Author: John Connolly

California’s Drug Medi-Cal Waiver Is a Big Deal: Here’s Why

September 9, 2015

On August 14, 2015, The California Department of Health Care Services announced federal approval of the State’s Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) waiver.  This report summarizes expanded Substance Use Disorder (SUD) benefits and describes the importance of the DMC-ODS…

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New Study Emphasizes the Value of Medi-Cal Adult Dental Benefits

June 11, 2015

A new study from researchers at the University of Iowa examined the effect of the 2009 elimination of Medi-Cal adult dental benefits on service utilization and cost. Adult dental benefits are an optional benefit in Medicaid, and many states have eliminated or reduced these benefits…

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New White House Report Highlights Benefits for Medicaid Expansion States

June 8, 2015

  A new report from the White House outlines the major benefits of the Medicaid expansion for the states that opted to extend the new ACA coverage. The paper marshals the best available data and evidence, and highlights improved access to care, better health outcomes and longer…

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Governor Brown’s May Revision for State Budget Shows Revenue up $6.7B and Proposes Full-Scope Medi-Cal Coverage for DACA and DAPA Immigrants

May 14, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision of the California state budget, and he had mostly positive news to share. The biggest news from the new estimates is a $6.7 billion increase in General fund revenues. Given this increase, the Governor proposes new spending for three purposes:   Extending…

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Medicare Pioneer ACO Program Reports a Second Year of Savings

May 4, 2015

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced today that the Medicare Pioneer ACO program saved $344 million in its first two years of operation. That amount equates to roughly $300 in savings for each of the 600,000 beneficiaries receiving services through the…

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Didn’t Know about the Obamacare Tax Penalty? Enroll in Covered California by April 30 to Avoid the Full Penalty.

April 27, 2015

Regular open enrollment may have ended for Covered California, but if you or someone you know wasn’t aware of the tax penalty for not having health coverage, you can still avoid the full penalty by enrolling by this Thursday, April 30. So, enroll now! While you won't be exempt…

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LA County CEO Report Outlines Opportunities and Risks of Proposed Unified Health Agency

April 1, 2015

The Los Angeles County CEO’s office just released a report under the Board of Supervisors’ direction to explore the creation of a new unified health agency that would include the three County health departments, including Health Services (DHS), Mental Health (DMH), and Pubic…

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Long Waits Feared with Obamacare Fail to Materialize

March 27, 2015

Many consumers, healthcare providers, and other market observers feared that the increase in health coverage through Obamacare would cause access problems in the form of long waits for appointments and a lack of hospital beds. So far, it appears that this fear has generally not materialized.…

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New Survey Explores Behavioral Health Needs and Preferences of Californians with Low Incomes

March 12, 2015

The Blue Shield of California Foundation just released the results of a recent survey report by Langer Research Associates that highlights the behavioral health experiences, needs, and attitudes of Californians with low incomes. The main findings are that many Californians with lower…

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Gallup Survey Shows Uninsured Rate Plummeting in U.S., California

February 24, 2015

A new Gallup survey released today found that the uninsured rate in the U.S. dropped from 17.3% to 13.8% over the last year. This share is the smallest recorded by Gallup in 7 years. States across the country recorded reductions in the uninsurance rate, and California was no exception.…

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