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    ASK EMILY: Small business exchange offline and off target

    By EMILY BAZAR, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
    Saturday, Feb 28 2015 03:00 PM

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act. California has been hailed as a national leader in implementing Obamacare, enrolling about 4 million people into Medi-Cal and Covered California since last year.

    But when it comes to our health insurance exchange for small businesses -- known as SHOP -- the Golden State looks tarnished.

    Businesses can't enroll in SHOP online. Commissions to insurance agents have been delayed by months. Not many businesses qualify for the tax credit that is supposed to lure them in.

    As a result, only a small percentage of Californians employed by small businesses are getting coverage under the program. "It's not going super well," says David Chase,...

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    Safety net hospitals hit hardest by Medicare fines

    Hospitals that treat California's poorest patients, including local ones, are faring badly under the Affordable Care Act's drive to improve quality. Under ACA authority, Medicare is imposing fines on safety net hospitals at twice the rate...

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    Bakersfield boy's tumor could live on in medical research

    Nathan Street's parents were devastated when they were told early last year that the cause of their little boy's mysterious new crossed eye was an inoperable, malignant brain tumor. It was Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. That's...

  4. Potential multimillion dollar mesh trial goes to jury

    A jury of three women and nine men began deliberating late Thursday in a transvaginal mesh trial brought by a Bakersfield woman and her husband, a case that has garnered national attention. Coleen Perry, 52, of Bakersfield, filed a...

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    Go Red for Women speaker warns women of heart attack risk

    Margaret Patteson isn't your typical heart attack victim. The baby boomer and mother of two is an avid runner and cyclist. She's more fit than many people half her age, and president of the Bakersfield Track Club. But in March of last...

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    Website to offer neighborhood-level air data

    Many residents of the San Joaquin Valley are pretty savvy about the quality of the air they breathe. They know when summer ozone levels are spiking in Arvin or wintertime particulate pollution is off the charts in Bakersfield. And vice...

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    Heart Hospital sets up Fast Track program in ER

    Bakersfield Heart Hospital is hoping to shorten wait times for less serious cases in its emergency room with a new Fast Track program. People suffering heart attacks and other major health crises will continue to be seen in the emergency...

  8. Bakersfield doctor accused of negligence

    The Medical Board of California has accused a Bakersfield gastroenterologist of negligence and incompetence following the death of a patient. In a written accusation filed Feb. 13, the state moved to revoke or suspend the medical license of...

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    Growing numbers of seniors may aggravate doctor shortage

    Wayne Wood is in generally good health, but he takes about six pills a day for "typical old man problems," among them high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He's treated for those at GEMCare Comprehensive Care Center, one of the few...

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    ASK EMILY: Got an Obamacare tax credit? You may need a tax preparer.

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act. Hey, health insurance stragglers, this is your moment. Obamacare's second open-enrollment period ends Feb. 15, which is the last day to...

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    Home health aides protest revocation of overtime pay

    About two dozen protesters demonstrated outside the Bakersfield office of the California Department of Industrial Relations Wednesday to protest the state's decision to back away from requiring overtime pay for home aide workers who care...

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    Sprouts prepares for Feb. 25 grand opening

    Sprouts Farmers Market is celebrating the grand opening of its new supermarket in Bakersfield with a ribbon cutting and special discounts. Activities and special offers will kick off Feb. 25 at the company's new southwest Bakersfield...

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    Revenues up, staffing costs down as hopeful KMC trend continues

    Chalk up five straight months in the black for Kern Medical Center. The county hospital's management team told Kern County supervisors Monday that they had booked operational profits at KMC in both November and December, adding to...

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