A new state law limits what consumers owe if they’re transported by an air ambulance that’s not part of their insurance network to the amount that they’d be charged if they used an in-network provider. But the law won’t protect millions of consumers whose health plans aren’t regulated by the state.
Communities across California, frustrated with the growing number of homeless people living on public property, have tasked police and sanitation workers with dismantling encampments they say pose a risk to health and safety. The routine cleanups have spawned another public health concern: the loss of the displaced people’s personal possessions, including medicines.
California now will pay pediatricians to screen Medi-Cal patients for traumatic events known as adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. The program is based on research showing that children who endure chronic stress have an increased risk of developing serious health problems. Here are five things to know about the new program.
Some of California’s most prized rivers, bays, beaches and streams are contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening human health. While aging sewage infrastructure is largely to blame, homeless encampments are also a probable source of contamination.
For years, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, one of California’s largest nonprofit hospitals, has been spending less on charity care than other nonprofit hospitals in the state. Now it is expanding eligibility for free and discounted medical care.
The aptly named Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly provides services funded by Medicaid and Medicare that range from medical and mental health care to hot lunches, recreation, transportation and haircuts. California’s newest PACE center opened recently in San Diego County.
Sutter Health will pay $575 million to settle a high-profile antitrust case filed by California’s attorney general. In addition, it has agreed to end a host of practices that the state alleged unfairly stifled competition.
After the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, new taxes and regulations decimated an ad hoc network that had donated cannabis for medical purposes to patients who could not afford it. A recent law seeks to revive the network, but hurdles remain.
Jane Garcia is CEO of La Clínica de La Raza, which operates more than 30 clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area serving a high percentage of immigrant patients. She has challenged state and federal immigration policies in court, including the Trump administration’s recent attempt to expand the “public charge” rule.
Interviews with dozens of Kaiser Permanente therapists, patients and industry experts reveal superficial changes that look good on paper but do not translate into more effective and accessible care.
California and nearby Southwestern states are seeing a sustained rise in cases of valley fever, a potentially serious lung illness caused by a fungus found in desert-type soil. As a result of global warming, the areas where the fungus can thrive are expanding, researchers say.
Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland, a veteran of public health psychiatry, was appointed by San Francisco’s mayor earlier this year to a newly created job: director of mental health reform. His main task is to improve mental health and addiction treatment for people experiencing homelessness.
Californians must have health insurance starting next year or face a hefty tax penalty. But, as with the now-defunct federal tax penalty for being uninsured, some people will be exempt.
There’s something new in this year’s Covered California open-enrollment period: Consumers are learning whether they will qualify for new state-funded financial aid. The results are mixed, with some scoring hundreds of dollars per month and others nothing.
School districts around the country, including in Texas, Indiana, Illinois and Arkansas, now require bleeding-control kits and training at their public schools in this era of mass shootings.
Kate Gordon, director of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research, is tasked with identifying and mitigating the risks of climate change in California. She spoke to KHN about how that work intersects with health, and how residents can get involved.
“Warmlines” are phone lines or electronic chat options for people who are not having a full-blown mental health crisis but who could use support to stave off one. They are a growing trend in mental health outreach to supplement existing hotlines, with one successful warmline in the Bay Area recently expanding to cover all of California.
Health care workers face a greater threat of workplace violence than workers in most other industries. Hospitals are installing security cameras and panic buttons, arming security guards with stun guns and teaching their employees how to handle potentially violent situations.
A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.
Anthem Blue Cross has received a disproportionate share of violations and fines from California’s largest health insurance regulator, mostly related to its mishandling of patient grievances.