March 21, 2018 - This budget brief analyzes the Governor’s 2018-19 budget proposal to eliminate the use of the 340B Drug Pricing Program in Medi-Cal. The Governor’s proposed statutory changes are intended to generate state savings and reduce the administrative complexity of complying with federal law on duplicate discounts when 340B prescriptions drugs are dispensed to Medi-Cal enrollees. We find that the Governor’s proposal merits serious consideration from the Legislature since, among other benefits, it would likely result in state savings that the Legislature could, in turn, use to fund its priorities. We note, however, that these savings would be in place of savings currently enjoyed by eligible healthcare providers. Before making a decision on the Governor’s proposal, we recommend that the Legislature ask the administration to provide the following key information on the Governor’s proposal: (1) the amount of Medi-Cal savings that would be generated, (2) the impact on healthcare providers currently participating in the 340B Program, and (3) the trade-offs of alternative policy approaches to addressing the challenges that are present due to the use of the 340B Program in Medi-Cal.
May 10, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Health Committee and Senate Health Committee
February 17, 2005 - State agencies purchase about $4.2 billion annually in prescription and nonprescription drugs as part of their responsibilities to deliver health care services to their program recipients. Our review—which focused on 10 percent of these purchases—found several deficiencies in the state's procurement of drugs which lead to it paying higher costs than necessary. We make a number of recommendations to correct these procurement and administrative deficiencies which would, if implemented, generate savings totaling tens of millions of dollars annually.
October 15, 2020 - From the General Fund, the 2020-21 spending plan provides $26.7 billion for health programs—an increase of 3 percent over estimated 2019-20 General Fund spending for these programs. The year-over-year net increase in General Fund spending is largely due to the projected COVID-19-related increase in the Medi-Cal caseload. The post describes major health-related actions (both policy actions and various budget adjustments) adopted by the Legislature as part of its 2020-21 spending plan. These actions include the offsetting of what would otherwise be General Fund costs with (1) revenues from the federally approved reauthorized tax on managed care organizations and (2) federal Medicaid funds that are being provided to the state at an enhanced level during the term of the public health emergency.
February 10, 2005 -
Our analysis indicates that the Governor's California Rx plan for drug discounts for the uninsured provides a reasonable starting point for the development of such a program. However, we propose, among other changes, that in the event that drug makers fail to make good on their promises for significant price concessions, an automatic trigger would phase-out the proposed voluntary approach to obtaining rebates from drug manufacturers, and be replaced by an alternative strategy likely to result in greater discounts on more drugs for consumers.
A related report—Lowering the State's Costs For Prescription Drugs—which addresses the state's purchasing of drugs for its own programs, will be released shortly.
September 21, 2004 - In this letter and hearing handout we comment on the Health and Human Services Agency's pharmacy assistance proposal. We also comment on alternative pharmacy assistance models.
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.