Medi-Cal

The Specialist Squeeze: How to Fix the Shortage of Doctors in the Rural North

California’s rural north has significantly worse health care access than the rest of the state.

The barriers to treatment are even higher when residents try to access care from specialist physicians. When patients or families experience difficulties accessing needed medical care, it multiplies existing social needs, increasing patients’ risk of things like substance use, housing uncertainty and domestic violence.

Opinion: Bill to Strengthen Paid Family Leave is Good Medicine 

Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance are supposed to prevent low-income Californians from falling into poverty or homelessness when they need to take time off work.

But the program is largely an empty promise for these patients because the benefits replace only 60 percent of income. Two of my patients are among the many Californians caught in this trap.

Opinion: How Texting Could Help Californians Access Health Care and Food Banks

The unequal impacts of COVID-19 and the ongoing crisis of police violence in communities of color have exacerbated mistrust and disconnection between these communities and the health care system. This makes achieving patient-centered care a challenge.

Studies show that brief messages and two-way communication via text builds people’s trust and engagement in health care and educational settings.

Opinion: How to Ensure Medi-Cal Members Can Access Their Mental Health Benefits

Medi-Cal members might have mental health coverage in theory, but using it is a different story. People of color are less likely than white people to use mental health benefits, partially due to systemic inequities in the system. The same is true of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) youth.

Our communities care greatly about their mental health and the mental health of their loved ones, yet California’s promises to provide care fall short.

Analysis: Why California Needs an Oversight Office for Durable Medical Equipment

California’s system for providing durable medical equipment and supplies at home is complicated and difficult to manage, even in normal times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, rationing and supply chain disruptions have made things impossible for families of children with special health care needs.

I believe California needs a state oversight office for durable medical equipment to give families and patients a way to resolve problems before they cause harm.

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