With our legislative work for the year concluding, I want to recognize the local plans’ efforts to support policy that benefits not just our Medi-Cal enrollees, but also the communities they serve. I also want to share deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication of legislative staff, lawmakers, and the Administration, who show up day in and day out to advance policy that will improve the lives of Californians.
As the legislature returns for the last month of session, September brings the heat – both outside and inside the Capitol. One of the most high-profile health care issues before the legislature is a proposed overhaul of the Mental Health Services Act. Both Senate Bill 326 and Assembly Bill 531 have passed their respective Appropriations Committees.
With July came a big change in our State Legislature. We would like to congratulate the new Speaker, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, as he takes the helm and tackles some of the state’s most pressing challenges.
For local plans serving Medi-Cal, this budget season has been one
of our most important in recent years. The renewal of the managed
care organization (MCO) tax presented an opportunity to move
beyond the standard MCO tax proposals of the past and develop a
new approach that makes a downpayment on equitable access to
May has been a busy month at the Capitol! With the Governor
releasing his revised 2023-24 budget proposal and looming
legislative deadlines, there’s been a lot of activity surrounding
notable bills and initiatives.
With support from CHCF and in partnership with Health Management
Associates, LHPC published an issue brief highlighting local
health plan successes, and summarizing challenges and
opportunities during year one of CalAIM implementation.
The brief, Implementing CalAIM: The Local Health Plan
Perspective, will be featured in the CHCF Weekly digest, as
well as in CalAIM in Focus, CHCF’s monthly digest dedicated
to information and resources for CalAIM.
As we move into the busy season of this legislative session, the
Legislature has shown considerable interest in better
understanding and tracking the implementation of Medi-Cal’s
transformative initiative, CalAIM. The LHPC team has already
testified at several hearings and had productive meetings with
lawmakers and staff to share local plans’ efforts, commitment,
and progress in bringing CalAIM to life.
With support from CHCF, LHPC published the first of two issue
briefs focused on CalAIM implementation, “Local Plan Strategies
for CalAIM Incentive Payment Program.” The brief will be featured
in CalAIM in Focus, CHCF’s monthly digest dedicated to
information and resources for CalAIM!
Only two months into 2023 and LHPC has already hit the ground
running with the new two-year legislative session!
Over the course of this session, we look forward to getting to
know the new legislative members and their staff, and sharing the
critical role we play in meeting the health and social needs of
over 9.3 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries who receive their care
through a local plan.
LHPCWorks was launched as an extension of our member health plans’ commitment to being accountable partners and leaders among California’s Medi-Cal stakeholder community. With the flurry of activity both federally and in California, LHPC has been hard at work advocating for policies and legislation that would enhance access and quality of care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. All in all, 2019 has been a remarkable year.
The proposed Medi-Cal pharmacy carve-out —“Medi-Cal Rx” — will
transfer the pharmacy benefit offered by health plans back to the
fee-for-service program, where it would be administered by a
pharmacy benefit manager. The carve-out concept is not untested.
Are there lessons learned for California to do it
Federal regulatory activity over the past year has continued to
target immigrants and low-income households. These proposed or
final policies — including public charge, changing the poverty
measure inflation factor, and requiring immigration status
verification for households receiving housing assistance —
fundamentally erode and disincentivize receipt of public services
that are critical for the health and well-being of the nation’s
most vulnerable populations.
Jarrod McNaughton, CEO of Inland Empire Health Plan, brings a
person-focused philosophy to leadership and life. Learn more
about his personal and professional goals, leadership approach
and what makes him tick.
Welcome to the first issue of LHPC Works, a publication dedicated to providing information and insights about the issues confronting California’s local health plans and the priorities they are working on to provide high quality, accessible health care coverage for millions of Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). The local plans’ story began nearly 50 years ago with one county’s vision of creating a health plan directly connected and accountable to its community.
The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age have such significant influence on an individual’s health that the World Health Organization calls them “social determinants of health” (SDOH). Local plans, with a depth of understanding about and connections to their communities, are finding creative solutions to better bridge the divide between health care delivery and SDOHs – with particular focus on housing, which is among the most pressing and complex of SDOHs to address within regulatory restrictions.
California’s successful implementation of the ACA gave millions of people access to health insurance. The rapid expansion of the Medi-Cal program – over 4 million since 2013 – meant health plans had to focus on creative solutions to account for longstanding provider shortages and meet regulatory and contractual access requirements. Access challenges exist across California, but are felt most acutely in rural areas, where obstacles faced by both health care providers and patients are vastly different from those in urban areas.
The Medi-Cal managed care program currently covers approximately
10.6 million Californians, an increase of more than four million
since 2013. This dramatic growth in a relatively short period of
time – combined with provider shortages, diverse member
demographics and vast geographic and market variations across
California – makes quality improvement a complicated and
significant undertaking. Nevertheless, care quality is a top
priority for policy makers, health plans, and consumers. As it