In an ideal world, Jennifer Kent would like to have added 1,000 new dentists across California willing to accept enrollees in Denti-Cal, the state’s low-income dental program, over the past year. Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, the agency that manages the program, has had to settle for a much more modest number: 73 new dentists.
Data released in June by California’s Department of Health Care Services show that nearly 7,000 Medi-Cal patients filed official grievances about “poor provider/staff attitude” in the last three months of 2017, the most recent data available, making it the top quality of care complaint.
Traditionally, the housing and health care industries have viewed one another as distinct. This distinction has prohibited us from seeing our broader intersections with economic, social and racial equity—and the solutions.
Growing up, most of the kids Shannon Albers knew struggled with their mental health.
A member of the Yurok Tribe, Albers, 19, has lived on the Hoopa Valley reservation in Humboldt County for his entire life. And for as long as he can remember, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse haunted his peers.
Statistics show kids and teens in Orange County use specialty mental health services at a lower rate than children in most other counties in the state. Fewer than 2 percent of Medi-Cal-enrolled youth under age 21 in Orange County consistently received a specialty mental health service in fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
At the other end of the spectrum are counties like San Francisco, where almost 5 percent of San Francisco’s Medi-Cal enrolled kids came into regular contact with the SMHS system in that time. While the percentage differences appear small, they represent potentially tens of thousands of kids in lower-performing counties who are missing out on mental health care.
The My Birth Matters campaign is aimed at every demographic, but experts are also keenly focused on lowering C-section rates for African-American mothers. Their rate of C-sections is on average 5 percentage points higher than other racial and ethnic groups.
Parents often don’t take talk of suicide by young children seriously because they think kids don’t understand the concept. But they do.
Two health plans that serve low-income residents in the Central Valley have consistently failed to meet state standards, recent reports show.
Health Net of San Joaquin and Health Plan San Joaquin, which serve nearly a quarter million Medi-Cal patients combined, failed to meet the state’s minimum performance levels for Medi-Cal health plans since at least 2016.
California’s community colleges serve more than 2 million students annually, but mental health services are not widely available on many campuses. Even on campuses that do have mental health care, availability and services can vary widely.
The lack of access is especially concerning because, as a whole, the students who attend community colleges are at higher risk for mental health issues.
White people enrolled in Medi-Cal access mental health treatment at about twice the rate of other ethnic groups, even though they make up fewer than a quarter of plan enrollees, new state data suggests.
Called “Food is Medicine,” a new Los Angeles pilot program aims to keep low-income patients with congestive heart failure out of the hospital. The three-year pilot project is being funded by the state of California to the tune of $6 million.