitals will encounter significant
financial obstacles and some will be at risk for closure,
according to a forecast by the California Hospital Association,
Payers & Providers reports.
Although the U.S. economy is beginning to show signs of recovery,
hospitals continue to be adversely impacted by the lingering
effects of the economic recession, according to new data from the
American Hospital Association (AHA).
Non-profit hospital chiefs who think they’ve been dragged through
the wringer with the credit crunch and the recession should not
think the worst is over, according to a new Moody’s Investor
Service report, which could be summed up in short: Brace
yourselves for more bad news and changes for many years ahead.
California’s 430 hospitals and health systems are shouldering the
financial burden of the government’s responsibility to provide
care for some of our most vulnerable patients – seniors, the
disabled, children and the under-insured.
February 21, 2013The Inyo RegisterFebruary 20, 2013
New, reduced Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates could
adversely affect patient treatment and even threaten the very
existence of a local hospital district.
Like many critical access hospitals, Southern Inyo Healthcare
District and its skilled nursing facility are in danger of
closing if drastically-reduced Medi-Cal provider reimbursement
rates are retroactively enforced effective January 2013, SIHD
Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer Lee Barron said.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 6.7 million people or
one in five Californians is without health insurance, the highest
of any other state. Of this number, an alarming 1.1 million
uninsured are children. During the past two decades, the number
of uninsured people in California has risen as employer-sponsored
health insurance has declined. Being uninsured is a significant
barrier to accessing necessary and cost effective health care
services, including preventive care and treatment for chronic
December 16, 2011California Healthcare FoundationDecember 2011
Over the past two decades, California has seen an increase in the
percentage of people who are uninsured. California now has the
largest number of people without health insurance — 6.9 million —
of any state in the nation.
Tens of thousands of mentally ill people wind up each year in
California overburdened hospital emergency rooms or die on the
streets. California’s pioneering
Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, passed in 1967, gave legal rights to
those who previously could have been locked up indefinitely and
treated against their will has failed those unable or unwilling
to seek help.
A new survey finds that 20 percent of U.S. adults — over 45
million people — experienced mental illness in the past year.
Overall, 4.8 percent (11 million people) suffered serious mental
illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2
million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide,
according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
California’s community hospitals are on the front lines of
providing quality patient care, 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. As hospitals struggle to meet the increasing health care
demands of California’s growing and aging population, hospitals
are continuously working to improve the safety of the care
provided and quality outcomes for patients.
On Wednesday, UnitedHealthcare awarded $5.2 million in grants to
several not-for-profit health care organizations in California to
help improve health care services and wellness programs, Payers
& Providers reports.
Providers like Kaiser, the Mayo Clinic, and, interestingly, the
Veterans Administration, have installed sophisticated data
systems, but the difference between a state-run approach and the
market-driven one is stark.
Although many community hospitals in the U.S. are operating under
tight budgets, they still are working to implement a variety of
health IT systems to improve operations, patient satisfaction and
performance, according to a survey from health IT vendor
Anthelio, Healthcare IT News reports.
In the coming year, millions of currently uninsured Californians
will gain coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act — but
that does not necessarily mean it will be any easier for them to
see a doctor.
As the state prepares for the expected onslaught of newly insured
patients, health-care professionals are warning there may not be
enough doctors — particularly, those practicing primary care — to
meet the increased demand. Some say that the problem will be even
more amplified in rural California, which already suffers a
physician shortage and dwindling workforce, as the majority of
rural physicians nears retirement and recruitment of new doctors
lags in replacing them.
[T]he upshot of a study in the latest issue the policy journal
Health Affairs. The authors, economists from RAND Health and
Dartmouth College and a nursing professor from Vanderbilt
University, found a surprising upswing in the number of young
women (aged 23-26) choosing nursing as a career between 2002 and
November 11, 2011Canter for the Health ProfessionsNovember 2011
This comprehensive report, sponsored by the California Wellness
Foundation, explores the current and future capacity of
California’s health care workforce to meet the expected increase
in demand resulting from expanded insurance coverage under the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).