State Outlines Plan to Transition Low-Income Health Program to Medi-Cal

State officials last week said more than 90% of Low Income Health Program enrollees will be able to keep their primary care physician when LIHP is folded into the Medi-Cal expansion in 2014. Brian Hansen, health reform advisor in the director's office at the Department of Health Care Services, made the prediction as one of about a dozen state agency experts who spoke Thursday at a conference…

Supreme Court Decision on Insulin Injection Shapes the State’s Use of School Nurses

The California Supreme Court's unanimous decision last week that public schools have a right to allow unlicensed -- but trained -- school personnel to administer prescription medication to children was fueled partly by necessity. There's a dearth of school-based nurses in California to administer insulin to children. As diabetes and obesity among children have risen, the number of school…

Healthy Families Transition Concerns Highlighted as Most Difficult Phases Start

The third phase of the Healthy Families transition begins today, and it could be a bumpy passage. The first two phases moving about 615,000 Healthy Families children to Medi-Cal managed care plans have gone relatively smoothly, with almost all of those children retaining their health plan and roughly 94% of them retaining their primary care physician, according to the Department of Health Care…

Brown Approves Budget Plan, Medi-Cal Expansion Legislation

On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a $96.3 billion fiscal year 2013-2014 state budget plan (AB 110) and legislation (AB X1-1) to expand Medi-Cal to more than 1.4 million state residents under the Affordable Care Act, the Los Angeles Times reports (Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 6/27). Read the full California Healthline article... Read the enacted 2013-14 California Budget…

Obama’s Plan To Curb Gun Violence Includes Mental Health Directives

On Wednesday, President Obama released nearly two dozen executive actions and proposals to Congress aimed at curbing gun violence, including several mental health and health policy directives, MedPage Today reports. "...The president also proposed a new program -- Project AWARE -- that aims to reach 750,000 youths with mental illness and refer them to treatment. The project would include $15…

CMS Meets Deadline for Approving Healthy Families Transition

Tight up against the end-of-year deadline, CMS officials on Dec. 31 granted approval of California's plan to move 860,000 Healthy Families children into Medi-Cal managed care programs. Federal officials asked for changes to the transition plan, including more frequent monitoring and evaluation of the transition to better ensure children are able to access primary care physicians under the new…