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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.

No Deal Yet On Newsom Mental Health Plan

If Gov. Gavin Newsom was hoping amendments introduced to his mental health overhaul last week would sufficiently appease critics, Tuesday’s back-to-back committee hearings only revealed how much further he has to go to reach a compromise. The big idea: Newsom wants counties to prioritize behavioral health spending on homeless individuals who have serious mental illness or addiction ...

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Blue Shield California Ditches CVS For Amazon And Mark Cuban’s Drug Company

A major California health insurer is shaking up the prescription drug pricing system as it seeks to lower the cost of medication for its 4.8 million members.

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Newsom Makes Concessions On The Way To Mental Health Reform

Gov. Gavin Newsom has spent four years trying to overhaul how counties pay for mental health care, betting his reputation on making a dent on homelessness, substance abuse and mental health problems.

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As a Union Pushes to Cap Hospital CEO Pay, It’s Accused of Playing Politics

The aim is aspirational: Hospital executives shouldn’t make more than the president of the United States. Next spring, Los Angeles city voters will have a chance to put the brake on runaway salaries by capping hospital executives’ pay at $450,000 a year. The measure, proposed by a local union and approved by the City Council in June, ...

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Patients in California County May See Refunds, Debt Relief From Charity Care Settlement

California’s largest public hospital plans to start notifying 43,000 former patients Monday that they may be eligible for refunds or billing corrections, part of what advocates called a major legal settlement that will help force the hospital to fulfill its charity care obligations. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, along with other units of county-owned Santa ...

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San Jose: Good Samaritan, Regional Medical Center Hospitals Listed In Cyber Attack

Two major San Jose hospitals may have been impacted by a wide-ranging cyber attack that exposed patient names, ZIP codes, phone numbers and other private information from one of America’s largest healthcare providers. The list of affected facilities includes Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center, which are both owned by the Tenessee-based HCA Healthcare. ...

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‘Fairly Shocking’: Secret Medical Lab In California Stored Bioengineered Mice Laden With COVID

A monthslong investigation into a rural California warehouse uncovered an illegal laboratory filled with infectious agents, medical waste and hundreds of mice bioengineered “to catch and carry the COVID-19 virus,” according to Fresno County authorities. Health and licensing said Monday that Prestige Biotech, a Chinese medical company registered in Nevada, was operating the unlicensed facility ...

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Alzheimer’s Prevalence In California

California has one of the highest rates of Alzheimer’s disease in the country, according to a new study. Why it matters: It’s critical for public health officials, policymakers and others to have a clear look at the number of Alzheimer’s cases in a given area, the authors say — in part because caring for those with ...

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Lawsuit Against Insurer Claims Retaliation Against Docs for Out-of-Network Referrals

California’s highest court has revived a high-profile lawsuit that could have a major impact on whether insurers can punish physicians who refer patients to out-of-network providers. The case, which has bounced around courts in the Golden State since 2012, pits the nearly 50,000-member California Medical Association (CMA) against Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health ...

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More Than 220K People Kicked Off Medi-Cal In Its First Checkup Since COVID

About 225,0000 Californians lost their free or low-cost health coverage as of July 1, in the first round of a Medi-Cal renewal process that had been suspended since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s approximately 21% of the over 1 million people who were due to reapply for coverage in June, according to preliminary numbers ...

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