California Agencies Failing to Regulate Mental Health Care Funding and Promptly Investigate Abuse in Nursing Homes, Auditor Finds

The California State Auditor condemned three government agencies in a recent report for failing to fix problems with health care programs that serve some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

The Department of Health Care Services has been slow to improve oversight of how counties manage and spend money for mental health care, the auditor said.

Opinion: We Need a New Conversation About Health

Governor Newsom’s budget proposals could make real progress in ending inequities and boosting health in California.

But national political leaders should also be asking: What forces shape health and well-being—today and in the future? What do Americans really need and want in terms of health? Can we design a healthier future for all of us, not just people with the most money and privilege?

Children Who Need Wheelchairs and Other Medical Equipment Often Wait Months or Years Because of Byzantine State System

The complicated system creates a disparity where children from families without the means to pay for medical equipment out of pocket often must go without it for months or years, limiting their interactions with their community or setting them up for poorer health outcomes compared to their wealthier peers.

The equipment families seek includes lifts, wheelchairs, walkers, ventilators and hospital beds.

Opinion: To Close California’s Achievement Gap, We Must Teach All Parents About Early Brain Development

When adults interact directly with babies—such as by talking, reading and singing to them—those children have larger vocabularies at age three, better learning levels as they enter kindergarten, and a much higher likelihood of being able to read well and do well as students in both grade school and high school regardless of income levels, cultural differences or race.

Children from every race, ethnicity, culture and economic level deserve to have the asset of early brain stimulation.

Opinion: As Doctors on the Front Lines, We See that Ending Homelessness Takes a Village

As our cities have grown, California has made little effort to provide for those who are at, near, or below the poverty level. Many of these residents are also service workers, the backbone of the state’s economy.

Although the lack of affordable housing is central to this increase in homelessness, we must recognize that the solution to ending homelessness is not in the provision of housing alone.

Tech Project Aims to Address Disparities in Who Can Access Health Records

Apple users are the only ones who can access their health records on their phones. CommonHealth, a new app for Android users, wants to change that and tackle health disparities in the process.

“Android users tend to earn lower incomes, so medical centers using the Apple app are cutting out (a large fraction of patients),” said Ida Sim, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, where she leads the team piloting the app.

Opinion: New Mammogram Guidelines Are Racially Unjust

The ‘start at 50’ U.S. Task Force mammogram approach particularly cheats Asian, Hispanic and black women, whose diagnoses peak in the 40s, potentially creating the greatest suffering for people of color at a relatively younger age.

My journey highlights the need for racial justice in annual mammograms.

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