Posts Tagged: medi-cal
A pharmacist with a digital tablet checks prescription drugs. (Photo: i viewfinder)
OPINION: Millions of low-income Californians are about to have their prescription drug benefit change on January 1, 2021. Yet, you probably have not heard much about it. On his first day in office, Gov. Newsom proposed several bold initiatives to contain the cost of prescription drug prices, including “Medi-Cal Rx”, a change in how the state administers the prescription drug benefit for the nearly 11 million Medi-Cal enrollees who get their coverage through a health plan.
This week we posted four special editions of the Capitol Weekly Podcast, broadcasting the content from our September 17 conference on health care in the Golden State. We focused this year on the unprecedented public health emergency: COVID-19. Exactly six months and one day after the first Shelter-in-Place order, we examined the response to the crisis and looked at what comes next.
A photo illustration of a doctor using telehealth to provide care to a patient via the internet. (Image: Agenturfotografin, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The need for infection prevention opened the door for telehealth, and we cannot let that door slam shut after the pandemic. Telehealth is essential to expanding people’s access to health care and the health system’s capacity.
A medical practitioner checks the blood pressure on an older patient. (Photo: Alexander Raths, via Shutterstock)
As California contends with a shortage of primary care doctors, some legislators are pushing to have nurse practitioners fill in the gaps. Assembly Bill 890, which is now headed to the Senate, would remove the requirement that nurse practitioners practice under a physician’s supervision.
A photo illustration of language diversity. (Image: Lonely Walker, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: For most patients, interpreting medical information can feel like interpreting a new language – the jargon and industry language requires reading comprehension comparable to the SATs. But imagine if that challenge also included interpreting mistranslated language. What’s a health consumer to do?
An illustration of the 2020 census. (Image: Maria Dryfout, via Shutterstock)
In the most recent year for which an estimate is available (2015), California received about $77 billion in census-related funding—more than 80% of the total federal funds the state received that year. A number of federal programs draw on population estimates derived from the 2010 Census to calculate the share of federal funding for each state. The 2020 Census will soon update these estimates.
A doctor examines a young patient at a hospital. (Photo: wavebreakmedia, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: A few months ago, I turned 19 years old. Approaching the last year of my teenage years should have been exciting, but instead it was bittersweet. On my birthday, I lost access to my Medi-Cal coverage and all of the preventative health care services that it provided. I spent the days leading up to my birthday rushing to complete all of the final health check-ups I could fit in, before I lost coverage – possibly forever.
A nurse in a hospital renal unit starts dialysis treatment on a patient. (Photo: Tyler Olson)
OPINION: I first started having problems with my kidneys when I was 11-years-old. By the time I was 20, I was on dialysis. I was able to keep my kidneys for a while, but as often happens with kidney disease, the illness eventually took over. Almost 40 years and three kidney transplants later, I have beaten the odds by staying alive, but only because of the dialysis treatment I receive every day.
A patient receiving blood dialysis treatment. (Photo: Khajornkiat Limsagul, via Shutterstock)
The Madera patient says he likes his Kaiser doctor and has no desire to switch to publicly funded Medicare, even though he qualifies. But if Senate Bill 1156 is approved, Adames likely wouldn’t get that choice. The bill would require that patients like him receiving third-party assistance would either need to enroll in Medicare or Medi-Cal (for those who are low income), or if they choose to stay on private insurance, they will only receive reimbursement at Medicare or Medi-Cal’s much lower rates.
A patient is treated at a dental clinic. (Photo: sirtravelalot, via Shutterstock)
Susan Inglett’s dental coverage changed just after she got a root canal on one of her top teeth. It was 2009, and California was in the midst of a budget crisis. To cut costs, Medi-Cal, the state health insurance program for low-income residents, eliminated non-emergency dental benefits for adults.