Lawsuits and proposed laws center of narrow networks

[ Posted on March 30th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Health insurers are relying on a narrower list of health provider networks because, under health reform, they compete on price and can’t vary copayments or deductibles. As a result, insurers eliminate medical providers who can’t meet their cost expectations, Center Director Gerald Kominski said in a California Healthline story. But the backlash against narrow networks is growing.

Patient says narrow networks make it harder to book doctor appointments, require long-distance travel to find in-network care and cause other health access problems, the story reports.

In California, consumer groups are filing lawsuits over and lawmakers are submitting bills to increase oversight of the insurers’ networks. Those actions are prompting changes in how insurers respond to the individual market, the story reports. Kominski said. “If this is the direction at least a piece of the market is going, the bigger group market may follow suit.”

Read the story.

Tonight: “50 years of Medicare: What have we learned?”

[ Posted on March 18th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Center Director Gerald Kominski will moderate and Faculty Associate Mark Peterson will be a panelist tonight at the UCLA Fielding School’s Health Forum, “50 years of Medicare: What have we learned?” Other panelists include David Sayen, Regional Administrator at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and Richard Merkin,CEO and Founder of Heritage Group.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, a program that has improved the well-being of and increased economic security for millions of elderly Americans, individuals with disabilities, and their families. 2015 also marks the start of the new United States Congress, which will face a distinct set of challenges such as rising expenditures, a fragmented, confusing benefit structure, and inadequate financial protections for some low-income beneficiaries and high users of services.

In this health forum, panelists will discuss the historical importance of Medicare programs, political plans to privatize Medicare and increase the age of eligibility, as well as legal, political, financial and structural obstacles and opportunities going forward.

fphforumWhen: Wednesday, March 18, 6:00-8:00pm PDT
6:00-6:30pm: Coffee and Reception
6:30-7:15pm: Panel Presentations
7:15-8:00pm: Question and Answer Session
Where: Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium, UCLA
635 Charles E. Young Drive South, Los Angeles
To attend the seminar in person, RSVP here .
Join the online presentation here. Please note that program begins at 6:30pm PDT.

Special issue of AAPI Nexus Journal launches today

[ Posted on March 17th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]




Associate Center Director Ninez Ponce and Center Faculty Associate Marjorie Kagawa-Singer are guest editors of the AAPI Nexus Journal’s special issue on federally qualified health centers. The issue looks back on 50 years of federally qualified community health centers, their service to Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, and their value to the U.S. health care system.

Ponce and Kagawa-Singer will help launch the special issue during a reception tonight at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and Ponce will moderate a discussion about the findings. UCLA Asian American Studies Center, the Fielding School of Public Health, The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s and others are sponsors of the event.

View abstracts from the journal.

CHIS has role in new UC immigration research project

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

CHIS_LogoThe California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which is conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Health Care Services, will be part of a research collaboration between five UC campuses that will help policymakers, non-governmental organizations and the public better understand and plan for immigrants, their integration into the state, and their impact on the educational system, workforce, public health, political environment, culture and more.

To better understand these issues and the immigrant experience overall, the project will collect new data and assess current policy practices. The collaboration with CHIS, a survey of 50,000 respondents which is administered in seven languages, will include new questions that focus on the integration of diverse groups over multiple immigrant generations.

The campuses involved are UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside and UC San Diego.

Read the complete UC press release here.

Is the ACA working? A qualified ‘yes,’ Kominski says

[ Posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Is the Affordable Care Act working? Center Director Gerald Kominski answered with a qualified “yes” during a discussion with Anna Gorman, senior reporter with Kaiser Health News, at the 2015 California Health Journalism Fellows reception Sunday.

Kominski said that, like Medicare, the ACA was a compromise. While the law has resulted in many good steps — helping up to 18 million Americans so far afford or gain health coverage — it is unlikely to be enough to get the country to the ultimate goal of universal health access.

Kominski also discussed narrow networks, the remaining uninsured and King v. Burwell court case. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, Kominski said there would be “a political price paid for the 8 million people who will lose subsidies.”

Read the story.


On the move at Active Living Research conference

[ Posted on February 27th, 2015 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

susanbabey2011Sue Babey, senior research scientist at the Center, gave a presentation on adolescent physical activity at the Active Living Research (ALR) conference in San Diego this week and found organizers “practice what they preach,” working in physical activity breaks –  walking, running, volleyball — for conference participants.

Babey’s presentation was titled “Adolescent Physical Activity: Role of School Support, Role Models and Social Participation in Racial and Income Disparities.”


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