Children

Doctors Often Fail to Listen to Black Mothers, Complicating Births, Survey Finds

A first of its kind survey of California mothers about their birth concerns and outcomes offers two findings: Health providers often don’t listen to mothers about their birth preferences and African American women are the least likely to be listened to.

Disregarding input from pregnant women increases the risk of death and complications for the mothers and their babies.

For Low-Income Children, Access to Mental Health Care Varies Sharply by County

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.

In San Joaquin, Two Medi-Cal Health Plans Struggle to Improve Quality

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.

Give Youth an Escape Route from Addiction

Every time a young person who suffers from addiction reaches out for help, we have an incredible and precious opportunity to find the road back to the youth’s full potential. Wasting that opportunity isn’t just a waste of public dollars, it is a matter of life or death.

That is why my organization, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, is sponsoring legislation, Senate Bill 275, to create clear standards for youth substance use disorder prevention, early intervention and treatment.

Few Low-Income Children Get Mental Health Care in California, Despite Need

In California, the state’s key program for providing mental health treatment to low-income children and youth under age 21 serves just a fraction of those estimated to need help, statistics show. And while the pool of children potentially eligible for these services has expanded under the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of kids actually receiving help has declined since 2010, a California Health Report analysis has found.

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