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The CHCF Blog

The California Health Care Foundation draws on experts from within and outside CHCF to share their health policy insights on this blog.

  1. Designer of Paramedicine Pilot Says Safety Is Job One

    Avram Goldstein, Senior Engagement Officer
    Avram Goldstein
    Avram Goldstein

    Community paramedicine is a locally designed health care model in which paramedics and emergency medical services (EMS) systems collaborate with other health care and social service agencies to provide patients with the right care at the right time. California community paramedics receive extra training, and work under local medical control in six different models in 12 existing pilot programs statewide.

    Dr. Kevin Mackey, a paramedic turned emergency physician, designed and implemented the model in Stanislaus County. The project employs community paramedics who assess patients with mental health conditions and, when possible, connect them to treatment resources faster than if they were transported to a hospital emergency department (ED). Patients enrolled in Medi-Cal or who are uninsured and who pass medical and mental health assessments can be taken directly to a mental health facility without having to stop first at an ED, saving time and resources. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

  2. What Will Covered California Silver Plans Cost in Your Area in 2018?

    Katherine Wilson, Wilson Analytics
    Katherine Wilson
    Katherine Wilson

    Covered California's preliminary premiums for the 2018 plan year are out. This interactive map on the California Health Care Foundation's ACA 411 shows premiums for the second-lowest-cost benchmark silver plan for a 40-year-old in each of Covered California's 19 pricing regions. It also shows what a 40-year-old at various income levels would pay toward benchmark plan premiums after federal premium subsidies are included.

  3. Mario Gutierrez: Improving Access for All, "Giving Voice to the Voiceless"

    Sigrid Bathen, Adjunct professor of journalism and communications, California State University, Sacramento
    Sigrid Bathen
    Sigrid Bathen

    Debra Johnson vividly recalls the day she met her future husband, Mario Gutierrez. She was a young physician interviewing for a position in an Indian health clinic in Mendocino County, and he was working for the California Rural Indian Health Board. It was 1982.

  4. Congress: Do the Right Thing for Our 800,000 "Dreamers"

    Sandra R. Hernández, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Sandra Hernandez
    Sandra R. Hernández

    The Trump administration shocked the conscience of America yesterday with a plan that threatens to deport 800,000 young immigrants brought to the US as undocumented children. More than 200,000 of them live here in California. Many commentators and advocates have pointed out the self-defeating nature of this malignant decision to exile friends, neighbors, and children who know no other country and who were brought to the US by the adults caring for them. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) decision was announced at the Department of Justice, but it is anything but just and does nothing to make our homeland more secure. On the contrary, this action amounts to willful intimidation and psychological abuse of these young people and their families.

  5. Why We Partnered with Yelp to Deliver Maternity Care Measures

    Stephanie Teleki, Director, Learning and Impact
    Stephanie Teleki
    Stephanie Teleki

    We hear plenty of talk these days about the need to enable consumers to make better health care decisions. Consumers are operating at a distinct disadvantage in the current environment. Health care providers have advanced knowledge gained through years of specialized training and practice, while most consumers lack relevant medical data — a situation economists call "asymmetry of information."

    A new partnership between the California Health Care Foundation and Yelp, the popular San Francisco-based search and review site, seeks to help bridge this information gap. Under the partnership announced in July, Yelp now displays maternity care quality measures for the nearly 250 hospitals that provide maternity care services in California.

  6. Future Health Commission To Lay Groundwork for a Modern Health Workforce

    Sandra R. Hernández, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Sandra Hernandez
    Sandra R. Hernández

    Every day, the women and men charged with providing health care to California's 40 million residents work heroically. In helping people in California achieve healthier lives, this network of health professionals not only upholds the highest ideals of human care, it constitutes a formidable economic force that accounts for over 7% of the state's total employment.

  7. ACA Cost-Sharing Reductions Help Low-Income Working Families

    Amy Adams, Senior Program Officer, Improving Access
    Amy Adams
    Amy Adams

    The Congressional Budget Office recently released an analysis of the potential consequences if the Trump Administration stops funding cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) on Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance marketplaces. A lot has already been said about the impact on premiums, federal spending, and consumer plan choice that the CBO projects would result. But what is often missing from the debate and the media coverage is a better understanding of who is helped by CSRs and what that help looks like. As the debate continues to unfold in the coming months, here are a few key facts to remember.

  8. Los Angeles Doctor Speeds Change with Medical Incubator

    Lisa Zamosky, Health Care Journalist
    LisaZamosky
    Lisa Zamosky

    Dr. Andy Lee knew there was a better way to treat diabetes patients. His new model of care was already succeeding at LAC+USC Medical Center, where he serves as medical director for specialty services. What the doctor didn't know was how much resistance he would face when trying to expand the model to the rest of the county.

  9. Medi-Cal Gets a Bad Rap

    Avram Goldstein, Senior Engagement Officer
    Avram Goldstein
    Avram Goldstein

    The Wall Street Journal published a commentary by editorial writer Allysia Finley devoted entirely to California's Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. "If ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid were measured merely by growth in enrollment and spending, California's Medi-Cal program would rank as a huge success," she wrote on July 18. "But despite the surge in enrollment and spending — or perhaps because of it — Medi-Cal has failed to fulfill its stated goal of improving health-care access for the indigent and disabled." She argues that by opening Medi-Cal to younger, healthier people, "California made it harder for those who most need low-cost care to get it." I asked Chris Perrone, who has spent nearly two decades helping Medi-Cal work better and is director of Improving Access at the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), what he thought of the article and the issues it raised.

  10. California Health Insurers Hold Onto Previous ACA Gains

    Katherine Wilson, Wilson Analytics
    Katherine Wilson
    Katherine Wilson

    California health insurance enrollment across all market segments at the end of 2016 remained mostly unchanged from a year earlier. After strong growth rates in 2014 and 2015 due to Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2016 Medi-Cal managed care plans again accounted for more enrollees (10.5 million) than large private group plans (9.6 million). In addition, about 2.3 million Californians purchased coverage on the individual market through Covered California or directly from insurers.

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