March 26, 2013Carmella GutierrezPresident, Californians for Patient Care
Another Tax Day is arriving. And while we dread it every year,
the cliché is true – it is inevitable.
But this year, Tax Day has an added importance for us
Californians. As part of the Affordable Care Act, your 2012 tax
returns will determine if the government will help pay for your
monthly healthcare premiums in 2014. That’s right – your tax
returns could have a direct impact on lowering the cost of
healthcare for you and your family.
This is another reminder that health reform is coming soon —
January 2014, to be exact — and that we need to plan for this
Now is the time to find out if you qualify for government
subsidies for 2014. Learn more about that
here. If you do qualify, be sure to enroll in a health plan
through Covered California™ beginning this October; the
healthcare tax credits will be paid by Covered California
directly to your health plan to keep your costs low. And the
savings could be very significant. A family of four earning
$88,800 may be eligible for a yearly government subsidy of $3,900
and pay about $700 a month in premiums for health coverage. You
can use Covered
California’s Cost-Estimate Calculator to estimate how much
your insurance will cost and the amount of subsidy you could
January 23, 2013Carmella GutierrezPresident, Californians for Patient Care
Dire warnings about the severity of this flu season have been
hard to miss. Across the country, states are reporting epidemic
rates of flu infection much earlier than the traditional height
of the flu season. California is one of three states that have
not yet declared its flu season a true epidemic, but…it is still
early. And that is good news.
It is good news because it means there is still time for you to
get a flu shot and there is still time for it to make a
difference. Providers still have flu vaccine available and can be
found using the FluFinder function on
December 3, 2012Carmella GutierrezPresident, Californians for Patient Care
Turkey and stuffing? Check.
Shopping list? Check.
List of New Year’s resolutions? Check.
Plan for healthier 2013?
This time of year life seems almost like a parade of “to do”
lists, plans to be made and traditions to carry on.This year, I’d
like to encourage you to focus on a new tradition that
could have a lasting and positive impact long after the holiday
decorations are back on the shelf: planning for a healthier
I’m not talking about a series of New Year’s resolutions, but
rather about thinking through how valuable good health is and
outlining new actions to take and behaviors to adopt to attain
good health. Improved health should be a goal for all of us
because good health makes so much possible.
November 29, 2012Guest Blog by Janet Semple-Hess, M.D.Attending Physician, Division of Emergency Medicine, at Children’s Hospital Los AngelesAssistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
It’s that time of year again — family visits, turkey dinners and
holiday music at the mall. But for healthcare providers, all of
these seasonal hallmarks remind us not only of the start of the
holiday season, but rather the start of the influenza season.
There are lots of fall and early winter coughs and colds.
Children come into clinics with the sniffles or a barky cough,
and your co-workers may have a variety of chest congestion, a bad
cough or a bit of a fever. Here at Children’s Hospital Los
Angeles, we reassure families that most colds will get better on
their own with time and a bit of symptomatic relief. Patients are
anxious, wondering if they should be prescribed antibiotics; but
because most of these illnesses are viral, the answer is no.
October 25, 2012Guest Blog by Roy PerezOwner of RMP StrategiesFormer Chair of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
Q: How prepared are small businesses to comply with all
of the upcoming changes to healthcare insurance as a result of
A: Most small businesses are not prepared for
how their healthcare insurance will change. This is especially
true with the businesses we work with, Latino small businesses,
because of the language barriers and a very slow to nonexistent
flow of information. According to state government figures, there
are approximately 700,000 Latino small businesses in the
California, yet few have the information they need about
healthcare reform. By working with small business chambers of
commerce and local and regional small business leadership, we are
increasing that flow of information. In fact, through the
auspices of The California
Endowment, we hosted a Healthcare Law for Small Business
luncheon in Sacramento at the end of October.
September 27, 2012Guest Blog by Patricia McFarlandChief Executive Officer, Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL)
Q: What is the current state of nursing in California? Do
we have too few nurses? Too many? The right type of
A: In California we have done an excellent job
in partnering with our academic colleagues to increase the number
of new graduates.
Over the past eight years we have increased our graduates by 67
percent. We have also done some great work around developing
transition to practice programs to ensure our new graduates have
the skills to succeed in their new roles.