One of the selling points for the Affordable Care Act was that patients with insurance would have primary care doctors to take care of them and less reason to use expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. As the second year of the health law unfolds, ERs in the central San Joaquin Valley are busier than previous years seeing patients – most of whom have insurance.
Blue Shield has decided to close its Merced Direct Contract HMO, a network that had been around since Jan. 1, 2003, and that served mainly active and retired public employees. The network had contracted with Atwater Medical Group for several years, according to the medical group’s office staff. However, with the disbanding of Merced Direct Contract HMO, patients were switched to providers with AllCare Independent Physicians Association, represented by about 500 private doctors in Merced and Stanislaus counties.
With tax season approaching, Covered California officials are reminding the public that those who did not enroll in health coverage last year will face a tax penalty when they go to file their 2014 taxes due in April. Those who continue without coverage in 2015 will see even steeper penalties next year.
The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.
Down a long, antiseptic-looking corridor that leads to Diagnostic Testing at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, patients in hospital gowns on gurneys are wheeled by a dazzling array of original artwork equaling that of some galleries.
Fresh off a victory in Washington state, a leading gun control group backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg is hoping to make Oregon its next prize in a campaign to require gun sales to go through universal background checks.
Plans seeking more money for education and wholesale changes to the tax code are certain to spark debate in Nevada this session, but they weren't the only dramatic shifts Gov. Brian Sandoval called for in his State of the State address.