Latest California Healthline Stories
A growing number of community hospitals are forming alliances with some of the nation’s biggest and most prestigious institutions. But for prospective patients, it can be hard to assess what these relationships actually mean.
Some doctors and clinics are proactively informing patients about a proposed policy that could jeopardize the legal status of immigrants who use public benefit programs such as Medicaid. Others argue that because this “public charge” proposal isn’t final — and may never be adopted — disseminating too much information could create unnecessary alarm and cause some patients to drop benefits.
Yamanda Edwards is the only psychiatrist at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, caring for residents in South Los Angeles, a community with a shortage of mental health care.
More low-income people now live in suburbs than in cities or rural areas, putting a strain on local health services. Suburbs, which traditionally have had fewer resources or infrastructure, are scrambling to catch up.
Without action by Congress, federal funding for the centers will end March 31. California, with more than 1,300 centers providing care for 6.5 million people, will be hit hard if the money dries up. Nationwide, nearly 10,000 centers serve 27 million people and get about 20 percent of their funding from the federal government.
With another piece of must-pass legislation set to move through Congress, there’s a push to attach provisions to keep afloat a number of health-related programs for which funding or specific federal direction has expired.
For some federal health programs, a shuttered government means business as usual. But the congressional impasse over funding will hit others hard.
Nationally, the ACA’s efforts to nudge nonprofit hospitals to provide more community-wide benefits have had limited success. Still, “California’s community benefits programs work well – and have since the 1990s,” a California Hospital Association official says.
A pilot program to asthma-proof homes in Baltimore shows that even without intensive professional cleaning services, families can learn to substantially reduce home allergens on their own.
Months of reporting and rich hospital data portray life in the worst asthma hot spot in one of the worst asthma cities: Baltimore. The medical system knows how to help. But there’s no money in it.