"Everyone will be watching what goes on in California" this week, according to health insurance industry leaders. The state's new health insurance exchange announced which insurers will offer coverage in Covered California and how much they'll charge. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
Insurers, often overlooked in the discussion about who benefits from health care reform, came one step closer to participation and potential profit when the California Health Benefit Exchange released its 263-page definition of a qualified health plan. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Health care issues generated $35.7 million in lobbying last year in California, leading the way to a record year. Lobbyists earned more money from more clients in California in 2011 than ever before, according to the secretary of state. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
In an effort to measure value in health care transactions, the Integrated Healthcare Association is introducing a "Total Cost of Care" metric to be used in its pay-for-performance program. IHA hopes the new tool will speed up improvements in clinical quality by providing financial incentives to physicians. by Mari Edlin, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
A new kind of HMO with tiered provider networks and built-in incentives for members to see doctors who deliver high-quality care is helping San Diego school districts deal with rising health care costs in a weak economy. by Lisa Zamosky, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
If value-based purchasing of health care spreads as many predict it will, would a logical next step be to reward consumers for choosing a low-priced alternative by sharing some of the profit? We asked insurers, consumer advocates, employers and employer groups to weigh in.
With the state's pending implementation of national health care reform, the role of state insurance commissioner is in position to assume new political power in California. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Payment bundling, an important part of national health care reform, is likely to be an integral part of California's effort to revamp its health care system. The new tool has the potential to deliver lower costs, more efficient reimbursement and better patient outcomes. by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Because many provisions of the new national law will be carried out differently in different states, stakeholders and policy makers in each state will play a key part in how the law is put into action. We asked stakeholders to assess the promise and challenge of health care reform in California.
The relatively small but vibrant cross-border health insurance market connecting California and Mexico is poised for a dramatic expansion, experts say. Health care costs in Mexico are lower, and the new health reform requirement that all individuals have health insurance could lead some to choose binational plans. by Lisa Zamosky, California Healthline Regional Correspondent
President Obama is pointing to proposed health insurance rate hikes in California as proof the system needs an overhaul, while members of Congress and the California Legislature are calling hearings and a frustrated Californian launches a statewide ballot initiative to regulate insurance rates. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
Department of Managed Health Care Director Cindy Ehnes joins health care advocates and representatives of the insurance industry and physician lobby in debating the implications of rules that will cap wait times for medical services for HMO members.
In the works since 2002, new state regulations will go into effect this fall limiting the amount of time patients have to wait to see a doctor in managed care systems. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
Health premiums for plans purchased by private California employers increased by 138% over the past decade, almost four times more than premium increases for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families coverage from the same insurance companies, according to new research. by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor
California patients prefer a no-frills approach to health insurance, and they're willing to trade non-essential coverage for keeping costs down, according to a new report, "What Matters Most." by George Lauer