One of the largest—and most controllable—contributors to rising health care costs in the United States today is overutilization, or overuse, of the health care system. Yet cost is not the only consequence of overutilization—also at stake is health, quality of life, and in some cases, life itself. In fact, the United States spends a significant amount more per person on health care than any other country in the world, and yet U.S. health outcomes are equal to or worse than those in other countries. Read More
Understanding the key drivers behind overutilization is an important step for you as both a business owner and a health care consumer. By understanding the drivers, you can help identify the highest quality and most fairly priced care for you and your employees.
I am often asked by the media what elected officials can do to be more business-friendly and create new jobs. I tell them about California business regulations and taxes that do not exist in other states. I also talk about streamlined processes and tax credits that do exist in other states.Read More
With the steady news coverage about Mayor Garcetti’s minimum wage proposal for the City of Los Angeles, two important stories stood in the shadows. The first is that the California economy is improving; and the second is that there are still thousands of unemployed Californians, especially in L.A. County. Read More
Charity Care in L.A.’s Diverse Communities
Despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate, there are certain groups of people that will not be able to obtain health insurance and who will (in essence) “fall through the cracks.” This population is composed primarily of those exempt from the individual mandate because insurance options are not affordable, those who opt out of the individual mandate and face resulting penalties and undocumented immigrants and legal residents of less than five years. According to a 2010 report by the Center for Health Care Strategies, the estimated 20 million individuals who are not able to take advantage of ACA will have to depend, to one degree or another, on charity care programs.
I wish I could say I was surprised. I wish I could say that this is a new frustration. In reality it is just the same old song we keep hearing from public employee unions. More than a year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature showed leadership by making some moderate changes to the State’s pension systems.Read More
As we enter the start of football season, I always look forward to watching a team march down the field with pinpoint passes and well executed running plays to score the winning touchdown with seconds left on the clock. This scenario acts as an effective metaphor for AB 1839 – The Film and Television Tax Credit program which will grow middle class jobs in California. Read More
Since 2010, the government has offered a tax break for certain small businesses that offer qualifying employer-sponsored health plans to assist employers with premium costs and contributions. The health reform law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for employees. However, for those small businesses that have chosen to provide, or are already looking into providing, coverage to employees through Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) in 2014, the tax credit can help ease the overall costs. Read More
Two weeks ago the headlines in Los Angeles included a Department of Water & Power water line failure in West L.A. and a ruling by the Employee Relations Board to overturn the creation of a new pension tier for future city employees. The juxtaposition of these two stories points out the tug of war taking place in the City of Los Angeles today. With our limited tax dollars, do we prioritize salaries and pensions or maintenance and services?Read More
Gov. Jerry Brown’s Trade Mission to Mexico last week sent the right message to business leaders in Mexico and California. Mexico is California’s largest export market and businesses know how important it is to take care of your largest customers. Gov. Brown and his 130-member delegation were warmly received by Mexican elected officials and business leaders at every event during the four-day visit.
Even though the cost of prescription drugs has plummeted for many Americans, a small slice of the population is being asked to shoulder more and more of the cost of expensive treatments for diseases like cancer and hepatitis C. Rare and often more serious diseases requiring specialty drugs can come with breathtaking price tags, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. On average, the monthly price tag for a specialty drug is $2,000, which is 10 times greater than the price tags for non-specialty medication. The high monthly price tags for these drugs (and the long-term treatment that is required for serious diseases) can put severe financial hardships on affected individuals. Read More