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: 14 min 41 sec ago
On Wednesday, UPS and the University of Virginia separately announced that, in part because of costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, they will stop providing health care coverage to employees' spouses who can obtain insurance through their own employer. <em>Washington Times</em> et al.
A Republican plan to defund the Affordable Care Act through the annual budget process is gaining support among GOP lawmakers. However, many GOP members oppose the strategy, saying it is a reckless move that could result in voters holding Republicans responsible for the government shutting down. <em>The Hill</em>'s "Blog Briefing Room" et al.
A Beverly Hills surgical center associated with the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaign has been denied accreditation by the Joint Commission. The center will be unable to perform many surgeries without the commission's accreditation, but it remained open this week. An attorney for the center says that officials disagree with the decision and are evaluating their options. <em>Los Angeles Times, AP/U-T San Diego.</em>
The Sacramento city attorney is working with San Francisco officials to seek compensation for the care and housing of patients with mental illnesses who were bused to California from a Nevada psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile, a CMS notice says that a second Nevada psychiatric facility improperly sent patients to California between 2007 and 2012. <em>Reno Gazette-Journal/USA Today, AP/U-T San Diego</em>.
<p>Employers in California's agricultural industry are facing higher costs under the Affordable Care Act, which will require them to offer health insurance coverage to thousands of field workers. Minimum coverage under the ACA could cost the agricultural industry about $1 per worker for every hour that the employee works in the field, according to estimates. <em>New York Times/Kaiser Health News</em>.</p>
A new Commonwealth Fund report finds that up to 82% of young uninsured U.S. adults will be eligible for federal subsidies to purchase health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges or for Medicaid. However, only 27% of young adults are aware of the new insurance marketplaces, according to the report. <em>Reuters</em> et al.
A new survey from Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust finds that employer-based health insurance premiums increased by 4% for family coverage in 2013, while individual rates increased by 5%. Although it is the second-consecutive year premium growth has remained relatively low, the increase is larger than the 1.8% increase in wages and the 1.1% inflation rate. <em>New York Times</em> et al.
<p>A California prison official says the state does not yet need to use its newly approved authority to force-feed inmates who are taking part in a hunger strike. A federal judge recently approved a request from prison officials and the Prison Law Office to have authority to force-feed inmates when they are at risk of "near-term death or great bodily injury" or when they are deemed incompetent to make their own medical decisions. <em>Reuters</em>.</p>
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sent a letter to the Nevada attorney general seeking reimbursement for the cost of caring for patients with mental illness who were bused to the city from a Nevada facility. Herrera said he will file a lawsuit over the matter if the Nevada AG does not agree to the terms in the letter. <em>AP/U-T San Diego</em> et al.
A new Field Poll finds that 75% of California voters under age 65 have little or no knowledge about the state's new health insurance exchange two months before the marketplace is set to open for enrollment. However, 83% of uninsured respondents under age 65 said they were interested in learning more about the exchange, according to the poll. <em>Sacramento Bee</em>.
A federal judge has approved a request by California and federal officials to grant them authority to force-feed inmates participating in a prison hunger strike if the prisoners become unresponsive or are unable to communicate their health care needs. The request also asked that medical officials at the prisons have the authority to override do-not-resuscitate requests that they believe inmates might have been coerced into signing. <em>AP/U-T San Diego</em>, <em>Los Angeles Times</em>' "PolitiCal."
A new RAND Corporation analysis finds that delaying the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate by one year will not pose major consequences for the law's overall implementation. However, a repeal of the requirement could result in significant financial setbacks for the federal government, according to the study. <em>The Hill</em>'s "RegWatch," <em>HealthCanal</em>.
The California Department of Human Resources has reached a tentative agreement with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists on a labor contract that includes raises ranging from 4% to 8% for about 1,500 employees and boosts employer contributions to health plans. <em>Sacramento Bee</em>'s "The State Worker."
The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that only 26 states have temporarily increased Medicaid reimbursements for primary care physicians as required under the Affordable Care Act, even though CMS issued final guidance on the increase in November 2012. California is the only state still waiting on CMS' final approval of its plan. <em>Modern Healthcare</em>.
A new Field Poll finds that most California voters say that they support the Affordable Care Act, even though nearly half of them do not expect the law to affect their situation. According to the poll, 63% of California voters under age 30 say they support the law, and 47% of voters age 65 and older say they back the ACA. <em>Sacramento Bee</em>.
Conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers are urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to support a plan to defund the Affordable Care Act by threatening a government shutdown. McConnell has spoken out against the plan, saying that it would not stop ACA implementation and could backfire politically. <em>The Hill</em>'s "Ballot Box" et al.
During his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Obama underscored his administration's commitment to implementing the Affordable Care Act on time and criticized Republicans who are "working hard to confuse" the country about the law. Meanwhile, former White House adviser David Axelrod said he expects the administration to continue to make more changes to the law as it is implemented.<em> AP/Modern Healthcare</em> et al.
A <em>Sacramento Bee</em> review of agency data and worker correspondence finds that the California Department of Developmental Services in recent years has inconsistently collected fees from parents whose children with disabilities require state-funded out-of-home care. <em>Sacramento Bee</em>.
A recent Field Poll finds that 50% of California voters say their health care costs have increased in the past year and that such costs are difficult to afford. The poll also finds that 41% of respondents say they are paying about the same in health care costs as they did last year, while 5% say they have lower health costs than last year. <em>Sacramento Bee</em>.
Assembly member Dan Logue is seeking bipartisan support for a measure that would require regular audits of county mental health funds raised under Proposition 63. Logue's announcement follows the release of a state audit finding that California agencies have not properly overseen how Prop. 63 funds are spent. <em>AP/U-T San Diego</em>, Logue release.