Archive | Drugs

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Prescription Costs Transparency Bill Fails in Assembly Health Committee, But Fight Continues

Earlier today the California Assembly Health Committee failed to pass AB 463 (Chiu), a bill introduced last session that would have required greater transparency around the pricing of high-cost medications. Bill author David Chiu pulled the bill because he did not have enough votes, like last year, to get it through committee.  But, as he […]

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HHS Proposed Regulations Barring Discrimination on Basis of Sex, Gender, Gender Identity, Race and National Origin, Disability, and Age Need Work: Deadline to Comment is November 9, 2015

Last month the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which extends civil rights protections under Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among others, to health programs that receive any federal funds.  No […]

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DHCS Stakeholder Advisory Committee October 14, 2015: Highlights for Consumer Advocates

Update on MCO (Managed Care Organization) Tax DHCS Director Jennifer Kent opened with an update on the MCO tax and the need to revise it to meet new federal guidelines to broaden the base to all health plans (learn more here).  Last Spring, the Governor called a special session to resolve this and related Medicaid financing […]

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Governor Brown Signs Key Patient Protections Bills Against Unfair Out-of-Pocket Costs

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday signed four patient protection bills that will address unfair out-of-pocket costs, including out-of-network bills due to inaccurate provider directories, huge cost-sharing for specialty drugs, double deductibles in family plans, as well as extend protections against “junk insurance” to benefits offered by large employers. These Health Access-sponsored bills address some of the […]

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Key Patient Protections Pass Legislature, Now On Governor’s Desk

With the California Legislature adjourning after midnight last Saturday, most of the action on priority bills for health consumers moves to the Governor’s desk. Most of the Heath Access-sponsored bills protecting consumers from unfair out-of-pocket costs are now one Governor’s signature away from enactment. There were disappointments in the final days of this year’s legislative […]

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Most Patient Protection Bills Clear Final Hurdle, En Route to Governor’s Desk; Tobacco Measures Still Pending

Earlier today the California Senate voted 25-10, on a bipartisan basis, to pass legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network medical bills after they receive care in in-network hospitals or other facilities. Sponsored by Health Access California, AB533 (Bonta) would protect patients from “surprise” bills from out-of-network doctors when they did the right thing by going to […]

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Close Up on A Key Consumer Protection Bill: AB 339 Prescription Drug Cost Sharing

Today many more Californians have access to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, however many premium-paying patients who are covered still struggle with out-of-pocket costs. Some practices by providers and health insurers unfairly burden patients with unmanageable cost-sharing, interfering with access to care people need. AB339 (Gordon), a Health Access sponsored bill moving […]

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Key Consumer Protections Bills Move Forward

Earlier today Senate Health Committee passed several key bills benefiting health care consumers, including two sponsored by Health Access California: AB 339 (Gordon), dealing with high cost specialty medications and AB 533 (Bonta), which halts surprise bills from out-of-network providers. Both bills go beyond Affordable Care Act to provide improved patient protections—ensuring that the cost sharing […]

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The Latest on Health Care Bills

This week, the Assembly and Senate Health Committee as well as the Committees on Governmental Organization and Business and Professions heard a number of bills, including key health measures, including Medi-Cal Estate Recovery (SB 33), County Organized Health Systems (SB 260), Rate Review for Large Group Insurers (SB 546)–all passing out of committee. The big […]

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Legislative Recap at Halfway Point: Key Bills Pass Floor Votes

In this article… SB 4 Would Take Historic Steps to Cover Remaining Uninsured Patient Protection Bills to Limit Out-of-Pocket Costs Other bills on transparency, Medi-Cal, and more This blog entry was written by Sawait Hezchias-Seyoum, Health Care Policy Advocate, Health Access. The Senate and Assembly adjourned yesterday, one day ahead of the June 5th deadline to […]

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