California's infant death rate for the 12 months ending with 2000 was 5.4 per 1,000 live births, well below the US norm of 7.3. California's abortion rate of 39 per 1,000 women was the highest among the states, with a total of 280,180 abortions performed.
California registered 229,551 deaths in 2000, but with a death rate of 682.5 per 100,000 population still ranked below the national death rate of 873.1. California also ranked below the national death rates for HIV, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, accidents, traffic fatalities, and suicide. In 2000 17.2% of the population age 18 and older were smokers. California had recorded 123,819 AIDS cases through 2001, second only to New York. The HIV death rate in California (4.4 per 100,000 population) was lower than the national HIV death rate of 5.3 per 100,000 population in 2000.
As of 1995, there were 70 psychiatric hospitals, including three institutions for the mentally retarded. In recent years, an increasing number of patients have been treated through community mental health programs rather than in state hospitals.
In 2001, California's 384 community hospitals had 73,291 beds and reported 3,332,839 admissions. In the same year, hospital personnel included 85,961 full-time registered nurses and 10,387 full-time licensed practical nurses. In 2000, there were 281 physicians per 100,000 population. The average expense per inpatient day for a hospital in the state amounted to $1,146.60.
Medi-Cal is a statewide program that pays for the medical care of persons who otherwise could not afford it. California has also been a leader in developing new forms of health care, including the health maintenance organization (HMO), which provides preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment for which the patient pays a fixed annual premium. Federal government grants to cover the Medicare and Medicaid services in 2001 totaled $13.9 billion; 3,954,996 enrollees received Medicare benefits that year. A large portion of California's population, 19.5%, remained uninsured in 2002.