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Task Force Outlines Strategy To Address California’s Shortfall Of Health Workers

A new report by a coalition of health, education and labor leaders concludes that the state must build a larger and more culturally diverse pool of medical, mental health and home care professionals to meet the needs of a growing population. The findings point to a big challenge for Gov. Gavin Newsom as he seeks to extend health insurance to many of California’s nearly 3 million uninsured residents.

Patients Suffer When Health Care Behemoths Quarrel Over Contracts

The latest example is Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross, whose failure to seal a deal is causing Anthem members to worry they may not have access to one of the dominant hospital chains in Northern California. Across the U.S., the stakes in such contract fights have risen, as health systems and insurers battle to increase their market share.

Nonprofit Dental Insurer Under Scrutiny For ‘Flagrant’ Spending

Delta Dental of California, with more than 36 million enrollees across the country, is looking to buy a stake in a for-profit insurance company based in Oregon. Consumer advocates are calling on regulators to scrutinize the transaction, arguing that it is just the latest questionable move by the nonprofit dental insurer whose corporate practices may be out of step with its tax-exempt status.

Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)

Hospitals and medical practices are battling outdated stereotypes and sometimes their own doctors to hire certified nurse midwives. Research shows that women cared for by certified nurse midwives have fewer cesarean sections, which can produce significant cost savings for hospitals.

Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients

Some doctors and clinics are proactively informing patients about a proposed policy that could jeopardize the legal status of immigrants who use public benefit programs such as Medicaid. Others argue that because this “public charge” proposal isn’t final — and may never be adopted — disseminating too much information could create unnecessary alarm and cause some patients to drop benefits.

Buyers Of Short-Term Health Plans: Wise Or Shortsighted?

Policyholders reason that their health is good — for now — and they don’t see the need for costly comprehensive coverage. Detractors say the plans undermine the Affordable Care Act, and agents advise reading the fine print. “You basically have to be in perfect health,” says one.