Pediatric subspecialists in Los Angeles County say health care reform presents a perfect opportunity to rethink and improve the way the health system cares for children with complex, chronic and rare health conditions. by Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
The volume is increasing in a chorus of concern about the transition of Healthy Families children to Medi-Cal managed care. Parents, advocates and state officials are worried about losing access to autism treatment, lower reimbursement for dental services and unusually low numbers of kids getting mental health care. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Supporters of school-based health centers are lobbying Congress to approve $50 million for such facilities. At the same time, California proponents, who expect the state to get about $8 million if the money is approved, are working on funding possibilities in Sacramento. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
A "virtual dental home" project from the University of the Pacific's school of dentistry is using telehealth technology to bring dental services to nearly 800 low-income and special needs children in San Mateo County. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
California is in the thick of moving almost one million children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal managed care. With a shortened first phase of 178,000 kids successfully completed, attention turns to the next two phases that will shift coverage for about 485,000 children. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Los Angeles County expects to have 14 wellness centers operating in public schools by 2014. Planned before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, L.A.'s school-based clinics dovetail with reforms in the law and go further by teaming with community providers who work with students and their families. by Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
Two new studies released last week -- one showing that anti-tobacco efforts saved California money over the past two decades and the other showing growing support for a tax on sugary drinks -- may foreshadow new health care policy on the horizon. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
California has run out of money to reimburse health plans for Healthy Families care and services. Officials say plans eventually will be paid, but in the meantime the $100 million -- and counting -- deficit ramps up pressure to reinstitute some form of the expired tax on managed care organizations. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
As many as half the children in California -- about five million -- may be eligible for Medi-Cal dental coverage by this time next year, according to new estimates. Children's advocates warn that the system may not be ready. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
So far, so good. Several weeks into the first phase of shifting 860,000 children from Healthy Families into Medi-Cal managed care plans, there have been relatively few complaints and few signs of problems. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Federal guidelines provide some direction, but state insurance exchanges are largely on their own when deciding details of offering vision and dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We asked stakeholders and consumer advocates what California should do.
A UCLA study showed a high level of patient and family satisfaction with a pilot program that takes a palliative approach to care for children with severe illnesses. The program also produced significant savings for the state, according to the study. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
State Senate President Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Pérez have joined children's health advocates in urging state officials to be careful and cautious in their dismantling of the Healthy Families program. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
Tulare Regional Medical Center has quadrupled the number of new mothers exclusively breastfeeding in the hospital, moving from one of the lowest rates in Tulare County to the highest in just four years. by Alice Daniel, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
The California Legislature this month will consider a bill that could set the stage for a new tier of oral health care provider -- people less educated than dentists but with enough training to perform some dental procedures. We asked stakeholders and experts how the state should proceed.