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Navigating the Narrows

With the rollout of Covered California, we have seen a great deal of success with enrollment exceeding expectations, and many enrollees are now enjoying new access to health services and greater financial security. However, now that more than 1.4 million individuals have enrolled in Covered California plans, many people are […] more

Covered California September Board Meeting

This month’s board meeting jam packed a lot of material and somehow got out early. Here are the take-homes: Verifications About half of the individuals who received notices to verify their immigration/citizenship states have successfully done so. Covered California will continue to contact consumers with outstanding inconsistencies; however if they […] more

Unfinished Business: An All Payer Claims Database

The 2014 legislative session ended on August 31, and one piece of legislation that we had been watching closely was AB 1558 (DeLeon). The bill would establish an All Payer Claims Database (APCD) in California by requesting that the University of California establish a dataset that would collect information about […] more

Newsflash: The Sky is Not Falling

The annual survey of employer health benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation for 2014 reports the following: The average premium for employee only coverage increased 2%; the average premium for family coverage increased 3%, and the average worker’s wages increased by 2.3%. Covered workers pay 18% on average as their […] more

Will Local Hospitals Survive Cuts to Funding for Indigent Care Programs?

Since the beginning of 2013, twenty-four rural hospitals have closed across the country, and many observers believe that more closures will occur. They blame this on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA aims to extend coverage to the most vulnerable populations by offering states the option to expand their […] more

A Step in the Right Direction

Governor Tom Corbett has made a big step in the right direction with approval of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, dubbed Healthy Pennsylvania (PA). Estimates suggest between 300,000 to 500,000 individuals will now be eligible for health insurance. Since Healthy PA is not traditional Medicaid expansion, it had to be approved by […] more

ER Visits Slowing at LA County Public Hospitals

A recent analysis of 75 hospitals by the Los Angeles Times found that visits to Los Angeles County ERs slowed in the first three months of ACA implementation. Between January and March of 2014, ER visits by patients who didn’t require hospitalization increased 1.7% at county facilities, a slowed increase […] more

Covered California August 2014 Board Meeting

After the cancellation of July’s meeting, the Board of Covered California had a number of topics to address yesterday at the organization’s new offices. Here is a review: Resolving Eligibility Inconsistencies In line with the federally administered Exchanges, Covered California is contacting enrollees whose self reported citizenship/immigration status and income […] more

Are Physicians Willing to Accept Medi-Cal Patients?

Looking at California’s remarkable Medi-Cal enrollment numbers, the million-dollar question is whether there will be enough physicians available to meet increased demands. Traditionally, physician participation in the Medi-Cal program, especially among non-primary care physicians, is low. One arguable reason for low participation is low reimbursement rates. Physicians may be unable […] more

Get ready for Cal Index! It’s more revolutionary than it sounds.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California announced last week that they are launching Cal Index, a digital health information system that shares patients’ health data among all of the two plans’ contracted providers. The two insurers have set up the entity as a nonprofit organization, with $80 million […] more