Posts Tagged: providers

Opinion

The COVID tunnel: We need to push through

A hospital in Tustin with signs lauding health care workers. (Photo: BrianPham75, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The numbers grow scarier each day. Over the past week, California has topped more than 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day, with more than 8,000 people hospitalized due to the virus. Those volumes dwarf any seen in the past year, and the impact of get-togethers during Thanksgiving are not yet being felt, nor is the projected effect of the December and New Year’s holidays.

Opinion

Step therapy: Harmful delays and the patient may suffer

Hospital medical staff checking a patient's records. (Photo: Stokkete, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s never a good idea when insurers cut costs by interfering in the decision-making process between patients and their doctor. But during a national pandemic, it’s a particularly bad idea. I am thinking specifically of an insurance strategy called step therapy.

Opinion

Good child care: Listen to parents, kids, providers

An illustration of children at play. (Image: Nowik Sylwia, via Shutterstock)

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that may be true. But this much we know for certain: for working families in today’s economy, it takes, if not a village, at least a solid team. The backbone of that team is parents, children and caregivers. Parents must work to afford housing, food and other necessities. Children require a safe, nurturing place to be when mom and dad are at their jobs.

Opinion

Time to take action on behavioral health

A depressed man sits alone atop an office building. (Photo: Fure, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The effects of poor behavioral health can be seen all around us every day. We see it in the form of alcoholism or drug addiction, including the epidemic of opioid use.  It can be seen in the daily struggles of those with depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions. It can make headlines, as with the shocking suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade.

Recent News

Dialysis dispute targets billing, health

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.

Opinion

Expand scope of care for nurse practitioners

A nurse with her young patient, and the patient's father. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is one of just 12 states that still excludes qualified nurse practitioners from taking a leading role in helping patients prevent and manage chronic disease like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. I believe this outdated model has deadly consequences for people in our community, where our specialized care for diabetes suffers for lack of qualified health care providers.

Opinion

Costly drugs or access to health care: Should we really have to choose?

A physician flanked by the California flag. (Illustration: Niyazz, via Shutterstock).

OPINION: Prices for prescription drugs are rising precipitously, seriously threatening public and private healthcare budgets, and creating barriers preventing patients from accessing needed therapies. Pharmaceuticals now account for 19 percent of employer spending and Medicare spending on healthcare and, with a slew of approvals of new $100,000+ medications, there is no relief in sight.

News

Despite need, 15% fewer dentists serving Medi-Cal patients

A state review of a dental program that serves low-income Californians shows that significantly fewer dentists are accepting those patients, despite a surge in demand. According to the California Department of Health Care Services report, released July 1, the number of dentists accepting Medi-Cal patients fell by 14.5 percent between 2008 and 2013. That’s a loss of 1,354 providers for the Denti-Cal program, which is the dental portion of Medi-Cal.

Opinion

Mental illness: Treating patients as individuals

Close to 1.2 million adults in California live with serious mental illnesses. Each one of these cases is an individual—a parent or sibling or child—and no two people battling the same condition respond to the same treatment alike. Treating mental conditions—and in fact, treating all illnesses—has to be based on the fact that every person is unique and each patient requires therapies that suit him or her best.

Opinion

Critical priority: Dental care for low-income children

A youngster on his visit to the dentist. (Photo: Wavebreakmedia, via Shutterstock)

It is not often that dental professionals, health care providers, advocates, and legislators from both sides of the aisle all agree on an issue, but that is precisely what happened at a hearing this week on the state’s dental program for low-income children. Testimony and discussion honed in on the sobering results of a December 2014 state audit, which found that millions of children enrolled in Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) were not getting the dental care they need.

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