reports on health care, public health and community health issues. We cover public policy and community conditions and developments that affect the health of Californians. is an independent, nonpartisan non-profit web site created with initial funding from the California Endowment.

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Screening for Depression Helps Pregnant and Postpartum Women

May 5, 2016

By Hannah Guzik

Screening all women for depression during and after pregnancy can significantly help mothers and their babies, two new studies report.

A universal screening program at Kaiser Permanente Northern California found that 14.8 percent of pregnant women in the study screened positive for depression symptoms. Of those, 6.1 percent had severe symptoms.

The post...

Denti-Cal Program is Failing Children, But Improvements are Underway

Denti-Cal Program is Failing Children, But Improvements are Underway

Families likely aren’t taking advantage of their Denti-Cal benefits because it’s difficult to find a dentist who will accept them. Many dentists want nothing to do with Denti-Cal because it offers low reimbursement rates and comes with onerous administrative rules.

The post Denti-Cal Program is Failing Children, But Improvements are Underway appeared first...

Shelters, Clinics Work Together to Help Domestic Violence Victims

May 2, 2016
Shelters, Clinics Work Together to Help Domestic Violence Victims

“So many people won’t walk through our doors because they’re afraid,” says Jesse Torrey, associate director of RISE, an agency that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in San Luis Obispo County. “But they will go to the doctor to get a check-up.” Photo: File/Thinkstock

By Lily Dayton

“Ask me,” begs Paula Spencer,...

New RX for Kids: Get Outside and Move

New RX for Kids: Get Outside and Move







By Lisa Renner

It’s not often that 7-year-old Joseph gets to play in the water, but the wheelchair-bound boy had a great time doing just that on a trip to Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda.

“I got to go swimming!” he said excitedly about the experience.

The post New RX...

A First: Ethnic Results for Medicare


by Matt Perry

For the first time, the federal office that oversees Medicare has released quality data broken down by ethnic lines, revealing disparities in care by racial group.

Overall, care received by Asians and Pacific Islanders was about the same as that for Whites. Yet other ethnic groups did not fare as well.

The post...

Mental Health Care Lacking for California Veterans

Apr 28, 2016

By Hannah Guzik

More than three quarters of male California veterans who needed mental health care between 2011 and 2013 didn’t get adequate treatment, a new study reports.

Researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research also found that, contrary to popular belief, veterans didn’t report having more mental health problems than the general...

A Key to Health Equity in California is Diverse Physicians

Apr 26, 2016


By Dr. David M. Carlisle

In California and across the nation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought historic increases in coverage to people that have long been left out of the health care system, namely communities of color. Nearly 2 million African Americans and 4.2 million Latinos gained health insurance.

With this expanded population able to get preventive care, they...

Seeing the Light: Caring for Elder Patients

Apr 25, 2016
Seeing the Light: Caring for Elder Patients






By Matt Perry

Travis Eckard readily admits he had little understanding of how older adults were cared for at his very own medical center.

“You know the biggest surprise?” asks Eckard, a physical therapist. “The lack of attention they got. Our capacity to serve this population was very small.”

That was five years ago.

The post

California Schools Don’t Provide Mental Health Services to 580,000 Kids in Need, Report Finds

Apr 20, 2016

By Hannah Guzik 

California’s public schools receive more than $400 million each year to provide mental health services to students, but at least 580,000 kids in the state have been left without help, a new report finds.

The report, from three children’s advocacy organizations, found that many school districts haven’t even adequately identified the students...

Cost Deters Many Uninsured Californians

Apr 19, 2016

By Hannah Guzik 

The perceived steep cost of health insurance deterred nearly half of Californians who went without coverage in 2014, a new study reports.

Roughly two-thirds of the state’s uninsured in 2014 were actually eligible for coverage, but many did not enroll because they believed it would cost too much, according to researchers from...

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