July 7, 2014
A California Senate bill that would allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees to keep existing health plans for an extra year to comply with the Affordable Care Act appears poised for approval, giving small employers a temporary reprieve on plan designs if and when it passes.
June 24, 2014
NORTH BAY — Redwood Community Health Coalition had the second-highest level of enrollment in the state for Medi-Cal coverage and health plans offered through Covered California, the state’s online health exchange established under the Affordable Care Act.
May 19, 2014
SANTA ROSA — At long last, Santa Rosa and the surrounding region has a full-scale acute care psychiatric hospital that health officials said is meeting a significant need for a wide array of patients.
Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital, the long-anticipated 95-bed facility on Fulton Road, last week said its adolescent unit was officially opened, thereby putting the final touches on the hospital that was purchased in 2009 and remodeled over the last four years.
May 5, 2014
SONOMA – Sonoma Valley Hospital is expanding its Skilled Home Health Care service into Marin and Napa counties, rebranding it as Healing at Home as part of an effort to keep hospital readmissions at a minimum while delving further into offerings outside of the hospital setting.
April 27, 2014
With the closure of long-struggling Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol all but assured, hospital executives and health care experts are pointing to the failed facility as perhaps the most vivid example of the myriad challenges facing the hospital industry as a whole.
Although the issues leading to Palm Drive’s closure were multifaceted, in some cases specific to geographical challenges, the small but beloved hospital is far from alone in the ongoing evolution of the Affordable Care Act world of health care reform, experts said.
April 21, 2014
NORTH BAY — Two of Sonoma County’s biggest federally qualified health centers are in the process of opening in-house pharmacies at key locations, a move aimed at further integrating primary care services with the hopes of improving outcomes for patients who struggle with prescription medications.
Both Santa Rosa Community Health Centers and Petaluma Health Center are following the lead of another North Bay FQHC, Marin Community Clinics, which opened an on-sight pharmacy about a year ago. Since then, Marin’s safety-net provider has seen a dramatic improvement in reducing repetitive visits from patients, many of whom struggled with medications and ended up either back at clinics or in emergency rooms for treatable conditions, said Linda Tavazsi, CEO of Marin Community Clinics.
April 7, 2014
Over the past week, proponents of the Affordable Care Act have touted the sheer numbers of those enrolling in health plans offered on both the federal and statewide exchanges, which nationally reached more than 7 million and in California reached over 1.2 million — both above stated goals.
By most accounts, the volume and the last-minute rush of people signing up as enrollment closed indicates a successful cap to a rocky and bitterly partisan start for the new law.
But as details of those who enroll become clearer in the coming weeks, insurance carriers and brokers will be closely watching the spread of risk, or whether or not enough younger, healthier individuals signed up to offset the older or sicker population, to keep rates down.
April 7, 2014
The year 2014 brings new opportunities and challenges for the insured, the uninsured, employees, employers, and employer sponsored health plans. Whether employers continue to provide a health plan in 2014 and beyond may depend on what the employer plan looks like, cost of the plan, what competitors are practicing, and finally, what the political landscape looks like.
Many employers feel it’s a competitive advantage to provide a plan to their employees in order to attract and retain key talent. But how can an employer comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), engage their employees, and keep their wallets intact? Here are four steps employers should consider to determine the fate of their benefit programs.
April 1, 2014
UPDATED 4:58 P.M. SANTA ROSA — After more than two years of negotiations with a number of suitors, Santa Rosa-based Redwood Regional Medical Group, one of the most established and largest physician-owned groups in the North Bay, agreed to merge a majority of its operations into St. Joseph Health’s Annadel Medical Group, bringing together two of Sonoma County’s most prominent health care providers.
March 24, 2014
Thriving in a changed health care landscape under the Affordable Care Act will require Marin General Hospital to become a ubiquitous presence in the lives of its patients, with technology, facilities and administration that supports the ongoing care of California’s most elderly — but also most healthy — county.
March 10, 2014
NOVATO — The Prima Medical Group recently brought on Wayne Fairchild as its new CEO, where he will help spearhead efforts in expanding throughout the North Bay amid a shifting business landscape under the continued implementation of health care reform.
He will help guide Prima Medical Group as it looks to serve as an alternative to both Sutter Health- and Kaiser Permanente-affiliated physicians, organizations that dominate much of the North Bay.
February 24, 2014
NOVATO — Meritage Accountable Care Organization, the ACO established under the Affordable Care Act by Novato-based Meritage Medical Network, is expanding its relationship with Santa Clara-based CareInSync and its mobile-based platform to curb hospital readmission rates into Marin and Sonoma counties.
February 17, 2014
SONOMA — The Sonoma Valley Community Health Center recently broke ground on a new, 18,000 square-foot facility that will help it treat an expected influx of patients amid expansion under health care reform, nearly tripling the size of its current location.
February 17, 2014
Simione Healthcare Consultants acquired Boyd & Nicholas, a health care consulting firm based in Rohnert Park. …
Santa Rosa-based Oakmont Senior Living is highlighting the recent opening of The Terraces. …
Sonoma Valley Health Care District said it has completed refinancing of the 2009 general obligation bonds. …
Joanne LaMonica, MD, a urologist, has joined Adventist Health-owned Ukiah Valley Medical Center. …
St. Joseph Health-operated Queen of the Valley’s CARE Network in Napa was honored by Premier. …
Kaiser Permanente said it has distributed grants totaling $49,000 to establish community partnerships with 12 elementary schools within the Santa Rosa City Schools District and two elementary schools — Laurel Dell and Short Elementary — in San Rafael.
Hospice by the Bay on March 19 will hold a free seminar, “The Life of Your Estate After Death: Probate and Trust Administration.”
February 12, 2014
SACRAMENTO — Covered California on Wednesday said it is suspending online enrollment for the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, as part of a redesign and improvements to the state health insurance exchange’s website.
February 3, 2014
SACRAMENTO — With just shy of two months before an extended enrollment season closes, many in the insurance world are closely watching enrollment figures for both Covered California, the state’s online health exchange under Obamacare, and outside of the exchange.
The exchange recently released enrollment figures through the end of December, noting that more than 500,000 individuals have signed up for health plans offered through Covered California. And preliminary numbers through Jan. 15 show a total of 625,000 enrollees, while another 584,000 were deemed eligible for coverage under the expanded Medi-Cal.
January 17, 2014
SEBASTOPOL — Palm Drive Hospital said it would move forward with layoffs and labor reductions, impacting 40 employees in 15 departments as the 37-bed facility seeks to shore up its finances.
December 30, 2013
PETALUMA — The SSM Group, a Novato-based employee benefits insurance brokerage, will relocate its headquarters into 10,000 square feet at 1 Willowbrook Ct. in Petaluma after significantly growing its book of business.
December 17, 2013
Officials overseeing California’s health insurance exchange on Tuesday released North Bay enrollment figures for October and November.
December 16, 2013
SANTA ROSA — While it’s taken four years for Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital to navigate regulatory and construction hurdles before it fully opens to the public, it has been quietly treating patients since late July, when it partially opened to referrals from Sonoma County’s Health and Human Services Department.
It’s now poised for full-scale operation, as soon as The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare complete surveys of the 95-bed facility.