Anthem Blue Cross says it saved almost $8 million by paying doctors more, San Diego Union-Tribune reports

[ Posted on June 1st, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Anthem Blue Cross of California says it saved almost $8 million dollars by paying some of its physicians extra money in advance to emphasize preventive care to patients with two or more chronic diseases, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Center Director Gerald Kominski said programs that could help rein in medical expenses are critical.

“I’d say that these results are encouraging,” Kominski said. “They’re suggesting that in a relatively short time period they’ve been able to get some results.”

The for-profit health insurer said the savings were for six medical groups coordinating the care of 200,000 patients with multiple chronic conditions – such as diabetes, asthma and congestive heart failure - over a year-long period ending June 2014, according to the story. The health insurer said savings came from reducing unnecessary tests and procedures ordered by physicians and from treating patients with chronic illnesses early, before their treatment required expensive hospitalization. The insurer did not tell the Union-Tribune how much extra doctors were paid for participating.

Anthem told the Union-Tribune there was  a 7.3 percent drop in hospital admissions per 1,000 patients from the medical groups in the program. But generic-drug expenses increased by 4.2 percent for the same time period, which  Anthem said was a direct result of patients with chronic conditions taking better care of themselves under program direction, such as by using their inhalers more or taking insulin more regularly.

Read the story.

Thursday: How well did California do? Reviewing a decade in the health of young children in California

[ Posted on May 19th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


As part of the Center’s ongoing Health Policy Seminar SeriesDavid Grant, director of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), will discuss findings from a new Center report that reviews 10 years of data on the health of young children. Topics include health insurance coverage, preschool attendance, obesity, how often parents read to their child, and more.

The data span 2003 to 2012, a period in which public health efforts for children focused on childhood obesity and improved nutrition, access to low-cost and free dental services, and the expansion of children’s health insurance programs. How well did California do?


Who:  David Grant, director of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)
What: “Ten-Year Trends in the Health of Young Children in California: 2003 to 2012″
When: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time:  Noon – 1 p.m.
Where: 10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550, Los Angeles, 90024 [Map]

Join us in person or via live-streaming webinar here.
A light lunch will be provided for in-person attendees.

11.4 million California adults have a chronic condition

[ Posted on May 5th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

chronic_almanacForty percent of the state’s adults suffer from at least one chronic condition, according to a new California HealthCare Foundation report, “Californians with the Top Chronic Conditions: 11 Million and Counting.”

The report used 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data to study five major chronic diseases — asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and serious psychological distress. The most common is high blood pressure, which affects 1 in 4 adult Californians – 7.6 million people.

The report found that chronic disease increases with age – 70 percent of seniors in the state had a chronic disease, compared to 26 percent of those 18 to 39; people with chronic disease were delaying care; the proportion of people with chronic disease varied by region; and poor Californians had a higher prevalence of chronic disease than wealthier residents.

Read the report.

“Dr. Brown” scholars named at Keeneland Conference

[ Posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

E. Richard BrownThree researchers – Rose Hardy, Shivani Murthy and Karmen Williams – were named 2015  “Dr. Rick Brown Scholars” during the Keeneland Conference on Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) this week. Awardees were selected based on the significance and innovation of their PHSSR research interests and their potential as emerging scientific leaders in the field.

The Dr. Rick Brown Keeneland Conference Scholarships, named in honor of late UCLA Center for Health Policy Researcher founder, E. Richard “Rick” Brown, are open to predoctoral and early-career postdoctoral researchers from racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups who are underrepresented in the health and social sciences. The scholarships are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Congratulations to Rose, Shivani and Karmen.

Today’s seminar: The Healthiest (and Unhealthiest) Places To Be An Undocumented Immigrant, by State Policy”

[ Posted on April 16th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
Today, the Center released a joint report examining national policies  that impact health and ranks states with the most (and fewest) public policies and laws that foster the health and welfare of undocumented immigrants.Steven Wallace 2013

In today’s related seminar, second in the Center’s 2015 Health Policy Seminar Series, co-authors Steven P. Wallace, Michael A. Rodriguez and Maria-Elena Young will discuss the report’s findings. The report was produced in collaboration with the UC Global Health Institute.

What: “The Healthiest (and Most Unhealthy) Places to Be an Undocumented Immigrant: A Review of State Health Policies”


undocumented_statepoliciesWhen: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time:   Noon – 1 p.m.
Where: 10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550, Los Angeles, 90024 [Map]

Live-streaming login here.

A light lunch will be provided to in-person attendees.

Updated! Income inequality and access to genomic testing

[ Posted on April 6th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


At an April 7 forum in Washington D.C. organized by the journal Health Affairs, Associate Center Director Ninez Ponce will describe how socio-economic forces are restricting access to a cutting-edge genomic test for breast cancer patients, potentially increasing the disparity in health outcomes between the wealthy and the poor.

Ponce’s discussion will be based on her Health Affairs journal article, published today, which found that wealthier women who live in communities with the greatest income divide between rich and poor had better access to a new genetic test that can determine the most effective form of treatment for early-stage breast cancer.  The study also indicated that only a small minority of women with breast cancer received the test at all.

The forum, taking place at the at the National Press Club, features authors published in Health Affairs’ April issue, “The Cost and Quality of Cancer Care.” Read Ponce’s article “Early Diffusion of Gene Expression Profiling in Breast Cancer Patients Associated with Areas of High Income Inequality.”

Read a press release about the journal article here.

Register for the April 7 event in Washington D.C. here.

What: “Early Diffusion of Gene Expression Profiling in Breast Cancer Patients Associated with Areas of High Income Inequality”

Who:  Ninez Ponce, associate director at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the principal investigator of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

When: Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Time:  9 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. EDT

Where:  National Press Club. 529 14th Street NW — 13th Floor,  Washington, DC

Follow live Tweets from the briefing @Health_Affairs.


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