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Health Affairs

Katie Keith
Last summer the administration finalized new rules on short-term plans and approved new state waivers. Litigation continues over the individual mandate, risk adjustment, and ACA "sabotage."
September 10, 2018: Health Affairs
Joanne Spetz, Ulrike Muench
Nurse practitioners are well prepared to help fill care gaps arising from shortages of primary care physicians in California. This article reports findings from a survey of California nurse practitioners that examined their employment and practice barriers. The number of nurse practitioners per capita varies across California counties and is positively correlated with the number of physicians per capita. Hispanic and Filipino nurse practitioners are more likely to live in underserved areas. Nurse practitioners and their education programs are concentrated in the same counties that have high physician-to-population ratios...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Emily A Arnold, Shannon Fuller, Valerie Kirby, Wayne T Steward
While Medicaid eligibility expansion created health care access for millions in California, its impact on people living with HIV has been more nuanced. Newly covered people living with HIV who have behavioral health care needs now must navigate separate mental health and substance use care systems, instead of receiving them in integrated care settings as they had under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. We conducted forty-seven interviews in the period April 2015-June 2016 to examine the impact of Medicaid expansion on people living with HIV in California who had behavioral health care needs...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Malia Jones, Alison M Buttenheim, Daniel Salmon, Saad B Omer
Receipt of childhood vaccinations in the US has been declining, and outbreaks of preventable infectious diseases have become more common. In response, in 2014 California implemented a policy change for exemptions from mandatory vaccines for school enrollment. Data on fifteen successive cohorts of kindergarteners enrolled in public and private schools between school years 2001-02 and 2015-16 were analyzed for changes in vaccination trends. The results show an increase in the prevalence and clustering of vaccine exemptions from 2001-02 through 2013-14, followed by a modest decline after implementation of a policy mandating health care provider counseling for vaccine exemption...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Alan R Weil
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: Health Affairs
Michelle Ko, Cary Sanders, Sarah de Guia, Riti Shimkhada, Ninez A Ponce
By 2044 there will be no single racial or ethnic majority group in the US, according to the Census Bureau. California experienced this shift in 2000, making the state a bellwether in its attempts to bring health equity to a highly diverse population. We used data from the California Health Interview Survey and the California Regional Health Care Cost and Quality Atlas to examine health, health care access, and quality of care by race/ethnicity, payer, and region. Evaluating insurance coverage and diabetes as a sentinel condition, we found that wealthy regions exhibited the widest disparities-with advantages among non-Latino whites and people with commercial coverage...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Arturo Vargas Bustamante, Ryan M McKenna, Joseph Viana, Alexander N Ortega, Jie Chen
We examined changes in health insurance coverage and access to and use of health care among adult (ages 18-64) Latinos in the US before (2007-13) and after (2014-16) implementation of the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Data from the California Health Interview Survey were used to compare respondents in the two periods. We used multivariable and decomposition regression analyses to investigate the role of documentation status in access disparities between Mexicans and other Latinos in California...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Walter A Zelman, Lucien Wulsin
During the last century, California policy makers tried multiple approaches to achieve the goal of affordable health coverage for all: employer and individual requirements, single payer, and hybrids. All failed, primarily because of the amount of financing needed to cover the large numbers of uninsured Californians and the supermajority vote requirements for tax increases. These failures, however, provided important lessons for state and national reform efforts. More immediate success was achieved with incremental reforms, such as child health insurance, Medicaid section 1115 waivers, and the creation of purchasing pools...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Tom Kenyon
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: Health Affairs
Ken Jacobs, Laurel Lucia
The San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance is the country's only local law designed to promote universal health care. It provides access to health services for the uninsured while requiring employers to contribute financially toward employees' health care costs. Enrollment in Healthy San Francisco, a program for the uninsured that is one component of the ordinance, fell significantly after the Affordable Care Act extended other types of coverage. Healthy San Francisco continues as a major source of care for undocumented people...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Alain C Enthoven, Laurence C Baker
Managed competition is a concept that was born in California and has achieved a measure of acceptance there. As California and the United States as a whole continue to struggle with the challenge of providing high-quality health care at a manageable cost, it is worth asking whether managed competition-with its tools for harnessing market forces-continues to hold promise as a means of improving value in health care, and whether the standard conceptualization of managed competition should be modified in any way...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Dawnte R Early, Melanie S Dove, Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, Eleanor B Schwarz
California has a long tradition of providing publicly funded family planning services to low-income residents. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased contraceptive coverage in 2012, and in January 2014 it extended Medicaid eligibility by increasing the income cut-off from 100 percent to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and allowing individuals without dependent children to enroll. We assessed the impact of the ACA's Medicaid expansion on low-income Californian women's receipt of health insurance and needed health care, including contraceptive counseling and prescription contraception, using data for the period 2013-16 from 4,567 women ages 18-44 with low incomes (less than 138 percent of poverty)...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Todd P Gilmer, Marc Avery, Elizabeth Siantz, Benjamin F Henwood, Kimberly Center, Elise Pomerance, Jennifer Sayles
This article reports how a large Medi-Cal managed care plan addressed challenges in accessing health care for approximately 7,000 enrollees with multiple chronic conditions through a project known as the Behavioral Health Integration and Complex Care Initiative. The initiative increased staffing for care management, care coordination, and behavioral health integration. In our evaluation of the initiative, we demonstrated that participation in it was associated with improved clinical indicators for common chronic conditions, reduced inpatient costs in some sites, and improved patient experience in all sites...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Richard M Scheffler, Daniel R Arnold, Christopher M Whaley
California has heavily concentrated hospital, physician, and health insurance markets, but their current structure and functioning is not well understood. We assessed consolidation trends and performed an analysis of "hot spots"-markets that potentially warrant concern and scrutiny by regulators in terms of both horizontal concentration (such as hospital-hospital mergers) and vertical integration (hospitals' acquisition of physician practices). In 2016, seven counties were high on all six measures used in our hot-spot analysis (four horizontal concentration and two vertical integration measures), and five counties were high on five...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Carrie L Graham, Pi-Ju Liu, Brooke A Hollister, H Stephen Kaye, Charlene Harrington
In 2014 California implemented a demonstration project called Cal MediConnect, which used managed care organizations to integrate Medicare and Medicaid, including long-term services and supports for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Postenrollment telephone surveys assessed how enrollees adjusted to Cal MediConnect over time. Results showed increased satisfaction with benefits, improved ratings of quality of care, fewer acute care visits, and increased personal care assistance hours over time...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Michael L Barnett, Andrew R Olenski, N Marcus Thygeson, Denis Ishisaka, Salina Wong, Anupam B Jena, Ateev Mehrotra
Many insurers are using formulary design to influence opioid prescribing, but it is unclear if these changes lead to reduced use or just substitution between opioids. We evaluated the effect of a new prior authorization process implemented in July 2015 for extended-release (ER) oxycodone by Blue Shield of California. Compared to other commercially insured Californians, among 880,000 Blue Shield enrollees, there was a 36 percent drop in monthly rates of ER opioid initiation relative to control-group members, driven entirely by decreases in ER oxycodone initiation and without any substitution toward other ER opioids...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Glenn A Melnick, Katya Fonkych, Jack Zwanziger
California became very successful in controlling rising health care costs by promoting price competition through market-based, managed care policies. However, recent data reveal that the state has not been able sustain its initial success in controlling growth in hospital prices. Two powerful trends emerged in California that eroded the conditions needed to sustain price competition. To ensure timely access to emergency hospital services, government regulators enacted regulations that had the unintended effect of giving hospitals tremendous leverage when contracting with health plans...
September 2018: Health Affairs
Jessica Bylander
Data from the California Regional Health Care Cost and Quality Atlas make the case for integrated delivery systems.
September 2018: Health Affairs
Arnold Cohen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: Health Affairs
Katherine L Gudiksen, Timothy T Brown, Christopher M Whaley, Jaime S King
The California drug transparency bill (SB-17), signed into law in October 2017, seeks to promote transparency in pharmaceutical pricing, enhance understanding about pharmaceutical pricing trends, and assist in managing pharmaceutical costs. This article examines the legal and regulatory aspects of SB-17, explores legal challenges to the law, compares it to other state efforts to address rising drug prices, and discusses how California can maximize the impact of SB-17 by coupling the law with other incentives...
September 2018: Health Affairs
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