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Health insurance can now help some Californians find housing

in Health/Housing

Thanks to an experimental new program aimed at easing the state’s profound homelessness crisis, some Californians now can get housing help from an unlikely source: their health insurance plans.

With the launch this year of CalAIM, California is reimagining medical coverage by marrying healthcare and housing statewide for the first time. Under the new approach, certain high-risk and low-income Medi-Cal recipients can use their insurance plans for more than doctor’s visits and hospital stays — they can get help finding affordable or subsidized housing, cash for housing deposits, help preventing an eviction and more.

Proponents say the program acknowledges what doctors and social workers have known for years — it’s incredibly difficult to keep people healthy if they’re living on the streets or at risk of losing their home.

Continue Reading on Silicon Valley

California doctor creates needleless at-home heart health test

in Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The B100 method is an at-home, heart assessment monitor and app created to monitor a users heart's health without having to go to the doctor's office.

How does it work? Users can download an app, fill out a questionnaire, order the needleless home test kit for $149 and a team will provide users a LubDub grade on an A through D scale after assessing the user's health.

Continue Reading on ABC10

Truckers, warehouse employees can get basic health care at this Modesto workplace

in Health

The truckers and warehouse workers at Dot Foods can now get basic health care right at the south Modesto business.

So can their spouses and children, under a concept that Dot is spreading across its 12 distribution centers in the United States, at minimal cost to families.

The company expects that about 400 local employees and dependents will use the Dot Foods Family Health Center. It opened in a 1,440-square-foot modular building in late March and had a belated ribbon-cutting Wednesday.

“If you’re feeling under the weather, coming here is what we want you to do,” said Matt Holt, vice president of human resources for Dot.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Medi-Cal coverage expands to all Californians 50 years and older, regardless of immigration status

in Health/Mental Health

A new law has expanded Medi-Cal coverage to all Californians who are 50 years and older, regardless of their immigration status.

The Older Adult Expansion initiative went into effect Sunday, extending medical, dental, and mental health care to all Californians ages 50 years and older. Other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, still apply, but immigration status is not among those rules.

Continue Reading on CBS Los Angeles

California unveils long-awaited standard for drinking water contaminant

in Health

California Monday proposed a long-awaited standard for a cancer-causing contaminant in drinking water that would require costly treatment in many cities throughout the state.

Traces of hexavalent chromium are widely found in the drinking water of millions of Californians, with some of the contamination naturally occurring and some from industries that work with the heavy metal.

The proposed standard is a major step in a decades-long effort to curtail the water contaminant made infamous by the movie Erin Brockovich, based on residents of rural Hinkley, California who won more than $300 million from Pacific Gas & Electric for contamination of their drinking water.

Continue Reading on Jefferson Public Radio

California launches ambitious effort to transform Medi-Cal to ‘whole person care’

in Around California/Health
Edward El, a CalAIM pilot program participant, will soon move into his own apartment after spending the better part of 16 years homeless. (Photo: Martin do Nascimento/CalMatters)

At 66, Edward El has a new lease on life — literally. In two weeks, he’ll move into his own apartment in Berkeley after spending the better part of the past 16 years homeless.

Years ago, a back injury and pinched nerves in his legs made standing and walking painful, and he was laid off from his construction job. He ended up in “shelter after shelter after shelter.”

But nine months ago, El moved into one of 12 Project Roomkey shelters in Alameda County designed to reduce COVID-19 among the homeless population. He was connected with a housing navigator, a counselor and medical staff. They helped El apply for affordable housing and rental assistance vouchers, and coordinated with landlords who would give homeless renters a chance. Now he’ll pay a fraction of the cost to live in an area where one-bedroom apartments often exceed $3,000 per month.

The team also made sure that El was enrolled in Medi-Cal and had transportation to his doctor’s appointments. He said he couldn’t have navigated the array of complex systems if it weren’t for his new case management team. “I’m happy. They knew about programs that I didn’t know about that allowed me to get a place,” he said.

Continue Reading on Red Bluff Daily News

Stanislaus County health officer on COVID-19: ‘It seems to be everywhere’

in Health

Stanislaus County leaders were still unclear Tuesday about what assistance the state will provide for bringing a coronavirus surge under control.

But they hope to use the state’s influence to do more testing and get test results faster.

“Any resources that show up locally we will put to use very quickly,” Chief Executive Officer Jody Hayes said. “We need ample testing and a quick turnaround time.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $52 million in support for counties in the Central Valley that are inundated by COVID-19 cases. The surge began about six weeks ago after sectors of the economy were reopened in most areas of California.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Turlock keeps health order noncompliance fines

in People

Businesses and residents in Turlock that opt to ignore public health orders are still subject to fines, as a motion to lower or eliminate the fines was not passed by the Turlock City Council on Tuesday.

The Turlock City Council unanimously approved Ordinance No. 1277-CS on April 14, adopting the Governor’s Executive Order and the County Health Order with a mechanism for enforcement by the issuance of fines through an administrative citation. The fines adopted were $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation and $1,000 for the third and any subsequent violations.

During the April Council meeting, Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar said the administrative fines would only be used after a business and/or resident was warned that they are violating shelter-in-place orders.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

What It Was Like Aboard the Grand Princess in Oakland

in Around California/Health/People

A drone buzzed around like a bee about 50 feet away from Rex Lawson’s balcony.

He watched a convoy of ambulances and vans pull up below. Workers in protective suits moved about, while what appeared to be news helicopters hovered overhead.

“I have to comb my hair so I’ll look good on TV,” Mr. Lawson, 86, a retired United Airlines pilot, joked. He marveled at the “tremendous amount of logistics” at work around him.

Continue Reading on New York Times

California’s fourth vaping death reported in Marin County

in Local Roundup

SACRAMENTO — California public health officials are urging people to stop vaping and using e-cigarettes as a fourth death related to vaping was reported in the state.

The state’s Department of Public Health said Wednesday 161 people have been hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage since August.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday 45-year-old Amanda Margot Arconti of Vacaville died at a Novato hospital earlier this month. An official cause of death is pending.

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