Health Care Waiting Room

New Leadership in the Senate, and CA Voters Reject Prop 45 and 46

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on November 7, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Earlier this week we all woke up to a post-midterm political scene, and although the results haven’t lead to any grand predictions of sweeping regulatory or legislative health care reform in the coming state and congressional sessions, a few items are worth keeping an eye on.

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Coordinated Care for Hard-to-Reach Populations

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on October 22, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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When it comes to getting health care coverage for Los Angeles County’s residents, some of the very hardest-to-reach populations are those who are homeless or mentally ill. Although these are people who will most likely qualify for free Medi-Cal coverage, it’s estimated that up to 77 percent don’t understand or take advantage of the social services available to them. In continuation of this Chamber’s efforts to reach our county’s residually uninsured, including the homeless and mentally ill, today our Health Care Council will be discussing regional efforts to provide comprehensive mental health services and coordinated care with Supervisor Michael Antonovich and United Way.

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One Year In: Americans and Businesses Respond to the ACA

The Health Law Guide for Business Team on October 8, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Last month, Chamber Members heard from Hector De La Torre, executive director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS). As a nonprofit focused on helping consumers and businesses navigate the health care landscape, TCHS provided valuable information about the ACA’s implementation over the past year and the challenges facing our small businesses. Their most recent report, One Year In: Americans and Businesses Respond to the ACA, builds on this discussion

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Benefit from Integrated Health Care and Accountable Care Organization models

Barbara Weltman, attorney and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business on September 24, 2014 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Employers want affordable health coverage for their employees without sacrificing the delivery of health services. One option to consider is the integrated health care model in which the health plan, the hospital and the doctors work together in a coordinated way to benefit patients. 

The term “integrated health care” has been used to describe a variety of situations: the combination of traditional and alternative medicine, the provision of sick care and wellness under one umbrella, the treatment of physical and behavioral problems at the same time, etc. In this article, we discuss the four important benefits of the integrated health care model and the emerging Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model.

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The Health Care System Today: What You Don’t See Can Cost You

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on September 10, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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One of the largest—and most controllable—contributors to rising health care costs in the United States today is overutilization, or overuse, of the health care system. Yet cost is not the only consequence of overutilization—also at stake is health, quality of life, and in some cases, life itself. In fact, the United States spends a significant amount more per person on health care than any other country in the world, and yet U.S. health outcomes are equal to or worse than those in other countries.

Understanding the key drivers behind overutilization is an important step for you as both a business owner and a health care consumer. By understanding the drivers, you can help identify the highest quality and most fairly priced care for you and your employees.

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Charity Care in L.A.’s Diverse Communities

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on August 27, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Charity Care in L.A.’s Diverse Communities

Despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate, there are certain groups of people that will not be able to obtain health insurance and who will (in essence) “fall through the cracks.” This population is composed primarily of those exempt from the individual mandate because insurance options are not affordable, those who opt out of the individual mandate and face resulting penalties and undocumented immigrants and legal residents of less than five years. According to a 2010 report by the Center for Health Care Strategies, the estimated 20 million individuals who are not able to take advantage of ACA will have to depend, to one degree or another, on charity care programs.

 

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Taking Advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on August 13, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Since 2010, the government has offered a tax break for certain small businesses that offer qualifying employer-sponsored health plans to assist employers with premium costs and contributions. The health reform law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for employees.  However, for those small businesses that have chosen to provide, or are already looking into providing, coverage to employees through Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) in 2014, the tax credit can help ease the overall costs. 

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The Rising Cost of Specialty Care Drugs and its Impact on Businesses

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on July 30, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Even though the cost of prescription drugs has plummeted for many Americans, a small slice of the population is being asked to shoulder more and more of the cost of expensive treatments for diseases like cancer and hepatitis C. Rare and often more serious diseases requiring specialty drugs can come with breathtaking price tags, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. On average, the monthly price tag for a specialty drug is $2,000, which is 10 times greater than the price tags for non-specialty medication. The high monthly price tags for these drugs (and the long-term treatment that is required for serious diseases) can put severe financial hardships on affected individuals. 

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2014 and the New World of Health Insurance

E. Jones, MPH, ACA Implementation Specialist on July 16, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Recently, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1446, allowing small group employers with a health insurance plan that was in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, and still in effect as of the passage of the bill, to renew their current health plan, even if it does not meet certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that some small group employers now have the option of keeping their current 2013 non-ACA-compliant, non-grandfathered plans for one more year. The extended transitional period will give small employers more time to prepare to bear the costs associated with plans that fully comply with the ACA, and more time to consider their choices while moving into the new world of health insurance.   

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Three Things You Can Do to Lower Your Health Care Costs

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on July 1, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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In last week’s blog post, we shared an overview of cost drivers in the health care system. This week, we would like to share three strategies to consider to begin driving down health care costs for small employers.

Providing health coverage has numerous benefits for you as a small business owner. It can help you attract and retain good employees. But even more important, it can help you maintain a healthy workforce, which is critical to the future success of your business.

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