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Sacramento CountyLaunches LIHP
Sacramento County will belaunching its low-income healthplan next month as part of California’s “Bridge to Reform”initiative.The Bridge to Reform isintended to expand Medi-Calcoverage prior to the plannedexpansion under the AffordableCare Act in 2014. It relaxes Medi-Cal eligibility to include childlessadults. As many as 400,000Californians are expected to beenrolled under the initiative.Sacramento County expectsbetween 10,000 to 14,000 liveswill be added to the Medicaid viathe low income health plan in thecoming months. Long Beach-basedMedi-Cal managed care payer
will beadministering benefits.“Tremendous work has goneinto getting us to thispoint, and LIHP is a true testamentto the commitment these providersin our region have to serving thosein need,” said Rep.
aSacramento-area Congresswomanand Democrat.
El Camino LaunchesBreast CancerProgram That FocusesOn Pre-Diagnosis,Prevention
El Camino Hospital
in MountainView is launching a breast cancerprogram that will focus on womenwho are genetically at high risk forcontracting the disease.The program will screen womenwho are at higher-than-average riskfor contracting breast cancer, and
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As a result, Valentine observed that therehas been a lot of patient out-migration toSanta Rosa, 110 miles to the south and thenearest city of any size, where regionalpowerhouse
operates a hospital.
also operates several smallerhospitals closer to Fort Bragg.Physician shortages have bedeviled manyhospitals in rural areas, according to
, executive director of the
Associationof California Healthcare Districts.
“If you don’t have surgical specialists, thesecondary effect is that the patients also windup using primary care physicians out of thearea,” he said.Petersen added that nearly 60% of California’s physicians practice in just
ve of the state’s 58 counties – those that are themost heavily urban. And California’s overallshortage of physicians is already severe tobegin with, he noted.Hino con
rmed that his hospital hasstruggled with out-migration to other facilitiesfor years. And while Mendocino Coastrecently recruited a second orthopedicsurgeon, it did not stem the
ow of patientsout of the area.“People got used to leaving town andthen referring their friends as well,” Hino said.He added that his hospital’s size makes itdif
cult to compete with Sutter and Adventiston price.The district’s fate was sealed over thesummer when negotiations with its majorcreditors failed. They included the
UnitedFood and Commercial Workers
union, whichrepresents 80% of Mendocino Coast’s 320employees, and
, which holdsabout $30 million in district bonds.By the time the board decided to vote forbankruptcy, it was projected the hospital couldlose as much as $2.5 million this year, anegative operating margin of nearly 6%. Cashon hand had dwindled to where it couldsustain ongoing operations for less than threedays.
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Brown & Toland, Cigna Launch ACO
Covers Health Plan Enrollees In San Francisco
Brown & TolandPhysicians
is forming an accountable careorganization intended to enhance the care of enrollees in a PPO plan operated by insurancegiant
.The Connecticut-based Cigna has beenparticularly active in forming ACOs: Theinitiative with Brown & Toland is its 42nd in18 states.Of
cials with both organizations say it’sthe
rst ACO operating within the city of SanFrancisco involving a commercial health planand an independent practice association.“Our physicians are best suited to usetimely health information at the point of careto improve quality and reduce costs. Thisaccess to information bene
ts both physiciansand patients,” said Brown & Toland Chief Executive Of
.Altogether, the ACO will cover 6,000Cigna enrollees, according to a Brown &Toland spokesperson. The medical group willuse a team of “care coordinators” to closelymonitor recently hospitalized patients toreduce the risk of readmission, keep tabs onthose with chronic health conditions, and
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