Friday, May 17, 2013
California's secretary of state has designated the state's health insurance exchange as a voter registration hub, making California the first state to do so. Some Republicans say targeting specific populations could create a partisan advantage. Sacramento Bee
Five University of California medical centers are starting to postpone elective surgeries because of an expected strike. Meanwhile, the California Nurses Association-National Nurses United is planning a seven-day strike at Sutter Health facilities. Los Angeles Times
On Thursday, the House approved legislation to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act. The legislation marks the 37th time that congressional Republicans have sought to repeal, defund or dismantle the ACA. The bill is not expected to pass in the Senate. Washington Post
According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine
, most physicians agree that increasing the number of nurse practitioners would improve timeliness of care. However, few believe that doing so would improve safety and quality of care. Kaiser Health News
Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo has participated in a nationwide March of Dimes study that has helped reduce the hospital's early elective delivery rates. San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital's new emergency department and intensive care unit building has begun accepting patients.
More than 80% of surveyed transit-dependent riders in Alameda County said they have more difficulty getting to their jobs, doctors' offices, schools or social activities, according to a new report from the Alameda County Public Health Department. The survey -- which examined the effects of public transportation cuts -- found that 6% of respondents, most of whom were seniors and people with disabilities, reported less access to health care appointments. KQED's "State of Health".
On Tuesday, the Glendale City Council unanimously moved to ban smoking in all new apartments and condominium units. Under the ban, developers could apply for an outdoor smoking permit by paying about $200, along with a $50 annual fee, and establishing a space that is approved by city officials. Council members say that they do not seek to extend the ban to existing multi-unit facilities because it would be too difficult to enforce. Los Angeles Times.
ACROSS THE NATION
Primary care physicians who participate in Medicaid still are awaiting a reimbursement increase five months after CMS issued a final rule on the Affordable Care Act provision. The increase was slated to take effect on Jan. 1, but only three states -- Massachusetts, Michigan and Nevada -- have implemented it so far, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Although all states have applied to start offering the higher rates, CMS only has approved applications for seven states. Kaiser Health News' "Capsules."
Seventy-one percent of U.S. physicians believe that the use of health information technology systems ultimately will result in higher costs, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. However, 73% of U.S. physicians believe that health IT adoption will improve care quality in the long run, according to the report. FierceHealthIT, Deloitte report.
In a Capitol Weekly opinion piece, Martin Gallegos -- senior vice president and chief legislative advocate for the California Hospital Association -- applauds an Assembly panel's decision last week to move AB 975 -- which would have increased the level of charity care not-for-profit acute care facilities must provide and tightened hospital reporting requirements -- to the Suspense File, noting that the committee recognized "the many negative impacts, including the high unnecessary costs to the state." He concludes, "The demise of AB 975 means we can continue the real work of implementing the [Affordable Care Act]." Capitol Weekly.