March 15, 2021 - The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal is a far-reaching set of reforms to expand, transform, and streamline Medi-Cal service delivery and financing. This post—the fourth in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—analyzes CalAIM proposals targeted at seniors and persons with disabilities, including new benefits and structural changes to how long-term services and supports (LTSS) are administered. (LTSS include, among other supports and services, institutional care in nursing homes and home- and community-based services such as home care and personal care services.)
October 18, 2017 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication discusses the 2017‑18 Budget Act and other major budget actions approved in 2017. In general, it reflects budgetary actions that the Legislature has taken through September 2017. In some cases, as noted, we discuss budget actions approved by the Legislature after June 15, 2017. In late July, for example, the Legislature passed and the Governor approved, an extension of authority for the Air Resources Board to implement the state’s cap‑and‑trade program from 2020 to 2030.
May 16, 2017 - Rather than return to the original 1991 realignment cost-sharing ratios for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) as initiated by the Governor in January (described in our report: The Coordinated Care Initiative: A Critical Juncture), the administration proposes establishing a new Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for counties’ share of IHSS cost. The new MOE would include both services and administration using 2017-18 costs. The new MOE would significantly increase costs to counties in 2017-18 relative to 2016-17. While the MOE shifts significant costs to counties, the proposal provides state General Fund support and additional realignment revenue to partially offset this increase. In this analysis, we lay out the various components of this complex proposal. We also raise key questions for Legislative consideration and provide our recommendation for how to move forward.
January 13, 2017 - This publication is our office’s initial response to the Governor's 2017-18 budget proposal. The administration's estimates anticipate slow growth in the personal income tax (PIT), the state’s dominant revenue source. The Governor’s estimate of PIT growth in 2017-18 is probably too low. As a result, by the May Revision, the state could have more General Fund revenue than the Governor now projects, but much of that revenue would be required to go to schools and Proposition 2 reserves and debt payments. Facing uncertainties we have long discussed about the economy and new uncertainties about changes to federal policy, the Legislature may want to set a target for total state reserves at—or preferably above—the level the Governor now proposes.
November 4, 2013 - The LAO’s annual California Spending Plan publication details the 2013-14 budget package, including legislative and gubernatorial actions through October 2013. (Our office released a preliminary electronic version of the report on July 30, 2013 that summarized legislative and gubernatorial actions through that date.) Major features of the 2013-14 budget plan include $2.1 billion for a new formula to distribute funding amongst schools, a state-based plan to expand Medi-Cal to cover more than one million additional low-income adults, and selected program augmentations.
February 27, 2013 - In 2012, the Legislature authorized the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) as an eight-county pilot to demonstrate the integration of Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits for "dual eligibles"--beneficiaries eligible for both benefits. The CCI will also integrate long-term services and supports (LTSS) under Medi-Cal managed care in the eight counties for dual eligibles and seniors and persons with disabilities covered only by Medi-Cal. The Governor's budget delays the start date of CCI implementation to September 1, 2013, resulting in lower 2013-14 savings than initially anticipated. Joint federal-state decisions regarding key financing and operational aspects of CCI are pending, creating uncertainty regarding the timely and successful implementation of CCI. We recommend that the Legislature clarify the legal status of CCI to go forward and consider authorizing CCI to test greater integration of In-Home Supportive Services--a particular LTSS--under managed care.
May 17, 2017 - In this Budget and Policy Post, we provide an overview of several of the key factors driving the changes in estimated and proposed Medi-Cal spending in 2016-17 and 2017-18; our evaluation of the Governor’s updated caseload estimates; and an update on several key proposals from the January budget, some of which have been modified at May Revision. During continuing budget deliberations, we recommend that the Legislature ask for clarity from the Department of Health Care Services on how the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program will be funded in the future under the Governor’s proposal if Health Care Services Plans and Penalties Fund revenues are insufficient to cover the costs of the program. We also recommend that the Legislature, should it approve the Governor’s plan to cancel the planned transition of Newly Qualified Immigrants from Medi-Cal to Covered California, consider trailer bill language that repeals existing state statutory language that calls for the transition. Finally, we recommended a downward technical adjustment of $62 million General Fund to the 2017-18 May Medi-Cal Estimate.
October 15, 2018 - California has shifted programmatic and funding responsibility between the state and counties for various programs over the last 40 years. Historically, these shifts—or realignments—aimed to benefit both the state and counties by providing greater local flexibility over services, allowing counties opportunities to innovate and improve program outcomes, and encouraging cost savings by requiring counties to share in program costs. To achieve these benefits, we believe there are certain principles any realignment needs to follow. This report evaluates the extent to which one of California’s more notable realignments undertaken in 1991 achieves the intended benefits and meets these principles.
January 22, 2015 - In 2012, the Legislature authorized the development and pilot implementation of a universal assessment tool (UAT) to streamline eligibility and level-of-need determinations for three home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs that provide care to seniors and people with disabilities. Our analysis finds that the benefits of a UAT likely outweigh the costs associated with its development. To ensure the UAT achieves the benefits of creating a more effective and efficient approach to HCBS assessment, we recommend: (1) legislation specifying intent to eventually use the UAT on a statewide basis, (2) development of an automated UAT customized to fit within California’s programmatic and policy environment, (3) piloting of county welfare departments and managed care plans as administrators of the UAT, and (4) a formal evaluation of the UAT pilot.
February 17, 2012 - California’s system for providing health and social services to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities (SPDs) receiving Medicare and/or Medi-Cal is not coordinated. This lack of care coordination may lead to SPDs being unnecessarily hospitalized or placed in skilled nursing facilities rather than remaining in their own homes—resulting in poor outcomes for recipients and higher costs for the federal and state governments. As part of the 2012-13 budget, the Governor attempts to address this issue by proposing to integrate health and social services into managed care for most SPDs. In this report, we provide background information on the Medi-Cal and Medicare Programs and describe recent federal and state legislation to address fragmented care delivery. We discuss the potential merits of the Governor’s proposal, but raise several implementation issues and concerns. Finally, we make recommendations that encourage care coordination for SPDs by first completing and evaluating a currently authorized integrated care demonstration project in four counties rather than expanding the demonstration statewide as proposed by the Governor— an action that we think is premature. We also encourage the consideration of other ways to test the integration of benefits for SPDs.
March 8, 2019 - This report evaluates the changes the Governor proposes and assesses whether the changes better position 1991 realignment to achieve its intended benefits and meet the principles of a successful state-county fiscal partnership we identified in our October report.
October 17, 2019 - From the General Fund, the 2019-20 spending plan provides $26.4 billion for health programs and $15.5 billion for human services programs—an increase of 18 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively, over estimated 2018-19 General Fund spending in these two policy areas. Major health-related policy actions include the reauthorization of a tax on managed care organizations (which will reduce the above-noted General Fund health spending by $1 billion, pending federal approval) and over $400 million General Fund for state-funded subsidies for health insurance purchased on the individual market through Covered California. Major human services-related policy actions include General Fund support to increase CalWORKS cash grants and most developmental services provider rates, and to restore previously reduced service hours in the In-Home Supportive Services program. The spending plan also reflects the deposit of $700 million into a safety net reserve (bringing its balance to $900 million) that can be used for future CalWORKs and/or Medi-Cal expenditures.
February 22, 2019 - In this report, we evaluate the Governor's major human services budget proposals for programs administered by the Department of Social Services, including the California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP), the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), and foster care.