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Section 1115 Waiver Renewal: Key Medi-Cal Financing Issues Remain Outstanding


[PDF] The 2016-17 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 11, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, as well as a discussion of the impacts of the ACA on the ability to project caseload. We also provide an assessment of several General Fund cost pressures on the horizon in Medi–Cal, including the sunset of the hospital QAF.


[PDF] Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill, Health and Social Services Chapter

February 24, 2005 - Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill, Health and Social Services Chapter


Health Care Reform

January 22, 2008 - We analyzed certain fiscal issues related to the health care reform (HCR) plan currently under consideration by the Legislature. We estimated the fiscal impact of HCR using two different assumptions of premiums: $250 per month per person and $300 per month per person. Under the $250 premium scenario there are sufficient revenues to support the program in the first year of operation (2010-11). However, by the fifth year of the program, annual costs exceed revenues by $300 million. Despite annual costs exceeding revenues in the fifth year, the program still has a positive cumulative fund balance because the collection of tobacco tax and employer fees start before program costs are incurred. Under the $300 premium assumption, costs exceed revenues by $122 million in the first year of operation and this shortfall increases to $1.5 billion by the fifth year of the program. In addition, the fund balance shows a deficit of almost $4 billion by the end of that period, even with the early collection of the tobacco tax and employer fees. In addition to the premium level, we have identified a number of other fiscal risks and uncertainties which could negatively affect the fiscal solvency of the plan by more than an additional $1.5 billion annually.


Upcoming Changes in Medi-Cal Create Fiscal and Policy Uncertainty

October 9, 2015 - This is the first in a series of policy posts on upcoming changes in Medi-Cal and the fiscal and policy uncertainty the changes create. In this post, we briefly highlight four upcoming major changes: (1) the renewal of the state’s Section 1115 waiver, (2) proposed modifications to the federal government’s regulations for Medicaid managed care plans, (3) the phase-in of state’s share of cost for the Affordable Care Act’s optional expansion population, and (4) the need to restructure the managed care organization tax to meet federal requirements. In the coming weeks and months, we will provide more detail and updates on these changes and their potential implications for the Medi-Cal program and the state’s budget in future policy posts similar to this one and in budget analyses.

Hearing Handout

[PDF] Recent History of Adult Day Health Care and Transition of Seniors and Persons With Disabilities Into Managed Care

March 7, 2012 - Presented to Joint Oversight Hearing on Long-Term Care Integration and Medi-Cal Managed Care, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services and Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care


[PDF] The 2013-14 Budget: Obtaining Federal Funds for Inmate Medical Care--A Status Report

February 5, 2013 - Since 1997, federal policy has made it possible to draw down federal Medicaid reimbursement for off-site inpatient health care services for eligible state prison inmates. Most recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the associated Low-Income Health Program (LIHP) created as part of the state's "Bridge to Reform Waiver" have expanded the number of inmates eligible for the state's Medicaid program (known as Medi-Cal) and have increased the total amount of reimbursements the state can receive. Our research finds that while the state has recently developed a process for obtaining federal funds for such services, the state has been unable to maximize the available federal funding. In particular, the federal court-appointed Receiver overseeing prison medical care has been unable to secure memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with certain counties to enroll inmates in their LIHPs. In addition, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has been unable to process certain claims for federal reimbursement because of technical and quality control problems. In order to ensure that the state maximizes the available federal funding, we recommend that the Legislature (1) hold budget hearings to identify and resolve any remaining obstacles preventing the Receiver from securing MOUs with counties to enroll inmates in their LIHPs, and (2) require DHCS to report on its efforts to address problems that are preventing certain claims for federal reimbursement from being successfully processed.


Improving Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan Quality

May 5, 2015 - Oversight of the quality of care provided by Medi-Cal Managed Care (MMC) plans is an increasingly important issue for the Legislature to examine, as MMC enrollment and the geographic reach of MMC have grown significantly over the past decade. In this report, we analyze the quality of MMC plans and current DHCS efforts to improve MMC plan quality, and consider additional steps and alternative approaches, such as P4P, the state could take to monitor plans and stimulate quality improvement in MMC.


[PDF] The 2014-15 Budget: Analysis of the Health Budget

February 20, 2014 - The report analyzes the Governor's 2014-15 health budget proposals. In it, we (1) provide an analysis of the impact the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)--known as federal health care reform--is having on the Medi-Cal program; (2) analyze the Governor's budget proposal to exempt certain, but not all, classes of Medi-Cal providers and services from retroactive recoupments of payment reductions; and (3) assess the fiscal outlook for the California Health Benefit Exchange, also known as Covered California.


The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of CalAIM Financing Issues

February 16, 2021 - The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal is a set of reforms to expand, transform, and streamline Medi-Cal service delivery and financing. This post—the second in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—analyzes CalAIM financing issues, including both the Governor’s funding plan for CalAIM as well as CalAIM’s policy changes related to Medi-Cal financing.


[PDF] The 2013-14 Budget: Examining the State and County Roles in the Medi-Cal Expansion

February 19, 2013 - Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as federal health care reform, the state has the option to expand its Medicaid program (known as Medi-Cal) to cover over one million low-income adults who are currently ineligible. Currently counties have the fiscal and programmatic responsibility for the care of the low-income adult population that would be covered by the expansion. The Governor has proposed to adopt the optional expansion, but has outlined two distinct approaches to implementing the expansion—a state-based approach and a county-based approach—and has not indicated a preference for either approach. Under both approaches, the Governor indicates that the expansion will require a reassessment of the state-local fiscal relationship. We find that the expansion would have significant policy benefits, including improved health outcomes for the newly eligible Medi-Cal population. We estimate that fiscal savings to the state as a whole are likely to outweigh the cost of the expansion for at least a decade, although these estimates are subject to significant uncertainty. Despite the significant uncertainty about long-term costs and savings, on balance, we believe the policy merits of the expansion and fiscal benefits to the state as a whole likely will outweigh the costs and potential fiscal risks. We therefore recommend the state adopt the expansion. We also find that the state is in a better position to effectively deliver health services to the newly eligible population. Therefore, we recommend the Legislature adopt a state-based expansion, shifting the fiscal and programmatic responsibility of providing physical health care to the expansion population from counties to the state. Given this shift of responsibility, we further recommend the Legislature redirect a portion of funding currently allocated to counties under 1991 realignment for indigent health care.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: An Overview of Its Potential Impact on State Health Programs

May 13, 2010 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often referred to as federal health care reform, is far-reaching legislation that will change how millions of Californians access health care coverage. We provide an overview of the new law and describe its implications for state health programs in the near term and the long term. We also recommend the Legislature think broadly about implementing PPACA and identify key issues to address including: (1) future costs for health programs, (2) whether structural changes to health programs are warranted, (3) whether PPACA should prompt a reevaluation of the state-local relationship, (4) new strategies that could bolster health care quality and outcomes, and (5) how future workforce and health infrastructure needs should be addressed.

Hearing Handout

[PDF] AHCA: Medicaid as a Per Capita Capped Allotment and the CBO’s Analysis

March 22, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services and Assembly Health Committee