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Expanding Primary Care Through Nurse Practitioners

A soon-to-be implemented law in Kentucky alters the flexibility and scope of practice of nurse practitioners, allowing them to prescribe drugs (except those that are at high risk for abuse) without physician oversight after four years of direct supervision. This shift aims to mitigate the effects of a shortage of […] more

Nine months later, what impact has the ACA had on California’s uninsured?

Nine months ago millions of Americans gained access to health care coverage through Medicaid programs and health insurance exchanges. Millions of Americans also endured the technical glitches, remained persistent, and completed the application process. Today we learned from a Commonwealth Fund survey that the uninsured rate for those 19 to […] more

Is Florida Showing Us the Future of Behavioral Health Care in Medicaid?

This month Florida began offering its Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illnesses a choice to enroll in a special comprehensive and integrated managed care plan that coordinates physical and mental health services. The move could be a big deal for people in Medicaid who have a serious mental illness. Since […] more

The Stuff They Didn’t Tell You #CivilRightsActOf1964

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As an African American woman enjoying her civil liberties in this melting pot known as America, I consider it an honor to help us all remember this important day. Well, not really. I mean, not really in the […] more

Summary and Analysis of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby 573 US — (2014)

The Supreme Court held yesterday that a family owned for-profit corporation could invoke the Religious Freedom Act to claim an exemption from offering coverage of contraceptive services to their employees The Affordable Care Act requires large employers and those small employers offering coverage to cover preventive services that are of […] more

State Budget Funds New Primary Care Residencies

In the recently approved state budget, Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature took an important step to help recruit and retain the primary care workforce in underserved areas. As mentioned in a previous blog, the state budget plan appropriates $136.7 billion to Health and Human Services. Of the appropriated funds, […] more


Even though half of the 32 World Cup finalists have already been eliminated, that will not stop this health nerd from spending too much time with the World Health Organization’s world health statistics in determining arbitrary winners and losers in cherry-picked statistics (because England is not a WHO member state, […] more

California Payment Reform and Transparency Projects Pick up Momentum

Last week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced that it would form a partnership with UCSF researchers to build a database of price and quality information to help health care consumers make informed choices about health care providers in the different regions of the state. The project, funded by […] more

Governor Brown Signs State Budget

Governor Jerry Brown signed the state budget for FY 2014-15 on Friday, appropriating $136.7 billion to Health and Human Services. Most health items were relatively unchanged from the May Revise, with a few exceptions. Here are a few highlights of the budget and changes from previous versions: The Medi-Cal caseload […] more

Covered California June Board Meeting

Yesterday was our favorite day of the month – the Covered California Board meeting (not joking – we’re very nerdy). There was plenty to discuss this month in preparation for the upcoming open enrollment. Here are the highlights. 2015 Plan Year Contra Costa Health Plan will not be participating in […] more