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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Governor’s Medi-Cal Telehealth Proposal


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The 2021-22 Budget: LAO Preliminary Comments on the May Revision Medi-Cal Budget

May 21, 2021 - In this post, we provide our preliminary comments on the Governor’s 2021‑22 May Revision proposal for Medi‑Cal. We first provide an overview of the proposal, noting the major changes made relative to the Governor’s January budget, as well as changes made to estimated 2020‑21 spending relative to the January estimates. We then describe, and provide our comments on, the Governor’s proposal to augment the January proposal for the California Advancing and Innovating Medi‑Cal (CalAIM) package. We follow with descriptions of, and comments on, the Governor’s modified telehealth policy proposal, the proposal to extend full‑scope Medi‑Cal coverage to older undocumented immigrants, and the proposal to use American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide financial relief for designated public hospitals.

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COVID-19: Federal Health-Related Response

March 23, 2020 - This initial post highlights key federal actions in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—through March 19, 2020—relating to public health broadly and individual health care. We discuss three sets of federal actions—(1) a federal legislative package focused on public health infrastructure, (2) a declaration of national emergency that opened the door for the state to apply for increased flexibility in the delivery of Medicaid services, and (3) a federal legislative package that provides for increased federal Medicaid funding and universal coverage of COVID-19 testing without cost sharing.

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The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Health

October 22, 2021 - The spending plan provides $33.7 billion General Fund for health programs. This is an increase of $6.7 billion, or 25 percent, compared to the revised 2020‑21 spending level. This year-over-year increase primarily is due to significant growth in projected General Fund spending in Medi-Cal. About two-thirds of the increase in General Fund Medi-Cal spending reflects technical budget adjustments (for example, adjustments due to projected caseload increases), while the remaining one-third reflects a large number of discretionary policy augmentations.

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Federal COVID-19 Response Actions Affecting Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities

April 16, 2020 - This post summarizes key COVID-19 federal actions that affect aging- and disability-related state programs.

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[PDF] Improving Parolee Substance Use Disorder Treatment Through Medi-Cal

April 14, 2021 - This report provides background on the ways parolees access substance use disorder treatment (SUDT) through providers who are typically either funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or through Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program). It assesses the trade-offs between these two approaches and recommends steps to improve the quality of service and create savings by increasing the utilization of Medi-Cal for parolee SUDT.

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The 2022-23 Budget: In-Home Supportive Services

February 2, 2022 - This post describes the Governor’s budget assumptions and proposals related to the In-Home Supportive Services program and offers relevant issues for Legislative consideration.

Update (2/7/22): Time requirement for incentive payment to IHSS providers in the state’s HCBS spending plan has been updated.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Health Budget and Policy

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.

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Overview of Mental Health Services for College Students

December 10, 2021 - This post describes the mental health services available to students attending California’s public colleges and universities, highlights recent developments in student mental health since the start of the pandemic, and assesses the data currently available on student mental health issues. It concludes with a recommendation to enhance related reporting requirements applying to the three public higher education segments.

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Medi-Cal Managed Care Has Not Had an Adverse Effect on Rural Health Care Clinics

March 16, 1998 - Currently, the reviewed rural health clinics generally remain financially viable and continue to treat uninsured patients, but it is too early to assess the long-term impact of Medi-Cal managed care on these clinics.

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The 2021-22 Budget: CalAIM: The Overarching Issues

February 9, 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 first in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—provides a brief overview of CalAIM, summarizes key changes from last year’s withdrawn proposal, and analyzes overarching issues related to CalAIM.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 16, 2021 - This post analyzes the major adjustments to the Medi-Cal budget in 2020-21 and 2021-22, with a focus on the technical adjustments such as the administration’s caseload estimates. We will further analyze the major discretionary Medi-Cal proposals in separate publications and communications to the Legislature.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 9, 2022 - This brief analyzes the Governor’s budget proposal for Medi-Cal. We include an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, provide options for renewing the managed care organization tax (that the Governor proposes to let expire), and provide our assessment of the discretionary budget proposals to provide equity and practice transformation payments and eliminate certain existing provider payment reductions.

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[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.