July 9, 2015 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Public Health and Developmental Services Second Extraordinary Session
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 6, 2009 - The Governor's budget for 2008‑09 proposes to hold General Fund spending on health programs virtually flat compared to the current-year spending level. However, based on our review of the available draft legislation, it appears that the federal stimulus package will provide substantial fiscal relief to California in the form of enhanced contributions to the state’s Medi-Cal Program. At the time this analysis was prepared, Congress also appeared to be close to agreement on federal legislation that would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). We recommend that the state forego at this time an option available under the new federal legislation to expand children’s coverage up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level because of the state’s current fiscal condition. We also propose seeking voter approval for modifications to Proposition 99, a 1988 initiative approved by voters, to “unlock” spending now earmarked for certain Proposition 99 programs, a step that could allow the Legislature to achieve substantial General Fund savings in the budget year.
February 17, 2012 - As part of the 2012-13 budget, the Governor proposes to reduce the negotiated rates paid to Healthy Families Program (HFP) managed care plans and shift the children enrolled in HFP to Medi-Cal over a nine-month period. In this report, we provide background information on HFP and Medi-Cal and how they will be affected by implementation of federal health care reform. We discuss the potential merits of the Governor’s proposal, but raise several implementation issues and concerns. Specifically, the savings in the budget year may be less than the administration’s estimates, and the proposal will disrupt healthcare services for some HFP enrollees and may impact access to providers. Finally, we make recommendations that encourage the consideration of alternatives to the Governor’s plan.
February 28, 2020 - In this report, we provide an overview and assessment of the Governor's California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal, also known as Medi-Cal Healthier California for All. CalAIM would make far-reaching reforms to Medi-Cal that would increase the program’s focus on its high-cost and high-needs enrollee populations, transform and streamline Medi-Cal managed care, extend components of a current federal waiver, and rethink how behavioral health services are financed and delivered.
August 6, 2013 - Since 2009, the state has used a computer data matching process known as the Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS) to identify certain military veterans who receive Medi-Cal services and may be able to voluntarily shift to health care services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). We find that the fiscal and policy benefits from the state's current implementation of PARIS Veterans activities are limited, due to resource constraints and a problematic approach to outreach. We recommend that the Legislature provide additional resources to conduct a new pilot that tests a modified approach to PARIS Veterans outreach. We also find that the state has not pursued a major source of savings related to the PARIS Veterans match: counting a type of USDVA monetary benefit known as aid and attendance toward the costs of the In-Home Supportive Services program. We recommend that the Legislature require the administration to report on the rationale for current policies that prevent the state from realizing these savings.
February 13, 2019 - In this report, we describe the major changes and proposals in the Governor's proposed $100.7 billion (all funds) Medi-Cal budget. Specifically, we advise the Legislature to seriously consider renewing the managed care organization tax, despite the Governor not proposing to do so; present issues for consideration related to the Governor's proposed expansion of comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage for young adults regardless of immigration status; and provide an initial assessment of the Governor's proposals to use Proposition 56 funding in Medi-Cal to extend and expand provider payment increases. We recommend approval of the Governor's proposals to improve fiscal oversight of the Medi-Cal budget, and also recommend that the Legislature require the administration provide additional information to the Legislature in an effort to improve fiscal oversight and transparency of this very large, complex budget going forward.
February 12, 2015 - This report analyzes the Governor's 2015-16 state health program budget proposals. In the report, we review trends in the major health programs since 2007-08 (the last budget developed before the most recent recession), analyze the Governor's proposed restructuring of the managed care organization (MCO) tax, and describe the uncertainty regarding continued federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The report also includes an analysis of the Department of State Hospitals budget and an analysis of the Governor's proposals to improve quality and increase staffing for the Licensing and Certification (L&C) Program administered by the Department of Public Health.
February 22, 2019 - This report analyzes the use of Proposition 56 (2016) funding in Medi‑Cal to improve access to quality care. First, we provide background on how Medi‑Cal services are financed within Medi‑Cal’s multiple delivery systems. Then, we review how access and quality are monitored, primarily within Medi‑Cal’s managed care delivery system. We summarize how Proposition 56 funding in Medi‑Cal has been used to date, and the changes proposed under the Governor’s 2019‑20 budget. Next, we assess Medi‑Cal managed care plans’ performance on selected state access and quality standards. Finally, we provide issues for consideration and recommendations on how to use Proposition 56 funding in Medi‑Cal going forward to improve access to quality care.