California, flush with cash from an expanding economy, would eventually spend $1 billion a year to provide healthcare to immigrants living in the state illegally under a proposal announced Wednesday by Democratic lawmakers.
The proposal would eliminate legal residency requirements in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, as the state has already done for young people up to age 19.
It’s part of $4.3 billion in new spending proposed by Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who leads the budget committee.
Assembly Democrats also want to expand a tax credit for the working poor, boost preschool and child care, and increase college scholarships to reduce reliance on student loans.
A federal committee tasked with recommending ways the federal government can help provide more mental healthcare says the system is ill-equipped. The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee established under the 21st Century Cures Act reported to Congress on Thursday that there aren’t enough psychiatric beds and community-based alternatives to hospitalization, and that more first responders need training to deal with the mentally ill and that there should be universal screening for mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.
So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.
Dr. Catrin Wigley at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and colleagues analyzed six National Health Service patient information leaflets from across England for total hip replacement and found that the average readability level was age 17, even though the average Brit reads at a 4th-grade level. You’d have to have the reading comprehension of a high school senior to understand from these brochures what a hip replacement is, why you need it and what complications might occur.
Responding to a strong surge in demand, Covered California on Thursday announced that anyone who still hasn’t enrolled in a 2018 health insurance plan on the individual market now has until Dec. 22 to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.
The previous deadline had been midnight Friday.
“Covered California is seeing a huge influx of consumers, and we know that not everyone is getting through on the phone or is able to get an appointment with a certified enroller,” Peter Lee, executive director of the state-run Obamacare health insurance exchange, said in a statement.
Covered California is extending its deadline to Dec. 22 to enroll in health plans that take effect Jan. 1, the agency announced Thursday.
The deadline had previously been Friday. Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said the extension is meant to give consumers more time, as some have not been able to get an appointment with an agent to help them enroll in a plan.
“We do not want to leave anyone behind,” Lee said in a statement. People will still be able to enroll until Jan. 31, but those plans won’t take effect until Feb. 1 at the earliest.
The compressed timelines of this year’s open enrollment period for government-mandated healthcare have left some companies in the lurch, and as the final hours to enroll tick by, they’ve turned to the startup company Stride Health for help.
Stride manages a number of different tax and healthcare-related information for customers, including Uber, Etsy, Postmates, TaskRabbit, Instacart, DoorDash, Care.com and Homebase.
Now a clutch of other gig economy companies, like Fiverr, Dribbble, Bonsai, HoneyBook, Samaschool and Wonolo have signed up for the service — and the motivating factor is healthcare, according to chief executive Noah Lang.
As Republicans in Congress continue their efforts to undo Obamacare, California is going in the opposite direction.
State lawmakers are exploring how – and when – to expand coverage to all Californians, while also reining in soaring health care costs that make the U.S. the most expensive country in the world for medical care.
The best option for California is to create the nation’s first universal, taxpayer-financed health care system that gets rid of the need for private insurance companies, some Democrats said this week after hearing from a blue state governor who tried to create such a system, known as single-payer health care.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program funding fight shows no sign of ending as next week’s spending deadline looms, and states and hospitals are mounting increasingly urgent pleas for action.States now have sent out letters to parents of CHIP-enrolled children warning them the program may not continue. One-third of states project they will run out of CHIP funding by the end of January.GOP House leaders’ continuing budget resolution—which funds the Defense Department for a year and everything else for five weeks—has ramped up partisan tensions over its CHIP package as well as its treatment of disaster funding and other priorities crucial to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. For CHIP in particular, the House continuing resolution pays for the five-year funding.
Five years ago, Companion DX Reference Lab hoped to cash in on cutting-edge genetic tests paid for by Medicare.
The Houston lab marketed a test to assess how a person’s genes affect tolerance for drugs such as opiates used to treat chronic pain. It also ran DNA tests to help treat cancer and urine screens to monitor drug abuse.
But the lab went bust last year after Medicare ordered it to repay more than $16 million for genetic tests health officials said were not needed.
The CMS announced on Thursday that patient experience scores and star ratings have been added to the Physician Compare website for patients and caregivers to view. The site will now display physicians’ 2016 performance under the Physician Quality Reporting System as star ratings. Patient survey scores from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys will be listed on “group pages” that show the overall performance of a physician practice instead of individual doctors. The measures used to get a composite 5-star rating score for doctors involve preventive care, patient safety, care planning, diabetes, behavioral health and heart disease.
As businesses of all sizes struggle with skyrocketing healthcare costs, employers are looking to employees to help shoulder the burden, often by shifting to Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHP), which include higher medical deductibles and a higher share of payment responsibility for the employee. There’s one big problem with this approach, however: A significant number of patients can’t (or won’t) pay for healthcare without employer subsidies. Research indicates that consumers at all income levels are more likely to pay for their mortgages, insurance, loans, utilities, cable TV, Internet, lawn care, and newspapers before paying their healthcare bills. It’s a dangerous cycle for healthcare providers, health plan providers and consumers alike.
Groups representing health insurers and consumers on Thursday called on state insurance regulators to protect their residents against President Donald Trump’s October executive order to ease insurance rules and open up access to skimpier, cheaper health plans.The letter, signed by a hodgepodge of groups including the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Heart Association, urged regulators to swiftly restore the Affordable Care Act’s duration limits on short-term insurance plans, if federal rulemaking prompted by the executive order ends up allowing those plans to be sold long-term.