The Center for Health Reporting Health News Page is a collection of articles useful to health reporters from selected sources. This list of articles is updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours per day.
California Healthline is a free news digest reporting on health care policy and politics.
Updated: 15 min 45 sec ago
Regional data released this week show that as of the end of January nearly 200,000 Los Angeles County residents had enrolled in health plans through Covered California, surpassing enrollment in more than 40 states. The data also show that more than 160,000 consumers in the San Francisco Bay Area had enrolled in plans through the exchange. Los Angeles Times' "Money & Co." et al.
Two recent surveys conducted by the Urban Institute and McKinsey find that a significant portion of uninsured U.S. residents are unaware of the health insurance exchanges but that the overall number of uninsured people who have enrolled in coverage through the exchanges is increasing. Washington Post et al.
A plan by President Obama to extend an administrative fix allowing individuals to keep health plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum coverage standards is unlikely to have a significant effect on California residents. San Jose Mercury News.
House Republicans want to vote on legislation that would delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and use those savings to permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula. The vote could be difficult for Democrats, who would have to choose between supporting a popular SGR repeal and opposing a delay to the ACA's individual mandate. The Hill's "Floor Action" et al.
A U.S. district court judge has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents Alta Bates Summit Medical Center from implementing planned layoffs and a job restructuring initiative. The family of a patient who went missing at San Francisco General Hospital and was later found dead have filed a claim against the city of San Francisco.
Covered California has stepped up its advertising and marketing efforts to encourage uninsured residents to sign up for health insurance through the exchange before the end of the open enrollment period. Meanwhile, several insurers have launched their own outreach efforts in preparation for the upcoming deadline. Los Angeles Times.
Yesterday, the Obama administration announced several new delays and changes to the Affordable Care Act, including a two-year extension of an administrative fix allowing consumers to keep health plans that do not comply with the ACA's minimum coverage standards. Washington Post et al.
State Sen. Ted Gaines -- who is running for state insurance commissioner -- this week filed a lawsuit challenging the state health insurance exchange's decision not to allow insurers to continue selling plans that do not meet requirements under the Affordable Care Act, even after President Obama announced a proposal allowing states to do so. Sacramento Business Journal et al.
Access to specialty care in California likely will become more difficult as more residents gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Observers say low reimbursements from health plans offered through Covered California and a cut to Medi-Cal reimbursements are hindering access to specialists. Los Angeles Daily News.
A report by HHS' Office of Inspector General finds that about 22% of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to nursing homes experienced preventable injuries in August 2011. The report offers recommendations to CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to increase safety and prevent patient harm at nursing homes. Modern Healthcare.
Yesterday, President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, which would boost HHS spending to more than $1 trillion for the first time. The proposal, which Congress is not expected to adopt, also increases funding for FDA, NIH and other health programs. AP/U-T San Diego et al.
A California appeals court has ruled that managed health care plans in the state do not have to consider pharmacies' costs for obtaining prescription drugs when setting their Medi-Cal reimbursement rates. A lawyer for the Medicaid Defense Fund said he will take the case to the state Supreme Court. San Francisco Chronicle.
The majority of California health care providers have adopted electronic health record systems. However, EHR implementation has proven difficult for many providers and, in some cases, has negatively affected patient care. One expert estimates that it can take two years for doctors to become fully competent with EHRs. HealthyCal.
A new Gallup poll finds that California is the eighth-least obese state in the U.S. According to the poll, the 10 least-obese states had significantly lower rates of cancer, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure than the 10 most-obese states. Sacramento Business Journal et al.
The Obama administration is expected to announce an extension of up to three years to an administrative policy allowing U.S. residents to keep their health plans even if the plans do not meet minimum coverage standards under the Affordable Care Act. Without the extension, a second round of cancellation notices would be sent to consumers this October. Reuters et al.
A new study published in Health Affairs finds that about 60,000 individuals with HIV/AIDS will remain uninsured because they live in states that are not expanding their Medicaid programs. The study was conducted by researchers from California and other states. Kaiser Health News' "Capsules."
A new analysis finds that health insurance premiums on plans sold through the state exchange can vary by hundreds of dollars based on the region in which the plan is sold. Experts say that differences in the cost of medical care cause the varying prices. Los Angeles Daily News.
This week, President Obama will attend a town hall co-hosted by the "Get Covered" campaign and Spanish-language media outlets to urge Latino U.S. residents to enroll in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The event is part of the administration's final push to bolster enrollment in the health insurance exchanges. Politico et al.
According to interviews and a review of internal documents, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health directed inspectors to dismiss investigations of complaints at nursing homes if they were submitted anonymously or recent investigations found no problems. Kaiser Health News/Sacramento Bee.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report that shows the Affordable Care Act contributed to a slight increase in personal income and consumer spending in January. Specifically, the report credits the law's Medicaid expansion, tax credits and premium subsidies. The Hill's "Healthwatch," Bureau of Economic Analysis release.