While the number of Californians with health coverage has surged, the state is struggling to provide enough physicians to care for them.
Author: Ron Shinkman
A pilot program in Los Angeles County to boost the number of kids receiving vision care through the Medi-Cal program appears to have succeeded, even as utilization of such services has seen a sharp decline in recent years.
California’s capital is one of the toughest places in the state for low-income seniors to afford rent, according to a new study.
UCLA researchers found that 68 percent of low-income seniors in Sacramento County suffer a severe rent burden, which means half or more of their pre-tax income is going toward housing. Another 17 percent suffer a moderate burden, where 30 percent or more of their pre-tax income is going to rent.
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.
New data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show’s children’s oral health has improved across the nation, but race-based gaps in the prevalence of dental cavities and their treatment persist.
The Anaheim event resulted in mixed feelings for the volunteer dentists, who came from all over the state to participate. Many were elated to be able to provide care that alleviated pain and enhanced the quality of life for people who often have a tough time getting breaks.
But they were also troubled that obtaining oral care—which many experts believe has a direct correlation to a person’s overall health—is so nettlesome for low-income Californians.
After nearly a decade of cuts and incomplete coverage, Californians enrolled in the state’s low-income dental program have full coverage this year.
But whether there will actually be enough dentists willing to accept the low-reimbursement rates and red tape often attached to the Denti-Cal program remains to be seen.
Cal MediConnect was intended to help seniors who qualify for MediCal and Medicare. The California Department of Health Care Services expected the program to be a hit. It wasn’t. As of last July, only 28 percent of eligible people were enrolled in Cal MediConnect.
Research has long suggested that the quality of health care in the United States differs depending on a patient’s race. A new study suggests that gap affects even the youngest of patients, newborns in California’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units.
Originally prescribed opioids for foot pain, 67-year-old veteran nurse George Ates eventually found himself on a fentanyl patch that would swiftly kill someone who hadn’t built up a high tolerance to opioids. On the surface, Ates appears to be another of the millions of Americans caught up in the nation’s epidemic of opioid drug use. While one may think of the phenomenon as on that has mostly swept up younger adults, Ates’ struggles are actually commonplace at California’s hospitals.