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Insurers Prepare for Influx of Medi-Cal Children

Senate Bill 75 went into effect May 1, providing full scope Medi-Cal coverage to children under the age of 19 regardless of immigration status. According to the California Department of Health Care Services, approximately 170,000 children statewide qualify for coverage under the new law, with 60,000 of those children in Los Angeles County. Locally, there are two providers for Medi-Cal coverage — health insurer Health Net Inc. of Woodland Hills, a subsidiary of Centene Corp. of St. Louis; and independent provider L.A. Care Health Plan. Health Net’s efforts will focus on educating the public about Medi-Cal and its offerings as the company’s infrastructure is already large enough to handle the increase in business. “It’s vital for children to have access to quality medical and dental care, and Health Net is engaging in a widespread communications campaign to let people know about these new benefits,” said Sean O’Brien, the company’s director of state health programs, in an email to the Business Journal. “We are providing educational materials – including informational videos – to community organizations, at health fairs and to the Mexican and El Salvadoran consulates. And we have experts on hand to discuss coverage options at our Community Resource Center in East Los Angeles.” In addition to what Health Net is doing to get the word out, other San Fernando Valley organizations have outreach plans of their own, including nonprofit clinic Valley Community Healthcare in North Hollywood. “We excel at enrollment and outreach among our patients,” said Judi Rose, vice president and chief development officer of Valley Community. “We have around 202 children who are now eligible and we have already reached out to them to enroll.” Rose said the biggest challenge Valley Community will face in regard to SB 75 will be obtaining government funding for implementation and care. “New laws and regulations mean new processes by the government to get money in our hands, and that’s never a smooth process,” she said. Funding for implementation of the bill will be financed by the state and federal governments and should total about $204 million through fiscal year 2017. The state is set to pay approximately $163 million of that total. Breastlink Surgeon Breastlink Encino has appointed surgical oncologist Dr. Nimmi Kapoor as its new medical director at the clinic’s Encino Breast Center. In her new position, Kapoor will treat patients as well as actively participate in breast cancer research and clinical trials. Specializing in breast and thyroid cancer, Kapoor has done extensive research in breast density, hereditary genetic testing, intraoperative radiation therapy and nipple-sparing mastectomy. She has over 25 peer-reviewed articles published in medical journals. One of her most recent published works outlines her research on multigene panel testing for individuals at risk of cancer, which she presented at different conferences including the American Society of Cancer Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium. Located at 5636 Balboa Blvd., Breastlink Encino offers comprehensive breast health services, which include breast imaging, mastectomy surgery, radiation therapy, breast reconstruction along with other procedures. “I believe the Breastlink treatment model offers truly individualized care through a combination of our multidisciplinary team’s knowledge, skill and compassion,” Kapoor said in a statement. “I strive to understand each of my patients’ unique life circumstances and goals so that I can be a better partner in their treatment decisions.” Henry Mayo Board The board of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia has reappointed Don Kimball as board chair and Dr. Judy Fish as vice chair. In addition, Todd Stevens, chief executive of oil and natural gas producer California Resources Corp. in Chatsworth, was selected to replace 12-year board member Jim Hicken. Stevens also serves on the hospital’s facilities committee and will continue to do so in his new role. “Part of being in a great community is having a great hospital and to provide residents access to great health care,” Stevens said in a statement. “Henry Mayo continues to attract talent, and the hospital has a good succession plan. I am honored to serve on the board of this hospital.” Dr. John Barstis, Robert Benjamin and Mark Chamberlain were all re-elected to the 15-member volunteer board. Board selection began with recommendations by the governance committee, which typically nominates local business and civic leaders who often live or work in the Santa Clarita Valley. Staff Reporter Stephanie Henkel can be reached at (818) 316-3130 or shenkel@sfvbj.com.

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