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The most expensive stay no one will pay for.

At $549/night, you’re not really sure what you’re getting in a nursing home.

new orange hills, orange county

Without even checking medical records, the admissions lady casually blurts this luxury nightly rate to a troubled family concerned about the placement of their retired male. She continues gabbing about the long list of amenties throughout the hallways of an old, burgundy geometric carpet that’s been downtrodden by heavy wheels and chairs, while grief-stricken family members follow quietly in their first nursing home tour. The smells of human excess, the drab beige of a not-so-new medical building, and the many contorted faces sitting covered in blankets in the halls. Loud beeps and whizzes of respirators create a false excitement in the aisles, but the faces are ambivalent. A shy glance into a wide doorway reveals 3 residents on twin-size beds separated each by a thin cloth hung from the ceiling curtain matching the blue triangle-speckled hospital gowns. This is the last 20 years of your life in America’s healthcare, but how do most people get here?

  • LITTLE TO NO FAMILY SUPPORT FOR MEDICAL NEEDS

    Either your medication list outnumbers your toes and fingers twofold, or you’re unable to eat/poo/pee on your own due to your condition. The rate above was quoted to cover bedside care 24/7, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication assistance, all food/meals and some hospital transport. As most nursing homes are near capacity from hospital discharges, most families need a week or two head-start to scope potential places to rest their loved one and reserve a bed in advance.  Aging in place by home health aides or home care are nearly impossible to afford through Medicare, especially when most octogenarians require 24-hour care. For an aide paid at $19/hour, most siblings work too far to care for mom or dad at home, nor can most families afford this weekly expense usually reserved for the higher earning families or those with flexible schedules. Shopping for a nursing home can be a lot like shopping for a home, where the highest bidder wins.

  • HEALTH & MEDICAL INSURANCE ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK

    Nursing home care requires a high level of care which comes with a fixed rate of reimbursement by insurance carriers. Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s most respected and wide-reaching health plans, only has 4 skilled nursing facilities listed as in-network in Orange County, California, where there are a 74 total nursing homes registered with the State. This patient mentioned above was only approved for the 1 of the 4 facility pictured below based on the level of care, meaning the family had 1 choice of the 74 facilities that could accept them.  So, while you’re paying your health insurance premiums every paycheck, remember that most large health plans do not include long-term care coverage. If your health deduction was $500 per month, you’ll need to add $549 per month just for skilled nursing care alone.KP nursing home referrals

  • (NO) SAVINGS OR CASH

    Most people (or 38% of Americans these days), even at a healthy retirement age of 65, have less than $50k total saved for more than a decade of retirement. Let’s do the math, shall we?

At $549 per night…

x 30 days = $16,470 cost per month

x 365 days = $200,385 cost per year

x 835 days, average length stay : $458,415

This means for most of Americans their entire retirement savings will not cover nearly 80% of over 2 years in a nursing home. So then, how does this 6-figure expense get paid?

  • SOCIAL WORKERS – YOUR SENIOR CARE BAILOUT SPECIALISTS

Consider these paper-laden, compassionate administratives your saviors from an unkind situation. Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Medicare and other social welfare programs are easily made available to the majority of Americans who cannot afford the overwhelming expenses of their seniorhood. Armed with the prowess of an uncertified financial planner, the tenacity to help unidentified emergency room patients in midnight hours, and the patience of a tortoise to withstand the seasonal timings of the CMS billing systems, these individuals can provide a road map for families to navigate the complexity of medical orders combined with the subsidized amounts offered by government. Social workers know both hospital and various payor networks, as well as the reimbursement rates for assigned treatment plans. Their relationship with admissions staff at different locations, whether by favor of donuts or contracted as an employer, is likely the primary driver of how any family ends up choosing a facility. If one finds themselves at the mercy of a government payment program, be sure to ask about policies like estate recovery for Medi-Cal if you’re forced to sell real estate or deal with probate court upon death.

Prevent sticker shock and do the homework decades before you are a few cents short for a life-threatening decision. If you’re lucky to have all expenses taken care of by your own private pay, you’re tiers above your peers. You can also find a trustworthy life insurance representative who can help you navigate to a financially secure portfolio to greatly alter the outcome of your longest days of care. Check out Genworth’s Cost Calculator here if you’re curious about different kinds of senior care, or want to learn some interesting baby boomer statistics for some perspective.

Whether it’s your first time or a recent experience with a nursing home yourself, let us know how you first dealt with this healthcare setting and funded your high costs. Or, if you’re currently searching for a skilled nursing facility in Orange County, message us in the Contact form and we’ll refer you to several county and community resources.

 

How to communicate (in-person) to an aging audience

Recently my client wrote this article on how she interviews the silver generation. In any assessment with a client or potential patient, you often end up listening more than you do speaking to get the information you need from an individual possibly near dementia or consistent confusion. Read consumer-focused article on: How to interview…on Pages to the Past.

Consider your subject is placed in a setting, whether it be a home or office. Are they comfortable, and receptive for the duration of your discussion? Is their condition, ailment, or disease a potential barrier to your interview? Here are some considerations first to account for his or her medical or health needs:

  • vision and focus, to look at you when speaking
  • ambulatory status, sitting up and down in a chair
  • weight-bearing, can the person stand-sit-lay if a presentation is required
  • dexterity, if required to write
  • attention-span, if the elder can maintain conversation for more than several minuts at a time, or 20.

What other considerations would you add? We’d love to hear what people in the industry are doing to successfully communicate with those receiving treatment. If you check-in clients, conduct assessments, patient interviews, conduct medical research studies, share your expertise below in the comments.

The White House is getting into financial planning. National Social Security Week is July 19-25

Dear Colleague:

July 1925, 2015 is National my Social Security Week. Now in its second year, this campaign aims to educate workers about the importance of planning thoughtfully for life events—starting with creating a secure my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Throughout this week, we ask that you share our retirement planning and other messages with your members, employees, and the public by taking advantage of our 2015 my Social Security toolkit atwww.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty.  Here you will discover a wealth of materials that you can begin using now to support the campaign. The toolkit includes eye-catching web banners and publication-ready content for internal and external web pages, blogs, newsletter articles, social media, and email blasts.

Creating a my Social Security account helps workers plan for their future and the future of their families by giving them convenient access to their own personalized Social Security Statement. TheStatement provides estimates of future retirement benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70. It also lets workers verify the earnings information we have for them. This is important because future benefits depend on earnings.

On average, Social Security replaces just 40 percent of pre-retirement income. Yet only about half of American workers say they are contributing to a workplace retirement plan. We need your support to help workers understand that they will require other sources of retirement income in addition to Social Security, and that it’s never too early (or too late) to start thinking ahead.

Besides retirement, with a my Social Security account, you can also get estimates of future disability and survivor benefits you or your family may be eligible to receive. For those already receiving benefits, a my Social Security can be used to get benefit verification letters, change an  address and phone number, and start or update direct deposit information.

In addition, we welcome invitations to assist workers with creating a my Social Security account at your location, whether as part of another activity, such as a conference or annual meeting, or as a standalone event. To explore this possibility, please contact us at oea.net.post@ssa.gov.

To hear more about my Social Security from Social Security’s Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, visit us at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loBsUPMFYfs.

Thank you for sharing our materials and helping us to make this vital campaign a success!

Sincerely,

  1. Jioni Palmer
    Associate Commissioner for External Affairs
    (T) 410-965-1804
    (E) Jioni.Palmer@ssa.gov

National my Social Security Week is July 1925, 2015. Visit  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/materials.html to learn how you can support us and make our campaign a success!

Plan for your “Someday”. Create your own my Social Security account today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Follow @SSAOutreach on Twitter and stay connected with Social Security:

Need health coverage or know someone that does, visit www.healthcare.gov.

Buddy System Newsletter: Week 1 – 2 Upcoming July Events, Vendor Opportunities and Job Openings

The following events/listings are for professionals who work with Seniors or in the Senior/Healthcare industry in Southern California.

*On Tuesday, July 14th The Buddy System (Southwest Riverside) presents a special networking lunch featuring a panel discussion of Social Services Directors from various Skilled Nursing Facilities. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear and discuss the issues of marketing and referrals.

We’re meeting at the new Parkside Mansion on 2789 Rafferty Rd. in Hemet, 92545 from 11:30 – 1:30. Due to the expected turnout make sure you reserve your seat and are not shut out. RSVP to julie.ablanida@yahoo.com

Our panelists to date:

• Jenna D. Snowball, Director of Social Services of Highland Care Center of Redlands

• Marisa Reese, Director of Social Services of LifeHOUSE Vista Healthcare Center

• Monica Porras, Social Services Director for Ontario Grove Healthcare & Wellness Centre

•Shelly Johnson, Social Services Director with Vista Cove Care Center at Rialto

Panelists are subject to be changed or added.

*The Buddy System (Orange County) is on Wednesday, July 15th at Kirkwood Orange located on 1525 E. Taft Avenue in Orange, 92866 from 11:30 – 1:00. RSVP to Melanie.Aaron@thebegroup.org or call 714-282-1409

Join us for a summer barbecue with networking, food and fun.

Menu:

•BBQ Chicken Sandwich with cheddar cheese and bacon
•Pork Tenderloin
•Gourmet Burger with onion rings, mushrooms, and blue cheese crumbles
•Bourbon Baked Beans
•Potato Salad
•Strawberry Shortcake

All The Buddy System events are free. Don’t forget to bring your business cards and marketing materials to our meetings and door prizes are always appreciated.

Remember, the best way to spread the word about your business is through strong networking.
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Vendor Opportunities:

*Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter Walks for 2015

Opening Ceremonies this year begin at 8:30 and the Walk begins at 9:00

• Laguna Niguel Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday October 24th at Laguna Niguel Regional Park on 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, 92677

• Huntington Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday November 7th on 21500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, 92648

• Anaheim Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday November 14th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on
2000 East Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, 92806

For more information on vendor opportunities or forming a walk team e-mail dblair@alz.org
____________________________________________________________________________________

*26th Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference
Friday, October 2nd
Irvine Marriott Hotel
7:00 – 5:00

Hosted by the UCI MIND Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter. Recent studies have revealed new understanding of age-related brain changes, as well as lifestyle factors related to sleep, exercise and nutrition that may delay or prevent these changes!

An audience of over 500 professionals and families is expected. Contact Kari Walker for sponsorship opportunities atkwalker@alz.org or 949-757-3724
____________________________________________________________

Upcoming Networking Events, Meetings and Classes:

(These listings are presented as a service to the Healthcare community. Events are subject to be changed or canceled. Please RSVP to verify date and time.)

—————  Monday, July 6th —————-

*Coordinating Council
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center (Basement Conference Room #1)
8:30 – 9:45

Speaker: Clement Pepe on Mastering the Art of Time Management

Clement Pepe, is a Success Coach, who for over 23 years has been coaching and teaching Business owners and sales people how to be more effective in all aspects of life, both business and personal.
Clement is a published author, a motivational speaker, a sales trainer, a seminar leader and a teacher of “how to” get what you want, and “how to” enjoy the process of life.

No RSVP required. We look forward to seeing you.
____________________________________________________________________________________

—————-  Tuesday July 7th —————-

*Serving Seniors Networking Breakfast
Cypress Court
1255 North Broadway
Escondido, 92026
RSVP: patti.phillips57@gmail.com
7:15 – 9:00

$20.00 per person
____________________________________________________________________________________

*SFV MAPS (Marketing & Admissions Professionals for Seniors)
Brookdale Chatsworth
20801 Devonshire St.
RSVP: 818-341-2552 or Melanie.Rivera@brookdale.com
Chatsworth, 91311
8:00 – 10:00

Presents: “The 5 Most Dangerous Symptoms..and what you can do to avoid them”

$10 Donation at the door
____________________________________________________________________________________

—————-  Wednesday, July 8th —————-

*T.O.P.S. (Team of Older Persons Services)
Sunrise Senior Living, Beverly Hills
201 N. Crescent Drive
Beverly Hills, 90210
8:00-10:00
____________________________________________________________________________________

Job openings:

*Community Relations Advisory – A Place for Mom – San Fernando Valley

Description:
The Community Relations Advisor is an outside sales role, responsible for creating and executing a plan for market growth that supports revenue objectives for APFM by increasing our professional referral partners and delighting existing professional referral partner relationships.

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to;
•Arrange appointments and call activity with Social Workers, Case Managers and Community Partners and other healthcare professionals as directed to increase new incremental professional referrals and nurture existing relationships to continue organic growth in target market. These may be pre-arranged appointments or cold calls.
•Build trusting strong relationships that will encourage direct referrals by; Developing professional APFM presence in the market and educating professionals on our value, process and best practices
•Conduct frequent partner communication and visits to improve the results of our partnerships, improve ongoing relationships, and support the generation of professional referrals.
•Maintains relationships with customers by providing support, information and  guidance that will lead to increased number of referrals
•Achieve or exceed quota quarterly and annually
•Developing strategies for increasing opportunities to meet and talk to the professionals that will drive your business.
•Manage and nurture relationships to be the “go to” source of information and resources.
•Pipeline management: manage lead pipeline on daily basis and accurately record activity and information in CRM.

Required Skills and Competencies
•3+ years business development or relationship sales experience in a quota or metrics driven environment: demonstrated history of success in outside sales role, focused on healthcare or senior services preferred.
•Proven ability to maintain quality relationships with a large number of professional referral sources.
•Strong networking skills.
•Strong customer relations skills
•Ability to travel from time to time outside of local region, for occasional regional or national meeting

For more information contact John Young: johny@aplaceformom.com
____________________________________________________________________________________

*Memory Care Coordinator for Renaissance Village in Moreno Valley

Key responsibilities include:
 Supervising other staff associates while on duty, and providing training and coaching
in all aspects of the Memory Care Program
 Designs a creative and exciting life enrichment program to meet the individual needs
and interests of the residents.
 Participates in the pre admission screening of prospective new residents as assigned
by supervisor.
 Participates in the review of individual resident’s service plans and completes program
documentation as required.
 Communicates positively with residents, families, and community professionals
regarding the memory care program and its benefits.
 Reports changes in residents’ overall health to the nurse, including changes in
behavior; takes actions to address concerns in a timely manner.

Experience:
 One or more years of experience working with the elderly. Knowledge and experience
working with memory impaired residents and their families is highly desirable.
 Professional or volunteer related experience with memory impairment groups helpful.
 High school diploma or equivalent. Bachelor’s Degree preferred
 Hold a certificate as an activity professional
 One year of experience supervising others to include: setting performance expectations,
coaching, motivating, promoting collaboration and teamwork, promoting company
culture, managing change, providing performance feedback, delegating effectively,
resolving conflicts, etc.

For more information contact malona@rvseniorliving.com
____________________________________________________________________________________

*Full Time – SCAN Temporary TeleSales Rep

Requirements:

-Associate’s Degree or equivalent work experience.

-2+ years of experience in telemarketing or healthcare related field.

-Excellent communication and time management skills.

-Proven sales and customer service skills.

External Description:

-Assess health plan needs of prospective members, verify Medicare / Medi-Cal/AZ eligibility, and facilitate telephonic enrollment. Schedule sales appointments (in home / meeting) as needed.

-Facilitate Telephonic enrollment(s) by presenting benefit information over the phone, mailing appropriate enrollment information to prospects and assisting prospects with completing the enrollment process.

-Demonstrate and maintain knowledge of Medicare, Medi-Cal/AZ and SCAN benefits by successfully completing National Sales Certification, Sales Orientation Training, Medi-Cal/AZ Certification training other department or company training modules as required.

-Support Field Sales Representatives by assigning in-home appointments and setting meeting rsvp’s at sales presentations or other sales events.

Send your résumé to jvictor@scanhealthplan.com
____________________________________________________________________________________

If you have an upcoming meeting, networking event, health fair or job opening please send it to me and I will try to post it in future e-mails. Unfortunately, due to the number of events received and with space limitations, not everything can be listed. Please send your information at least 2 weeks before the event. If you have any questions please call or e-mail me.

Thank you,
Buddy Liberman
Cell: 310-986-5256
kohonah@aol.com

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/buddy-liberman/6/962/940
________________________________________________________
To no longer receive these e-mail updates please send back this e-mail back to kohonah@aol.com requesting to opt out. Your request will be handled as soon as possible. If you do not receive a response the same day acknowledging your request please call.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Healthcare for All June 2015 Newsletter

  HCA-CA-banner.pngLos Angeles Chapter & LA Healthcare Coalition
NEXT MEETING: Thursday September 10th, 2015,  7 pm- 9:30pm
Peace Center 3916 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City 90230.  Parking Lot and Entrance behind building. 
ELECTION of Chapter Directors &  SPECIAL SPEAKER TBA
Interested in being a candidate for Director of HCA-LA Chapter?
Contact Doris Nelson thewizardessofoz@verizon.net   
THANKS to LUIS SOUTH for generously providing PIZZA for ALL at our May Meeting.
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Healthcare for All – Los Angeles Chapter meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month from 7-9 pm in the Peace Center Meeting Room at 3916 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City 90230-4640. The HCA-LA mission is to educate, activate and encourage people to participate in advocating for just, equitable, accessible, comprehensive, affordable, and quality healthcare in a publicly financed universal single-payer system. Agendas include speakers, presentations, discussions, films, opportunity for action in our communities. To join the HCA-LA Mailing list, contact: 
‘Our “conventional wisdom” about what we pay for and why, has been created and controlled by those entities profiting from a series of false messages. What we as a society believe about our healthcare costs is often simply not true.’ www.truecostofhealthcare.net 

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CALENDAR

July 2nd, Thursday 10-12 noon   http://laborforhealthcare.org/  ; INFO: Connie at 213-252-1351  

  Labor United for Universal Healthcare’s July meeting will be largely about MEDICARE in recognition of the program’s 50th Anniversary.
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What do we mean by an “Improved Medicare” for all?
Presentation and discussion led by Nancy Greep, MD 
Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 10-12 noon
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
2130 James M. Wood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006
(Parking lot entrance off Lake Street)
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 July 11th Saturday 2-5pm.We Need Health Care, Not Jails  Community Dialogue.  cchelosangeles@gmail.com 

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JULY 26th, Sunday 2-5 PM   MEDICARE’S 50th BIRTHDAY GARDEN PARTY  PHYSICIANS FOR NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM
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JULY 30th THURSDAY 4-6:30

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Medicare Turns 50 Program:  Actor Mike Farrell, activist and star of hit TV show M*A*S*H Sheila Kuehl, LA County Supervisor author of CA Single Payer Bills Hilda Solis, LA County Supervisor *  
Dr. Paul Song, Courage Campaign Chair, Campaign for a Healthy California Co-Chair,  PNHP  National) Exec Board  * Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary Treasurer of LA County Federation of Labor Alicia Rivera, Communities for a Better Environment   Assemblymember Curren Price  *   Senator Holly Mitchell
PEOPLE’S Healthcare Stories 
Incredible Musical Performances by: 
**** Lili Haydn **** 
humanitarian and activist violinist/vocalist/composer  “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin”  (http://lilihaydn.com/)
****Inner City Dwellers***** 
Pro-peoples hip hop, movement music, music mimicking   life..  .”(https://www.facebook.com/icdmusic)
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AUGUST 1ST SATURDAY   …...Three Locations…..
MEDICARE 50th BIRTHDAY  CELEBRATIONS                       
with   HEALTH CARE for ALL Chapters  
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
*HCA-Los Angeles  
Baldwin Hills/ Crenshaw Farmers Market  
10am-2pm  with Luis South

  Contact: Maureen  mcruised@aol.com

*HCA-San Fernando Valley  TBA

  Contact:  jennifer@hca-sfv.org

* HCA -San Gabriel Valley……see flyer left 
Contacts:
 MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
The Medicare Solution is the latest video in the “Big Picture” ……… 
Medicare
Here’s the bottom line: Allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act would strengthen Medicare and improve American health care, saving all of us money while boosting health outcomes. If you’re like me and you’re ready to reject partisan lies and tackle rising health care costs head-on, please watch and share The Medicare Solution now.
____________________________________________________________

 http://kff.org/generations-medicare-at-50-years/

Generations: Medicare at 50 Years

Published in a special Summer 2015 edition of the journal  Generations on Medicare’s 50th anniversary, these six articles by Kaiser Family Foundation staff reflect on Medicare’s history, evolution and future, including a look at lessons and challenges, the Medicare and Medicaid partnership, coverage, the role of private plans, Medicare’s role for women, and the public opinion about the program. Foundation Senior Vice President Tricia Neuman served as co-editor, along with National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO John Rother. The articles are available courtesy of the American Society on Aging, which publishes Generations.
Medicare at 50: Lessons and Challenges –  PDF
By Tricia Neuman and John Rother
The Medicare and Medicaid Partnership at 50 –  PDF
By Diane Rowland
Medicare Coverage, Affordability, and Access –  PDF
By Juliette Cubanski and Cristina Boccuti
The Emerging Role of Private Plans in Medicare –  PDF
By Gretchen Jacobson
Women and Medicare: An Unfinished Agenda –  PDF
By Alina Salganicoff
Medicare as Reflected in Public Opinion –  PDF
By Mollyann Brodie, Elizabeth C. Hamel, and Mira Norton

COVERED CALIFORNIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PETER V. LEE APPLAUDS RULING BY U.S. SUPREME COURT

[Click here to view the original press release]

President of CoveredCA Peter V. Lee
President of CoveredCA Peter V. Lee

COVERED CALIFORNIA

1601 EXPOSITION BOULEVARD, SACRAMENTO, CA 95815

WWW.COVEREDCA.COM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Line: (916) 206-7777

June 25, 2015

COVERED CALIFORNIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PETER V. LEE APPLAUDS RULING BY U.S. SUPREME COURT SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee hailed today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows all eligible people who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange to receive subsidies to help them pay for their coverage. “The Supreme Court made the common sense ruling for a law that makes sense for millions of Americans,” Lee said. “This is a great day for millions of Americans who can afford health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. With subsidies in place across the nation, those who now have health insurance — as well as those who still need it — can be confident that the options available to them will be within their reach.”

Although Covered California enrollees were not at risk of losing their subsidies as a result of the Supreme Court decision, a ruling invalidating subsidies offered through the federal health exchange could have resulted in changes to the federal law, which could have affected California. “Covered California enrollees and anyone in our state who still needs health insurance should breathe easy knowing the Affordable Care Act is truly the law of the land and is here to stay,” Lee said. “This historic law is changing our health care system for the better, giving people access to the best doctors and hospitals in our state.” Since opening its doors in January 2014, Covered California has helped provide health insurance to more than 1.8 million people. Covered California estimates that in 2014 it provided more than $5,200 in subsidies per household per year, or about $436 per month. The total amount of subsidies, or Advanced Premium Tax Credits, was $3.2 billion paid to health insurance companies in 2014 on behalf of Covered California enrollees. Consumers themselves paid $1.1 billion toward those policies in 2014, meaning that for every dollar a subsidized Covered California consumer spent on premiums, the federal government paid another $3.

“Today the Supreme Court made the right decision,” Lee said. “With the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans join those with employer-based coverage in getting health insurance in part because of federal tax subsidies. The subsidies have helped millions of Americans, including individuals I have met whose lives were saved as a result of the care they received.” With the support of federal subsidies, the majority of consumers enrolled with Covered California pay less than $150 per month for their premium, with many tens of thousands of consumers paying less than $10 per month for coverage.

Open enrollment for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015. Special enrollment for health coverage if an individual has a change in life circumstances, such as moving, having a baby or turning 26, continues year-round. Medi-Cal enrollment also continues year-round.

About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits. Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com. ###

Common Good, a Conference Combining Social Innovation, Public Policy and Healthcare

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CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

 The 4th Annual HTF Innovation Conference titled ‘Common Good’ will take a deeper look into health and wellness enhancements for the masses made possible through technology and the framing and implementation of key health policies. Discussions at the conference will revolve around next generation technology, the importance of compassion and innovation in care, best practices in public health, community resilience. Important use-cases demonstrating barriers that impede effective healthcare delivery will be examined.

*Included
May 27th – Snack, Coffee Service, and Reception.
May 28th – Breakfast, Snack, Coffee service, Lunch, and Reception.

 MAY 27-28TH, 2015 | EMBASSY SUITES SFO WATERFRONT

CONFERENCE AGENDA

Innovations for the
Underserved:

Focus on the innovations that are needed to improve the health and wellness of the global underserved—but in actuality will benefit all of us. Panel sessions will be staged during the conference covering the various aspects of technology and policy innovations that are aiding the pathway to achieve a good healthy life.

Resilient
Communities:

Unfavorable circumstances make all of us vulnerable. Adverse effects of famine, natural disasters, war, and infectious diseases such as Ebola affect all humans, as well as our fragile eco-system of flora and fauna. How do we handle these disastrous situations and learn collectively how to build communities and systems that protect us better?

Population Health
Management:

Care model analysis seeking to keep us inspired, motivated, and healthy with an ultimate goal of sustainability. A closer look will be given to innovative technologies that transform our health systems, making a positive difference.

Panel Topics:

  • Wireless Health Solutions for Low Resource Settings
  • Privacy, Safety, and Security Considerations for Mobile Data
  • Expand Health Tech Business in Europe
  • Resilient Communities and Systems for Adverse Events
  • Tech Innovation to Support Aging
  • CMIO Panel
  • VC Funding Landscape
  • Food and Nutrition for Children Health
  • Improving the Role of Patients
    • Influence of Consumerism & Technology On Employee Health and Benefits
    • The Sharing Economy in Healthcare

Will merging the nation’s largest mental health system save money for the County?

Article originally from the LATimes.com. Thanks to Pacific Asian Counseling Services for the notice.
Health agencies may be merged
Supervisor says that the plan would streamline operations and save money.
BY ABBY SEWELL

   Amid a change in top leadership at Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors is considering a major overhaul of the way the county provides health services to its 10 million residents.   Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich wants to merge the county’s public health department — which is responsible for preventing and responding to disease outbreaks, running substance abuse programs and inspecting restaurants, nursing homes and other facilities — and a separate mental health agency with the Department of Health Services, which runs county hospitals and clinics.   The proposal has been championed by Mitch Katz, the director of the health services department. Katz is favored by at least some of the supervisors to oversee the consolidated agency.   The county broke off public health services from the larger medical care agency in 2006. At the time, a fiscal crisis in county hospitals raised concerns that other public health programs could be cut.   Antonovich now argues that merging the departments would “break down the bureaucratic barriers facing the county’s patients, identify synergies, streamline operations” and “should result in budgetary savings.” Fred Leaf, a former county health department director and an aide to Antonovich on health issues, said consolidation would lead to a “service delivery system that is more responsive to patient needs and can provide the care more effectively.”   Katz said in an interview that the proposal offers tremendous advantages when integrating care for patients who may have a combination of physical, mental health issues and substance abuse problems. It would also make the county more competitive in vying for managed care contracts under the federal overhaul of healthcare, he said.   He has proposed to board members a management structure for the merger: The three departments would report to a single director and some of the administrative functions would be merged. The three agencies within the new department would retain separate budgets and would each be headed by their own director.   The public health director position is vacant, following the retirement of longtime Director Jonathan Fielding last year.   Fielding said in an interview that before the 2006 split, “public health was pretty much submerged and wasn’t able to advocate for itself.” If the supervisors approve the merger, he said, they should ensure that the directors of all three major divisions have direct access to the county’s elected board members and the county chief executive to advocate for their programs.   Mental health department Director Marv Southard could not be reached for comment, but some mental health advocates expressed concerns.   Brittney Weissman, executive director of the Los Angeles County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said mental health issues might take a back seat in the larger health agency. She noted a similar consolidation effort at the state level had been rocky.   “Mental health may not be priority No. 1 in a new health agency, whereas it is of upmost concern to the current Department of Mental Health,” she said.   But Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, enthusiastically endorsed the merger plan. He has feuded bitterly with the county public health department for years   — sometimes in court — over contracts and what his group describes as a clunky response to disease control.   Weinstein said that under Katz’s leadership, the health services department has become more open and transparent and has a record of “working closely and cooperatively with community partners.”   A majority of the board appears to support the consolidation. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who joined the board in December, said she generally favors the concept, and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said patients would be best served through an “integrated healthcare delivery system.”   The board could vote to give initial approval to the concept as early as Tuesday. Also on Thursday, interim Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai announced as part of a series of personnel and structural changes in her office that she would create an executive position in her office to oversee the potential consolidation of the health agencies. abby.sewell@latimes.com

GENARO MOLINA Los Angeles Times   PATIENTS WAIT at County-USC Medical Center. Merging public health services with other agencies would reverse a division made during 2006 fiscal crisis.

The Largest Mental Health Workers’ Strike during the week of January 12, 2015

For immediate release

December 31, 2014
Contact: Justin DeFreitas: (510) 701-1415jdefreitas@nuhw.org
KAISER PERMANENTE CLINICIANS TO LAUNCH NATION’S LARGEST EVER MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS’ STRIKE JAN. 12 – LOS ANGELES, CA
2,600 Kaiser California mental health clinicians notify state and federal authorities today that they will hold a week-long statewide strike over the HMO’s failure to provide timely, adequate care to patients. Local contacts and information on 35 strike locations and 65 picket lines below.
Additional documents for review:
Why are Kaiser mental health clinicians on strike?
Kaiser does not staff its psychiatry departments with enough mental health clinicians — psychologists, therapists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses — to meet the needs of its patients. Due to this staff shortage, our schedules are booked solid. Patients are forced to wait weeks, even months for treatment. For patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and other debilitating mental conditions, these delays can be insurmountable obstacles.
As mental health clinicians, we have an ethical obligation to advocate for our patients, whose conditions often make it difficult for them to advocate for themselves. For four years we have done all we can to persuade Kaiser officials to correct these ethical and legal violations, to no avail. That’s why Kaiser’s 2,600 California mental health clinicians and more than 700 other Kaiser employees — optical workers and healthcare professionals — are on strike, here in our community and throughout the state. Kaiser is letting our patients down every day, refusing to provide the timely, appropriate care they pay for with their monthly premiums and that Kaiser is required by law to provide.
In 2013, California’s Department of Managed Health Care fined Kaiser
$4 million for systemically understaffing its psychiatry department and falsifying records to conceal long appointment wait times. Yet Kaiser’s systemic violations of state law continue. After an initial diagnostic appointment, our patients frequently must endure waits of 4 to 12 weeks for treatment, making effective, ongoing therapy nearly impossible.
And the situation is getting worse. This year, under the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser’s California enrollment has increased by a quarter million members. Staffing levels, already too low, are not keeping pace with enrollment.
Meanwhile, “nonprofit” Kaiser is enjoying record profits. Kaiser hasmade more than $14 billion since 2009, and this year’s profitsare up 40 percent over last year’s record.
Last month, we presented Kaiser with a commonsense solution:clinician–management committees in each facility that can work together to determine adequate staffing levels and outsourcing needs, with help from a neutral, outside expert if the two sides cannot agree. It’s a simple and effective solution already in place in other health care systems. Once again, Kaiser failed to act.
With soaring profits and a $30 billion cash reserve, Kaiser can afford to invest in its mental health services by recruiting new clinicians, retaining experienced staff, and staffing its clinics in compliance with state law and in accordance with its ethical obligations as
a healthcare provider.
How can you help?
l Join us on the picket line.
l Call or write to
your local and state representatives and educate them on this important issue.
l Call or write to the Kaiser executives listed below and tell them you support our efforts.
Tell them Kaiser should be investing its record profits in its mental health services to ensure that its patients receive the timely, quality care they need and deserve.
KAISER EXECUTIVES
Bernard Tyson
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Dr. Robert Pearl
CEO, Permanente Medical Group (510) 987-3141Robert.pearl@kp.org
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Dr. Edward Ellison
Director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (626) 405-5000 edward.m.ellison @kp.org
35 strike locations and 65 pickets at Kaiser Permanente Facilities  
…National Union of Healthcare Workers.. NUHW 
Please join us on the picket lines next week as mental health workers
strike for better patient care and a decent worker contract.  

Los Angeles area strike locations: 

Media contact Elizabeth White
(310) 391-4785elizbwhite@msn.com

Monday Jan 12
West Los Angeles Medical Center
6041 Cadillac Ave., West L.A., 90034

Tuesday Jan 13
South Bay Medical Center
25825 Vermont Ave., Harbor City, 90710

Wednesday Jan 14
Downey Medical Center
9333 Imperial Highway, Downey, 90242

Thursday Jan 15
Woodland Hills Medical Center
5601 De Soto Ave., Woodland Hills, 91367

Friday Jan 16
Baldwin Park Medical Center

1011 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Park, 91706 
EMERYVILLE — Kaiser Permanente’s 2,600 California mental health clinicians — psychologists, therapists, and social workers represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers — will launch a statewide strike on Monday, January 12, to protest Kaiser’s chronic failure to provide its members with timely, quality mental health care. Kaiser staff will be on 65 picket lines at more than 35 locations throughout the state during the scheduled week-long strike. Notice of the strike was filed today.
More than 700 other Kaiser workers will join the picket lines, including Northern California optical workers and Southern California medical social workers, speech pathologists, audiologists, health educators, and registered dietitians, all of whom also report problems with inadequate staffing.
Despite huge profits — “nonprofit” Kaiser has made more $14 billion since 2009, and this year’s profits of more than $3 billion are up 40 percent over last year’s record— Kaiser Permanente does not staff its psychiatry departments with enough clinicians to treat the ever-growing number of patients seeking mental health care. Kaiser’s systemic understaffing forces patients to endure lengthy waits
for treatment — weeks and even months — in violation of California law and industry standards.

Last year Kaiser was fined $4 million for imposing lengthy and illegal appointment delays on mental health patients. Since then, Kaiser has failed to correct the violations. Compounding the crisis, during the first nine months of 2014, Kaiser added 422,000 new members nationwide, many as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
 
“For patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and other debilitating mental conditions, these delays can be insurmountable obstacles, sometimes leading to tragic outcomes,” said Clement Papazian, a clinical social worker at Kaiser in Oakland and president of NUHW’s Northern California chapter of mental health clinicians. “We don’t want to see patients being ignored. Kaiser’s actions are doing real harm. Even suicides have been linked to Kaiser’s delays and denial of care.”
For more than four years Kaiser has refused to acknowledge the problems caused by its lengthy appointment delays, much less fix them. Having exhausted every other means, Kaiser’s mental health clinicians are adhering to their ethical responsibility to advocate for their patients by conducting a strike aimed at forcing Kaiser to uphold its contractual and ethical obligations to its patients.
Journalists covering this issue are encouraged to review NUHW’s ten-page summary, which provides a history of the crisis, its impact on patients, and evidence of ongoing violations. Here are a few key items:
In 2013, California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) fined Kaiser $4 million for systemically understaffing its psychiatry department, falsifying patients’ appointment records to conceal long wait times, and providing patients with misleading information regarding the care available to them — a situation nearly identical to the scandal that engulfed the Veterans Affairs Administration last year.
Rather than staff their clinics appropriately, Kaiser merely shifted resources, directing clinicians to see more first-time patients at the expense of returning patients. Healthcare workers at Kaiser facilities report that patients frequently endure waits of between four and twelve weeks for a return appointment, making effective, ongoing treatment nearly impossible.
The situation is getting worse. This year, under the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser’s California enrollment has increased by a quarter million members. Staffing levels, already too low, are not keeping pace with enrollment of new patients. Withholding services while increasing membership is an effective way
to score record profits but it has led to woefully inadequate care, as well as four class-action lawsuits filed by patients and families who say Kaiser’s violations contributed to tragic outcomes, including suicides.
In September, Kaiser implicitly acknowledged the problems by agreeing to pay the DMHC’s $4 million fine. Also, Kaiser revealed plans to outsource Northern California mental health services to Value Options. Kaiser’s mental health clinicians believe outsourcing is necessary as a temporary, stop- gap measure while Kaiser hires enough staff to meet its patients’ needs. However, Kaiser has ignored Value Options’ dubious track record. In July 2009, New Mexico discontinued its use of Value Options because of the company’s denial of services to patients.
In June 2014, California’s Department of Managed Health Care fined Value Options for “repeated deficiencies.” And in July 2014, New York’s attorney general assessed $1.2 million in penalties to Value Options and up to $31 million in restitution to patients for denial of access to mental health care.
In contract bargaining in December, Kaiser’s mental health clinicians presented Kaiser with a commonsense solution: clinician–management committees in each facility that can work together to determine adequate staffing levels and outsourcing needs, with help from a neutral, outside expert
if the two sides cannot agree. It’s a simple and effective solution already in place in other health care systems. But once again, Kaiser failed to act, triggering this statewide strike.
“With soaring profits and a $30 billion reserve, Kaiser needs to step up and lead the way in finally making mental health care a priority in this country,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli. “The law requires it and Kaiser’s ethical obligations as a health care provider demand it.”

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