CA Access News

March 2012


In this Issue: Features | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information | Contact Us


HEART Releases Field Research Survey Showing Strong Voter Support for a 'Smart' California Health Benefit Exchange

March 22, 2012

A survey conducted by the Field Research Corporation reveals that California voters strongly support the elements of a "smart" state Health Benefit Exchange that would employ market forces and provide "team" care options to drive down costs, improve medical outcomes and expand access to care.

"Nearly three in four California voters expressed interest in making health plans available based on a physician-led personal health team approach to care," said Mark DiCamillo, senior vice president of Field Research Corporation, who conducted the survey.

DiCamillo released the details of the survey of 1,003 California voters during a press conference on Thursday, March 22, in Room 100 of the Legislative Office Building, 1020 N St., Sacramento.

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Survey Results

HHS Contest Seeks Apps That Track Health Issues Via Twitter

March 21, 2012

On March 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced the launch of a contest that challenges software developers to design a Web application that uses Twitter to track real-time health trends, Government Health IT reports.

About the Contest
According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the Now Trending: #Health contest calls for the creation of an application that would gather open-source Twitter data from a specific geographic region and track the frequency of common illness-related terms.

The application would need to generate a list of the top five illnesses in a particular region during the past 24 hours and deliver the list to public health agencies through an online widget.

Public health agencies could use the Twitter-generated data to bolster their surveillance of emerging health issues, HHS officials said.

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Partner Spotlight

Familia UnidaFamilia Unida Living with MS

Irma Resendez, president of Familia Unida Living with MS, has been named a 2012 Women of Achievement for the 24th Senate District by Senator Ed Hernandez. On March 23, Senator Hernandez presented the award for Community Service/Activism aware to Resendez at a ceremony in celebration of Women's History Month. The ceremony was held at the Garvey Center at 9108 Garvey Avenue in Rosemead.

Familia Unida Living with MS provides unconditional love, hope, and support to those living with Multiple Sclerosis and other disabilities to help maximize their quality of life.

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Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

CPAT Seminars: Understanding the California Health Benefit Exchange (SOLD OUT)

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
CSAC Conference Center
1020 11th Street, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Guest Speaker: Kim Belshé
Senior Policy Advisor for Public Policy Institute of California California Health Benefit Exchange Board Member

CPAT is proud to co-host this event with California Chronic Care Coalition, California Primary Care Association, California Senior Advocates League and NAMI California

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
The Bourns Boardroom
3985 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501

Guest Speaker: Richard Figueroa
Director of Health and Human Services for The California Endowment

CPAT is proud to co-host this event with
California Chronic Care Coalition, California Primary Care Association, California Senior Advocates League, NAMI California, Showtime Inc. - Community Health Action Network and Su Clinica Medica de San Bernardino

Continuing education units provided by:

Would you like to see your organization's event listed? Contact Jason Dumont at to help advertise your upcoming event.

Welcome New Partners

Join Now

Do you know a group who would be interested in joining CPAT? Please send your referrals to:

Northern California - Contact Jason Dumont at

Southern California - Contact Brandon Stephenson at

In the News

Why doctors aren’t prescribing health apps to patients
By Travis Good, MD, MBA, March 19, 2012

The BBC had a story recently about general practitioners (GPs) in the UK prescribing health apps to patients. The idea is that prescribed apps would be free to patients, even if they had a cost associated with them, so I'm assuming that the NHS would pick of the tab for such apps.

The story has gotten a lot of attention, and I think with good reason. I've written before and believe that physicians need to prescribe health apps, whether they be mobile or web, in order for patients to signup and use them on an ongoing basis.

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New anti-smoking ad campaign features personal profiles of tobacco victims

By David Brown
Washington Post, March 14, 2012

The federal government is launching a new anti-tobacco campaign that features personal descriptions and photographs of people who've suffered grievous effects from smoking, often before the age of 50.

The ostensible purpose of the campaign, called "Tips from Former Smokers," is to give smokers practical advice on how to quit their habit. Promotional materials released a day in advance of the formal launch, however, suggests it is also an up-close, voyeuristic look at victims of disease.

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In California, Quality Reporting at the State Level Is at a Crossroads After Hospital Group Pulls Out
By Stephanie Teleki and Maribeth Shannon
California HealthCare Foundation, March 7, 2012

The California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce (CHART) formed in 2004 to enable a standardized, statewide "report card" on hospitals. CHART has since adopted more than 70 performance measures to assess the quality of hospital care. More than 240 California hospitals, representing 85% of the state's acute care admissions, have voluntarily participated by reporting performance data to CHART and agreeing to have that data displayed on

However, the reporting landscape has changed markedly since the launch of CHART. In late 2011, the California Hospital Association's board of trustees voted to withdraw the organization's support from CHART. They noted declining value to users, costs of data collection to hospitals, and the belief that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare website obviated the need for a state-based reporting effort. In particular, CHA was disappointed that two key goals of CHART -- consolidating the data requested of hospitals by commercial plans and financially rewarding strong performers -- were never realized. Finally, the hope that consumers would opt to have elective procedures at higher-rated hospitals proved impractical due to insurance network restrictions on choice.

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Interesting Information

Health-e-App Public Access: Modernizing the Path to Children's Health Coverage in California

By Mathematica Policy Research
March 4, 2012

Since December 2010, Californians have been able to apply online for Healthy Families and the Medi-Cal Program for Children and Pregnant Women through Health-e-App Public Access (HeA PA). This provides individuals, who previously could only apply with the help of certified application assistants, a more convenient method for accessing public insurance. A series of reports from Mathematica Policy Research, supported by CHCF and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, examines the impact of this new enrollment route.

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