Sunday: “T-Dance” supports transgender research and California Health Interview Survey data collection

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

CHIS_LogoThe Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law is holding a dance at the Edison club in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to raise money and awareness in support of transgender health, research and rights. Part of the proceeds will go toward adding gender identity questions to the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), as outlined in this video featuring Martine Rothblatt, UCLA alumna, founder and CEO of United Therapeutics Corp., and creator of GeoStar Satellite and Sirius XM Radio.

Although some large population surveys, including CHIS, ask respondents if they identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, none ask questions about gender identity, resulting in limited data on transgendered people. This year, gender identity questions will be added to CHIS, which surveys 50,000 households in California, including 2,000 youths.

The new questions will provide facts: the number of transgender people in the state, if they have access to health care, and more. Once the data are available, Rothblatt says in the video, legislators and courts can use them to develop programs and pass laws to support the transgender community.

As Rachel Moran, dean of the UCLA Law School, says in the video, inclusion of transgender questions in CHIS will “pave the way” for other large federal surveys to do the same.

Find ticket and venue information here.

RWJF Center for Health Policy awards grant for study on the undocumented, state policies and health outcomes

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




Associate Center Director Steven P. Wallace and Graduate Student Researcher Maria-Elena Young, and Faculty Associate Michael Rodriguez authored a report in April that assessed the variation in states’ policies — and their implementation of national policies – that could affect the health and well-being of undocumented immigrants. The report found California had the most policies that promoted health, while Ohio scored the lowest.

In May, Wallace and Young were awarded a $20,000 mini-grant by Meharry Medical College’s RWJF Center for Health Policy  to conduct a study that builds on the earlier study by linking policies to actual health outcomes. The new study will refine the previous report’s state-by-state policy “inclusion” scores and test for associations between those scores and health disparities between citizens and non-citizens using data from the National Health Interview Survey. Health care access, mental and physical health will be the study’s primary focus, according to Young.

“There have been several local studies linking specific policies that shut out immigrants to poorer health outcomes, but this will be the first study examining those impacts at the national level. The results are likely to have a prominent place in immigration policy discussions,” Wallace said.

Gabriela León-Pérez, MA, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University and RWJF Health Policy Fellow, will also participate on the project, which runs from today through December 21, 2016

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.

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