At The Capitol
New Independence for California Midwives

New Independence for California Midwives

By Lisa Renner

California licensed midwives will have increased independence and authority in attending births, potentially giving more pregnant women access to their services under a new law that goes into effect in January.

Assembly Bill 1308 removes an unworkable clause that required all licensed midwives to be supervised by a physician.

CoveredCa enrollment pace quickens

California’s new health insurance exchange appears to be gaining momentum with consumers. Officials announced Thursday that 109,000 people had completed the application process and picked a private insurance plan through in October and November. About twice as many people completed the process in November as had in October, and the numbers for the first week of December were even higher.

CoveredCa enrolls 31,000 in first month

California’s new online insurance marketplace signed up 31,000 customers in the first month it was open for business and another 18,000 in the first two weeks of November, officials said Wednesday.

Latest News

Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

By Matt Perry

After restaurateur Sam Stelletello opened Sunshine Care to offer high-quality assisted living to World War II’s “Greatest Generation,” nearly all of his aging residents succumbed to dementia – most frequently Alzheimer’s disease.

As Sunshine’s original 10-bed 1990 facility expanded into today’s immaculate seven-building site in the hills of homespun Poway – San Diego County’s “City in the Country” – the residents’ natural cognitive decline spawned one of the state’s few facilities devoted to patients with dementia.

Health Centers Try To Expand Without Losing Roots

Health Centers Try To Expand Without Losing Roots

By Lynn Graebner

When Clare Ross couldn’t afford her $300 health insurance premium on top of her student loan payments, she turned to the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center.

The safety-net clinic was founded in 1974 to serve only women, many of whom, like Ross, couldn’t get care elsewhere. But the center is now expanding its services in order to serve a wider demographic and receive federal funding under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance Could Help Former Inmates, But State and County Problems Have Slowed Enrollment

Insurance Could Help Former Inmates, But State and County Problems Have Slowed Enrollment

By Angela Woodall

California’s ambitious plan to enroll former prison and jail inmates in health insurance as part of an expansion funded by the Affordable Care Act has been foiled by an applications logjam, administrative errors and bureaucratic roadblocks.

Advocates across California who work with former inmates have been trying since January to get them signed up for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health plan, in the hopes that having access to doctors, mental health services and addiction treatment might help keep them out of jail.

Directories of Doctors Who Treat the Poor Are Inaccurate, Hurting Access

Directories of Doctors Who Treat the Poor Are Inaccurate, Hurting Access

By Hannah Guzik

Claudia Boyd-Barrett and Angela Woodall contributed to this report.

Directories of doctors given to low-income patients across California are highly inaccurate, making it difficult for them to get the health care they’re entitled to under state law, the California Health Report has found.

More than half of the primary-care doctors in provider directories given to low-income patients in three counties in Northern, Central and Southern California are not accepting new patients with Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health plan, or could not be reached by telephone.

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California Focus: Daniel Weintraub

Diabetics account for nearly 1/3 of hospital stays

We’ve long known that diabetes and its related illnesses cause havoc in people’s lives and drive up health care costs, but a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has quantified the damage done with a sobering new statistic: nearly one-third of hospital stays by Californians age 35 and older involve a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes.

The ACA and women’s health

The ACA and women’s health

The Affordable Care Act has several provisions aimed at improving women’s health. In this infographic, the Journal of the American Medical Association lays out some of the issues women face and how the ACA might help. Click on the thumbnail to see the full graphic.

How wealth drives health — and what we can do about it

By Daniel Weintraub

California is a land of health extremes, and to see what that means, you need only travel a few miles from the state Capitol.

Placer and Yuba counties border each other about a half hour’s drive north of downtown Sacramento. Both places are largely rural. But the similarities end there.

California Voices

Prevention-Based Policy Solutions for Ending California’s Diabetes Epidemic

By Ian McLaughlin

Nationwide, type 2 diabetes affects more than 20.9 million children and adults. California has not been immune; in fact, diabetes diagnoses in the state have increased by 35 percent over the past decade, becoming an unfortunate part of life for many of California’s citizens.

By 2011, Californians with diabetes comprised almost one-third of the state’s hospital stays among adults age 35 or older.