(CMA Alert, April 6, 2015 issue)
CDPH mounts television ad campaign highlighting the dangers of vaping Twenty-five years after launching the first anti-smoking advertisements in the state, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched a new series this month of television, digital, and outdoor ads, all highlighting the dangers of e-cigarettes, a practice commonly known as “vaping.” With one of the lowest smoking rates in the nation, California has been a leader with its aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, but the aggressive marketing and escalating use of e-cigarettes threatens to erode this progress. CDPH recently released a report and a health advisory highlighting areas of concern regarding e-cigarettes, including the sharp rise in e-cigarette use among California teens and young adults, the highly addictive nature of nicotine in e-cigarettes, the surge in accidental nicotine poisonings occurring in young children and the many toxic chemicals found in secondhand e-cigarette emissions. Research shows that youth and young adults who use e-cigarettes are far more likely to also use traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products. The campaign includes two television ads that feature images portraying the health risks of e-cigarettes. One TV ad underscores the e-cigarette industry’s use of candy flavored “e-juice” and products that entice the next generation to become addicted to nicotine. The second TV spot emphasizes the dangers and addictiveness of e-cigarettes, while exposing the fact that big tobacco companies are in the e-cigarette business. E-cigarettes are largely unregulated at the federal level, while companies are not required to disclose what is in their products or how they are made. The ad campaign will run from March 23 through June 2015, with TV and digital ads on websites, online radio, and social media throughout the state. Outdoor ads, including billboards, at gas stations and in malls,
and ads in movie theaters will be phased in throughout the campaign. The California Medical Association’s headquarters in Sacramento also showcases the ads on its brick walls. This counter e-cigarette advertising campaign is part of CDPH’s ongoing anti-tobacco media efforts. In addition to advertising, CDPH’s educational campaign will include: • Partnering with local public health, medical, and child care organizations to increase awareness about the known toxicity of e-cigarettes and the high risk of poisonings, especially to children, while continuing to promote and support the use of proven effective cessation therapies. • Joining with the California Department of Education and school officials to assist in providing accurate information to parents, students, teachers, and school administrators on the dangers of e-cigarettes. The California Tobacco Control Program was established by the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988. The act, approved by California voters, instituted a 25-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes and earmarked five cents of that tax to fund California’s tobacco control efforts. California’s tobacco control efforts have reduced both adult and youth smoking rates by 50%, saved more than one million lives, and have resulted in $134 billion worth of savings in health care costs. Learn more at TobaccoFreeCA.com.
(CMA Alert, April 6, 2015 issue)
California has one of the lowest acceptance rates for new Medi-Cal patients A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that, in 2013, only 54% of California physicians accepted new Medi-Cal patients, a rate that is significantly lower than the national average of 68.9%. California has the second-lowest physician acceptance rate of new Medi-Cal patients, with New Jersey coming in last with 2013 acceptance rates of 38.7%. The report compared physician acceptance of new patients across payors, mainly focusing on 40 | THE BULLETIN | MARCH / APRIL 2015
Medicare and private insurance. The CDC found that the national average of physicians who accepted new Medicare patients was 83.7%, with 84.7% for private insurance. California physicians accept new Medicare and private insurance patients at 77.2% and 76.6%, respectively. The California Medical Association continues to work with the We Care for California coalition to increase Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates in an effort to ensure Californians have appropriate access to care. We Care
for California has recently worked with legislators to introduce AB 366 and SB 243, legislation that would not only restore a 10% cut to MediCal reimbursement rates, but would also place reimbursement on par with Medicare, increasing payment rates for inpatient hospital services and most outpatient services. The proposals would also require the Department of Health Care Services to pay Medi-Cal managed care plans at the upper end of the rate range, so as to ensure a more robust Medi-Cal provider network.