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California Watch

News stories in this section spotlight activities in California, including actions by the state Assembly and state Senate; proposed legislation; regulators like the Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance; and the state ACA exchange, Covered California.

Kaiser Permanente’s New Era Of Patient Convenience

Narayanan Gopala, chief digital officer of Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., said the health system is enhancing its digital offerings for patients in a bid to make healthcare easier. Kaiser Permanente recently improved its digital check-in process, allowing patients to fill out pre-appointment forms and make copayments through their Kaiser app before arriving at the medical ...

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California Expands Paid Sick Days and Boosts Health Worker Wages

California continues to burnish its reputation as a progressive state for health policy as Gov. Gavin Newsom signed bills expanding paid sick leave, adding bereavement leave for miscarriages, and boosting wages for health workers. Newsom blessed a rare agreement between labor and the health industry to gradually phase in a nation-leading $25-an-hour statewide minimum wage for health ...

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Kaiser Permanente And Labor Unions Reach Tentative Deal After Strike

Kaiser Permanente and labor unions reached a tentative deal Friday morning, a little more than a week after workers at the nation’s largest health care nonprofit organization went on strike.

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California Health Care Workers Set For Pay Boost As Newsom Signs Minimum Wage Bill

Hundreds of thousands of California health care workers are poised to receive wage increases under a bill signed late Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom that will gradually raise the minimum wage for health industry workers to $25 an hour over the next several years. The legislation, introduced by State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, makes ...

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New California Regulation Extends UDAAP Prohibitions to Commercial Financing

While federal and state laws have long prohibited providers of financial services from engaging in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”), such prohibitions typically apply only to consumer-purpose transactions rather than business-purpose transactions. However, as of October 1, 2023, a new California law extends the UDAAP prohibitions already in place under the California Consumer Financial ...

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Newsom Signs Bill To Expand Conservatorships For The Severely Mentally Ill

California will expand its standards for involuntary medical treatment to include people whose mental illness or drug addiction inhibits their ability to keep themselves safe, under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. SB43 by Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, was sponsored by psychiatric organizations and other health care professionals who said it would ...

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The PBM Unbundling Has Begun: How Blue Shield Of California And Others Are Embracing New Models

Using Blue Shield of California as a precedent, more health entities may scale back their reliance on their PBMs in favor of centers of excellence that provide specific services. But this new approach to pharmacy benefits needs an organized and connected way for information to be shared.

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New California Law Takes A Step Toward Single-Payer Healthcare

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Saturday that sets the stage for California to work toward universal healthcare, such as a single-payer system that progressive activists have sought for years.

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Kaiser Permanente Strike Ends — For Now

A historic three-day strike at Kaiser Permanente ended on Saturday, but the parties have not yet agreed to a new contract for over 75,000 workers. The unions say another strike may be coming.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom Vetoes Bill Aimed At Limiting The Price Of Insulin

Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have stopped insurance companies from charging more than $35 for insulin. The bill would have banned health plans and disability insurance policies from imposing any out-of-pocket expenses on insulin prescription drugs above $35 for a 30-day supply. That would have included deductibles and co-pays. Newsom, a ...

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