Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has indicated that California will continue to implement the components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even if the U.S. Supreme Court determines the law is unconstitutional. California is expected to receive an additional $45 billion to $55 billion in federal funds between 2014 and 2019 if ACA implementation moves forward. Without that level of financial support, the Brown administration recognizes the difficulty of moving forward with an expansion of health care coverage. California plans to use as much of the federal funding as possible, as quickly as possible, to ensure the state has a marketplace for health insurance. California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley has asserted that the state should consider implementing its own legislation for an individual mandate if the Supreme Court rules against that provision in the ACA.
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have released the 2012 County Health Rankings that assess the health of nearly every county in all 50 states and the district of Columbia. The online tool allows users to compare rankings of key health indicators, including the percentage of uninsured citizens and number of preventable hospital stays. The rankings also compare the ratio of people to primary care physicians, diabetes screenings, average life expectancy and other key metrics. The online tool is available at www.countyhealthrankings.org/#app.
Hospitals can apply through May 4 to participate in Best Fed Beginnings, a national initiative to improve breastfeeding support in hospitals. Selected hospitals will work with national breastfeeding and quality improvement experts to implement 10 steps to successful breastfeeding established by the World Health Organization/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Leading the effort, the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Baby-Friendly USA will select up to 90 hospitals for the 22-month learning collaborative. For more information and to register for an April 10 informational webinar, visit www.nichq.org/our_projects/cdcbreastfeeding.html.
If the Affordable Care Act is fully or partially nullified by the US Supreme Court, for-profit hospital operators will face a credit-negative situation as costs increase and profit margins shrink, according to a special comment report from Moody’s Investors Service.
That could be detrimental to the credit position of for-profit, acute-care hospital operators such as Community Health Systems, HCA, and Tenet Healthcare Corp., which could find themselves with less cash flow available to reduce debt.
In an effort to promote care that is necessary and supported by evidence, nine physician societies on Wednesday identified a total of 45 tests and treatments they say should be questioned by physicians and patients because of the potential for needless cost, waste, and harm.
The “Choosing Wisely” campaign, launched by the American Board of Internal Medicine, has been seeking consensus on types of care that are overused or unnecessary, but which remain the standard of care in many physician practices.
District hospital leadership in Corcoran said it wants to remain independent, but they may still find a way to partner with Adventist Health to create a bigger, better rural health clinic, CEO Jonathan Brenn said this week.
At least that’s an option Brenn says he will be pitching to the board as part of discussions expected at Thursday’s monthly meeting.
The future of Corcoran District Hospital has been in flux for months.
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was signed into law, two years ago almost to the day, California quickly got the ball rolling. It was the first state to set up the reform bill’s core feature, a health benefits exchange – a marketplace for consumers and small businesses to pick and choose among various insurance plans – that is scheduled to open in 2014.