CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2011 |
A proposed ballot measure that would require porn actors to wear condoms while filming in the city of Los Angeles has qualified for the June ballot, according to a letter from the city clerk certifying that proponents had gathered enough valid signatures. The initiative still faces a legal challenge by Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Trutanich filed court papers earlier this month saying that Los Angeles voters would have no legal authority to adopt the proposed measure even if it were placed on the ballot.
December 14, 2011 |
A contract dispute between one of California's largest health insurers and UCLA could force thousands of patients at the university's medical centers to seek treatment elsewhere if the disagreement is not resolved by the end of December. Executives from Blue Shield of California and the University of California's health system are quarreling over reimbursement rates for medical treatment at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and nearby Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.
September 1, 2011 |
A bill that would allow California officials to regulate health insurance rates for millions of consumers has died in the Legislature after forceful lobbying campaigns by insurers, healthcare providers and other groups. Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) said he is pulling his measure, AB52, because he could not muster a majority of votes in the state Senate, the final stop in a months-long effort to increase state regulators' authority over health insurance premiums. Feuer said he is putting his bill on hold until next year, when it can be taken up again.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2011 |
An appointee of former Gov. Pete Wilson wasted more than $51,000 hobnobbing with celebrities — attending events including the Golden Globe Awards, World Magic Awards and a Julio Iglesias concert — while claiming he was recruiting for an anti-stigma program at the Department of Mental Health, a state audit said Thursday. Arthur Kassel, a Beverly Hills resident who served as a "special assistant" to the department's director, denied squandering his time on the state payroll, even though none of the celebrities he talked to ever did a public event or radio ad shedding light on the stigma attached to mental illness.
August 13, 2011 |
A former attorney for one of the nation's largest health maintenance organizations has been picked to run the California agency that oversees health plans. Brent Barnhart, 68, was named by Gov. Jerry Brown this week to lead the state's Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates HMO coverage for more than 21 million Californians. Barnhart spent 13 years as senior counsel for the Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. The nonprofit provides healthcare to more than 8.8 million people in eight states and Washington, D.C. Barnhart came out of retirement to take the job, becoming the third director of the managed healthcare department since it was created more than a decade ago. The Danville, Calif., resident said he couldn't resist the opportunity to lead a consumer protection agency, particularly with national healthcare reform swiftly changing how health plans and providers deliver healthcare.
August 10, 2011 |
Californians who bemoan high insurance premiums may not have it as bad as they think. It turns out that people in other states pay a lot more for health coverage. A new analysis of individual insurance markets across the country shows that Californians paid $157 a month on average for coverage in 2010. Nationally, individual policyholders paid an average of $215 a month, according to the study by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. The least expensive state was Alabama.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2011 |
More than 1,000 people in California have been infected with whooping cough this year, and health officials have encouraged the public to get immunizations against the bacterial disease. A new law goes into effect July 1 requiring middle school and high school students to show proof that they have received a whooping cough booster shot, known as Tdap, before the start of the new school year. Authorities on Friday urged parents to make sure their children get the vaccine early in the summer to avoid a rush of vaccinations in August and September.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2011
After reports that a dangerous drug-resistant bacterium, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae , or CRKP, had spread to at least 356 patients in Southern California last year, Times staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske spoke with Dr. Kavita Trivedi, medical epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health's Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Initiative, about what can be done to reduce the spread of such drug-resistant "superbugs....
January 4, 2011 |
California's new insurance commissioner sought Monday to force health insurers to spend more of their revenue on medical care. In his first official act, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones ordered emergency regulations requiring insurance companies to devote at least 80% of their income to policyholders' claims in the state's individual insurance market. Jones' plan matches provisions in the new national healthcare law. Jones said the emergency regulations would enable him to enforce the 80% spending requirement in the federal law at a time when congressional Republicans are trying to kill funding for the measure.
November 30, 2010 |
California's seven largest health plans were fined nearly $5 million in total Monday for failing to properly pay medical claims submitted by thousands of doctors and hospitals over the last three years. Insurance regulators said the companies also would pay "tens of millions of dollars" in restitution to medical providers whose claims were underpaid or incorrectly rejected. The fines cap an 18-month investigation by the California Department of Managed Health Care into the payment practices of Aetna Inc., Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Cigna Corp.