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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.

FTC Sues To Block John Muir Health’s Acquisition Of Tenet Hospital

Regulators allege the $142.5 million deal to buy the remaining stake in San Ramon Regional Medical Center would further reduce competition in and drive up prices.

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New California Law Offers Fresh Protection From Steep Ambulance Bills

Starting Jan. 1, ground ambulance operators will be barred from balance billing, thanks to a new law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. California is the 14th state to provide some protection against balance billing for ground ambulance rides.

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California Single Payer Next Step

California governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 770, a bill related to Single Payer health care in California in October 2023. The bill does not create a Single Payer health system in California, and it does not detail any components of what the system would entail. Instead, it focuses entirely on obtaining federal funding for a state-run single-payer health care system in California.

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Healthcare Minimum Wage Expected To Cost $4 Billion In First Year As California Budget Deficit Looms

When Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that set a first-in-the-nation minimum wage for healthcare workers, three words in a bill analysis foretold potential concerns about its cost: “Fiscal impact unknown.”

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New California Law Offers Fresh Protection From Steep Ambulance Bills

Last year, Jennifer Reisz’s college-age daughter, Megan, was kicked in the chest multiple times by the family’s horse. Megan fell to the ground, unable to move or speak. Though she was alone, her Apple Watch detected her distress and called 911. She was taken to a hospital in Clovis, a city in Fresno County, near ...

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California Healthcare Provider’s Move Shows Pitfalls Of Medicare Advantage

Many people on Medicare look the other way when the program’s annual enrollment period rolls around, preferring simply to ignore the hassle. But for thousands of seniors in San Diego, California, Medicare enrollment this year has become a confusing scramble to find new insurance – or new health providers. Scripps Health, a major Southern California ...

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Dads Drive Growth in California’s Paid Family Leave Program

In a sign of growing domestic equality, more new dads are claiming paid family leave to bond with their babies and support their partners during the first weeks of parenthood. In California, which has one of the nation’s oldest programs, men filed 44% of bonding claims last year, up from 31% a decade prior, according to state ...

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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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