Author: Chris Richard

Sobering Center Offers Homeless a Second Chance

The beds lie in neat rows in the dim light, elongated shallow bowls of heavy plastic, each cradling a waterproof mattress.
They’re built to contain the urine and vomit of drunkenness, then to be ready for service again after a quick wash and treatment with disinfectant.

Marked Racial Disparities in Money Spent to Help Disabled

Four years after California legislators vowed to eliminate racially and ethnically-linked disparities in spending on services to the developmentally disabled, funding gaps persist, records show. The state’s 21 “regional centers,” nonprofit organizations tasked with providing services for people with developmental disabilities, consistently spend less on Latinos than on whites, African-Americans or Asians.

California counties adding care for undocumented immigrants

California counties are building a patchwork of health plans to cover the last big group of uninsured residents: immigrants living here without legal documentation. With Californians enthusiastically taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured residents is plummeting.

LA County Struggles with Mentally Ill Inmates

The inmate had stripped off his suicide-prevention gown. Such garments are of heavy fabric, like moving blankets, so that inmates in the Los Angeles County Jail’s “high observation” wing can’t tear them up to make ropes and hang themselves. This man had rolled his gown into a club. Standing naked, he bashed it again and again against the walls of his cell.

Concierge Medicine Expected to Grow Under Health Reform

Paying extra for better access to a doctor, often called concierge medicine, is drawing new attention, at least in part in response to the Affordable Care Act. Although adherents are still few in number, concierge medicine is growing in popularity, particularly in California.

Silent Treatment Saves Lives

Last year, the Affordable Care Act-funded Partnership for Patients released a report showing that from 210,000 to 440,000 patients die annually from medical errors in hospitals. Kaiser Permanente and other hospitals are now taking small steps that may have a big effect on reducing preventable deaths.

ACA Offers Critical Support for Foster Kids

Before the ACA became law, California extended Medi-Cal coverage for former foster children until their 21st birthdays. In Los Angeles County, that deadline meant some 1,500 former foster youth lost their health coverage each year. Statewide estimates set the number at up to 5,000 youths a year. Now, the ACA guarantees access to health care services for former foster youth until age 26, just like other young people who can stay on their parents’ private insurance plans until that age.

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