Seminar today: Promoting Preventive Health Care in the Community

[ Posted on September 21st, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]




Clinical preventive services, such as routine disease screening and scheduled immunizations, are essential to reducing death and disability, especially among the elderly. Yet, despite the fact that these services are covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal, and many private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, many Californians go without preventive health care that could detect illness in earlier, more treatable stages and treat certain health conditions before they worsen.

In this Sept. 22 seminar, Center researcher Kathryn Kietzman and  O. Kenrik Duru from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA will present early findings from a new project to increase the use of clinical preventive services, such as flu shots and mammograms, among older residents of South Los Angeles.  This is an innovative, interdisciplinary project that combines teams of UCLA researchers, community groups and health centers, the L.A. Department of Public Health, local aging resources, women’s groups, and more and is part of a larger trend to provide preventative care now, rather than costly emergency care later.

Join us in person or via live-streaming webinar here:

What:​    ”Promoting Preventive Health Care in the Community: The Healthy Aging Partnerships in Prevention Initiative”

Who:      Kathryn Kietzman, researcher, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and O. Kenrik Duru, assistant professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
When:   Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Time:     Noon – 1 p.m.
Where: ​ UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550, Los Angeles 90024 [Map]
A recorded video will be posted on the Center’s website shortly after the presentation.

The Center mourns the passing of Gail G. Harrison, faculty associate

[ Posted on September 16th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Gail Harrison DefaultIt is with deep sorrow that the Center announces the passing of Dr. Gail G. Harrison, a faculty associate and distinguished food security scholar and advocate on behalf of at-risk populations, especially low-income women and children. Gail, a professor emeritus in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Community Health Sciences, wrote numerous Center studies on the determinants, measurement, and functional consequences of nutrition, malnutrition, and food security.

She was recognized nationally for her work to improve the foods offered to families served by the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program as well as her efforts to improve nutritional standards and menu planning for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Beyond the United States, she consulted with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and worked in Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Indonesia and Lesotho. In recent years, Gail helped to raise awareness about the effect of the Great Recession on family food security in a widely-read Center study.

“Gail believed that there was no good excuse for hunger and malnutrition, in this nation and throughout the world,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “She used her considerable expertise, as well as her compassion and warmth, to change lives for the better. She will be dearly missed.”

Read more tributes from California Food Policy Advocates, where Dr. Harrison served as a board member.

There are no 2015 trainings at this time. Please check back!

[ Posted on September 21st, 2015 by Gwen Driscoll | No Comments » ]

New CHIS insurance data on health reform tracking tool

[ Posted on September 8th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Data from new questions on health insurance from the 2013 and 2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) are available in the California HealthCare Foundation’s ACA 411, the Web query tool that tracks changes in health coverage, access and affordability in California after health care reform. The numbers suggest improvements in access to care, including that the uninsured rate is at a new low and fewer Californians are delaying or skipping necessary medical care, according to the CHCF.

Among the key findings from the 2014 data:

  • The number of Californians under 65 without insurance dropped 12%, falling from 16% of the population in 2013 to 14% in 2014.
  • Uninsured rates declined notably among people living below 138% of FPG and among African Americans.
  • The share of the California population ages 18 to 64 enrolled in Medi-Cal rose 52%.
  • The proportion of uninsured Californians reporting cost as the reason for lacking coverage fell from 53% to 43%, though lack of affordability remains the most common reason cited for going without insurance.

The CHCF supported additional questions in CHIS to help monitor the implementation of health reform in California. Information from ACA 411 can be exported and shared, and new data will be added as they become available.

View the web tool here.

New study: 772,000 elderly Californians “unofficially” poor

[ Posted on August 31st, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Nearly 1 in 5 adults over 65 in California — more than three-quarters of a million people — live in an economic no-man’s land, unable to afford basic needs but often ineligible for government assistance, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study, funded by the California Wellness Foundation, highlights the plight of the “hidden poor” — those who live in the gap between the federal poverty level (FPL) and the Elder Index‘s poverty measure, which is considered a more accurate estimate of what it takes to have a decent standard of living. The Elder Index accounts for geographic differences in costs for housing, medical care, food and transportation. The national federal poverty level guidelines say a single elderly adult living alone should be able to live on $10,890 a year, while the Elder Index estimates that person in California on average requires $23,364.



“Many of our older adults are forced to choose between eating, taking their medications or paying rent,” said D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, a UCLA graduate student researcher at the center and lead author of the study. “The state might be emerging from a recession, but for many of our elder households, the downturn seems permanent.”

According to the study, about 772,000 elderly adults in California who are heads of households belong to this group of hidden poor, which is more than double the number of elderly (342,000) who meet federal poverty level guidelines. Unlike the “official” poor, the hidden poor often do not qualify for public assistance.

The study, which used 2009-2011 American Community Survey data and the 2011 Elder Index data, showed that in terms of sheer numbers, whites make up more than half of elders in the financially pinched group (482,000). Proportionately, grandparents raising grandchildren, older adults who rent, Latinos, women, and the oldest age group (75 and over) were the groups most affected.

Read more about the study here, and see related charts that show the hidden poor by gender, FPL, age, race and other categories.

Kaiser survey: 2 of 3 who were uninsured before full ACA enactment now covered

[ Posted on August 3rd, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Center for Health Policy Research - 101202More than two-thirds of those who were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented now have coverage, according to a KQED State of Health story based on a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Center Director Gerald Kominski cautioned that the survey findings have a limitation and exclude Californians who had insurance pre-ACA and lost it. But he added that the findings were “obviously very good news.” The largest share of the newly insured — about one-third —  gained coverage through Medi-Cal, according to the story.

Nearly a third of those surveyed this year — 32 percent — are still uninsured, the story reports, and many of them fall into two categories: One group, about four in 10, are undocumented immigrants and ineligible for coverage; the other group is long-time uninsured.

In the survey, 85 percent of the uninsured say paying for health care is their top financial concern — ahead of paying their mortgage or rent. But among those who have gained coverage, paying for health care now ranks fourth among financial concerns — behind rent/mortgage, utilities and gasoline.

“It’s below the price of gas,” said UCLA’s Kominski. “I found that truly remarkable … the fact that health care for people newly insured (is) no longer a primary concern, I think is significant.”

Read the story.

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