12/16/2018

News

A Sign of Trouble? Covered California Slips to No. 2 Health Exchange

Florida bragging rights are not the only issue, however. Tepid growth this year at Covered California raises budget questions because starting next year, the program must be self-sufficient. That means making it on revenue from a fee paid by health plans per member per month.

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44% of Covered California Customers Report Difficulty Paying Premiums

Forty-four percent of exchange policyholders surveyed said it’s somewhat or very difficult to afford their premiums. That’s compared with 25% of adults who had employer-based or other private health insurance.

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Jerry Brown’s Proposal to Expand Health Plan Tax Sputtering

Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to make more managed care organizations pay a state tax – one likely to be passed on to consumers – is meeting resistance at the Capitol.

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Health Insurers Seek Hefty Rate Boosts

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact.

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Huge Coalition Launches $10M Media Campaign to Hike Medi-Cal Rates

With one in three Californians — more than 12 million — now covered by Medi-Cal, payment reform is a huge issue. Medi-Cal rates rank 48th in the nation. It pays about half what Medicare does for primary care. Supporters say a hike in rates would stabilize provider networks and boost access to care for people on the Medi-Cal program.

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California’s Obamacare Exchange Slashes Budget, 2016 Enrollment Projections

The Obamacare exchange had hoped to enroll 1.7 million Californians this spring, but the final tally was about 1.4 million, virtually the same as last year. Now its board is considering a plan to cut spending next fiscal year by 15 percent — or $58 million — compared to the current fiscal year. It also plans to slash its significant marketing and outreach budget by 33 percent, to $121.5 million.

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Opinion: Red Ink Could Kill Covered California

Mr. Lee’s disquieting assessment actually jibed with a 2013 report by the state auditor, which stated that, until the state’s health insurance exchange actually started enrolling Californians in health plans, its “future solvency” was ”uncertain.” Thus, Covered California was listed as a “high-risk” issue for the state.

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Kaiser Permanente to Plant IT Campus, 900 Jobs Outside of Bay Area

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente will plant a $20 million information technology campus in Midtown Atlanta — a project that will create about 900 jobs.

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A Little-Watched Report Is Boosting Estimates for U.S. Economic Growth in Late 2014

Revenue at health-care and social-assistance companies climbed 4.2% in the fourth quarter from the prior three months, up sharply from the third quarter’s 0.3% growth, the Commerce Department said Wednesday in its Quarterly Services Survey. The data weren’t adjusted for seasonal variations or price changes.

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Union-Backed Edict Imperils Care for Poor

Harris in February granted “conditional approval” of the ownership change from the Daughters to Prime — provided Prime agrees to a 78-page agreement filled with costly conditions. For the next 10 years, Prime would agree to keep all the hospitals open. It must spend $150 million on capital improvements in three years, assure the full pension benefits of retirees and current employees, and invest $350 million in seismic retrofitting. . . This convoluted deal is easier to understand in the context of union politics. The powerful Service Employees International Union/United Healthcare Workers West has been harshly critical of the sale to Prime, which it accuses of profiteering. By contrast, one of its rival unions, the California Nurses Association, has backed the sale as a way to save the hospital system.

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No Plans for California to Make Up for Expiring “Medicaid Fee Bump”

California officials have no plans to make up for an expiring federal pay incentive designed to entice doctors to treat low-income patients..

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Nurses Strike is Part of Larger Labor Push

A strike during the past two days by 18,000 nurses at Kaiser Permanente facilities in northern and central California, including three major Sacramento-area hospitals, was the latest salvo by a powerful union that says it is intent on improving the lot of nurses nationwide.

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Report: Skills Gap to Accelerate Healthcare Worker Shortage in California

In the next decade, the state will need nearly 450,000 more workers in all areas of healthcare – from lab technicians to dental hygienists to medical support positions, according to, “California’s Health Workforce Needs: Training Allied Workers,” a report released last week from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

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Health Care in California

The purpose of this report is to provide information on 31 key health care occupations in California. The occupations are those with one or more of the following criteria: expected strong growth, anticipated high demand due to employees leaving the health care workforce, and occupations in demand due to the needs of underserved communities.

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