CA-ACCESS NEWS

February 2007


In this Issue: Healthcare Feature | Larry Lucas | Year in Healthcare Roundtable | Mission Statement | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information

 

Feature Articles

Call for articlesThe Imperative of Reducing Health Disparities through Prevention: Challenges, Implications, and Opportunities

Our nation spends nearly one trillion dollars a year on diagnosing and treating disease. Nevertheless, each year hundreds of thousands of deaths due to preventable causes occur—including nearly 400,000 deaths due to poor diet and inactivity; 85,000 deaths as a result of alcohol misuse; 55,000 attributable to toxic agents; and 29,000 attributable to firearms.13 These deaths and other associated health problems occur disproportionately among poor and minority populations.

The National Institutes of Health defines health disparities as “Differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.”14 Racial and ethnic health disparities are “large, persistent, and even increasing in the United States.”15 When elements of racism, poverty, and problematic community environments converge, greater overall threats to health and safety develop. When efforts are designed to address this convergence, disparities can be reduced. Read more of this article reprinted by permission from the Prevention Institute...

 

Larry Lucas Column

The Medicare Prescription Drug Program: Working for Seniors

The Medicare Prescription Drug Program, known as Part D, is helping seniors and disabled Americans get the prescription medications they need to live healthier, longer lives. While Part D has been in effect for just over one year, already 90 percent of America’s seniors are benefiting from comprehensive prescription drug coverage, according to government reports. This is nearly twice as many Americans as were covered just a few short years ago. Read more...


Year of Healthcare Roundtable

CPAT Partners Weigh In on California’s Healthcare System

On January 24 and 25, 2007, the California Partnership for Access to Treatment (CPAT) met with healthcare, business, community, and advocacy organizations to discuss the challenges we all face in our efforts to increase access to quality healthcare in California. Held in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego, these open and productive discussions allowed CPAT partners and guests to share their concerns and hopes for California’s changing healthcare system.

Attendees addressed pressing healthcare issues confronting the state and priorities for healthcare reform in 2007, as well as the benefits and detriments of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s and other state leaders’ healthcare proposals.

The feedback we received will help guide CPAT’s future seminars, as we continue to provide resources and healthcare access information to our partners and the constituents they serve. We encourage all interested parties to attend our educational seminars to share their perspective on health access issues and to learn more about CPAT. Please continue to check our Web site for news about upcoming seminars and events!


Mission Statement

We are delighted to share the newly drafted California Partnership for Access to Treatment mission statement. It’s been nearly a year since our partnership began, and through our conversations with our growing network, we wanted to ensure our mission statement reflected our core purpose: to serve as an educational and communications network to help increase access to treatment in California.

Click here to read the new mission statement!


Member Spotlight

LAAHU – Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters

Mission:
The mission of the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters (LAAHU) is to promote the highest standards of professionalism and integrity through education, public service, and communication to our members, the consuming public, and government entities.

About:
LAAHU was organized in 1979 to give those who sell and distribute health insurance products in the Los Angeles area a voice in determining their professional skills. With more than 500 members, LAAHU focuses on a wide range of issues that every health insurance professional seeking to succeed in today's competitive market must confront.

Join LAAHU at their annual meeting in Pasadena on Wednesday, March 28. The conference’s keynote speakers are Dr. Brian Day (President-Elect of the Canadian Medical Association), Dr. William Plested (President of the American Medical Association) and Dr. Anmol Mahal (President of the California Medical Association). The focus of the conference will be the changing nature of the healthcare industry in 2007, including wellness and healthcare advocacy. Please click on the following link for more information about this upcoming conference - http://www.laahuonline.com.

Web site:
www.laahu.org


calendar

Be sure to check out the CPAT Calendar of Events to find out about upcoming partner conferences, seminars, fundraisers, and other activities in your area. If you would like your event listed, please contact Dorothy at dorothy@perrycom.com

 

Welcome New Members!

New Partners

  • Arcadia Chamber of Commerce
  • La Cooperativa Campesina de California
  • Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic - Los Angeles
  • Sacramento Community Clinic Consortium
  • Universal City - North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
  • Plus 11 individual partners

Join CPAT
In the News

Group says racial gap in medical care needs cure
The Press Enterprise- San Bernardino
By Lora Hines
January 11, 2007

A two-year survey shows that a majority of black residents advocate for their personal health care, yet whites outlive them by an average of 13 years, according to the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County. Click here for full article.

Pfizer unveils online health disparities tool kit
United Press International
January 17, 2007

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has created a free toolkit to help community health centers reduce racial health disparities. The program, called Friends in Health, involves training community health workers to be a bridge between minority communities and the healthcare system. Click here for full article.

Effort aims to close health gap: Minorities are more likely to suffer diabetes and die from strokes
The Press Enterprise- San Bernardino
By Duane Gang
January 20, 2007

San Bernardino resident E.J. Ford is exactly the type of person county public health officials are trying to reach. Ford, who is black, was diagnosed with borderline hypertension in the early 1970s and with diabetes in 1991. The disease is under control, Ford said after getting his blood pressure checked last week at a health fair at Temple Community Outreach Center on Base Line in San Bernardino. Click here for full article.

Health Disparities and Martin Luther King Jr.'s Unfinished Civil Rights Agenda
PR Newswire Op-Ed
By George Halvorson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Family Foundation
January 22, 200

When most of us think about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., what comes to mind is his role in the real progress toward racial equity that this country has achieved…we hould be equally humbled and chagrined by the vast racial and ethnic disparities and inequities that continue -- 42 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- in Americans' health status and access to health care. Click here for the full Op-Ed.


Interesting Information

Governor’s Healthcare Proposal

California’s healthcare system was a major component of Governor Schwarzenegger’s State of the State address delivered last month and a conversation topic at the CPAT “Year of Healthcare” luncheons. Provided below are the major points provided in the Governor’s outline for solving California’s healthcare problems. CPAT will continue to monitor announcements by the Governor’s administration and provide updates on developments impacting access to treatment.

All Californians:

  • Must have a minimum level of insurance and are responsible to obtaining it so that those with insurance no longer pay for the uninsured.
  • Have a responsibility to pursue good health through healthy habits.

Government:

  • Will return $10-15 billion doctors and hospitals by increasing federal reimbursement for Medi-Cal.
  • Will provide subsidies for low-income families to buy health coverage through a new purchasing pool.
  • Will expand Medi-Cal to poor adults and expand Healthy Families/Medi-Cal to all children in families earning less than $60,000 annually.

Employers:

  • Those with 10 or more employees who choose not to offer health coverage will contribute 4 percent of payroll toward the cost of employees’ health coverage. Companies with less than 10 employees—a full 80 percent of businesses in California—are exempt.

Health Plans and Insurers:

  • Must guarantee individuals access to coverage in the individual market, spend 85 percent of every premium dollar on patient care and make “Healthy Actions” benefits available to promote healthy behaviors. The Governor’s initiative will expand the state’s insurance pool by 4-5 million and give insurers fair compensation for their services.

Doctors and Hospitals:

  • Will receive $10-$15 billion—and in turn, will contribute a portion back to universal coverage. Physicians will contribute 2 percent of revenues and hospitals will contribute 4 percent, ensuring some of the savings stays in the system to support total coverage and increased Medi-Cal rates to providers.
  • Have a responsibility to provide affordable, quality care, partner with patients to improve wellness and health outcomes; and share in cost savings.

For more information on the Governor’s healthcare proposal please visit the State of the State web site, available at: http://gov.ca.gov/sots/healthcare.html.

You can also see how the Governor’s plan compares to other proposals from California’s leadership by visiting the CPAT Newsroom.

 

CA Access News welcomes contributions from our partners. Please contact us if you have suggestions for future events and stories by calling CPAT at (916) 658-0144, Attn: Janet.

CPAT

925 L Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
www.caaccess.org

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