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.
March 9, 2017 - In California, the federal‑state Medicaid program is administered by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as the California Medical Assistance Program (Medi‑Cal). Medi‑Cal is by far the largest state‑administered health services program in terms of annual caseload and expenditures. In this report, we provide an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, including a discussion of the projected increases in ACA optional expansion caseload. We also provide an assessment of several aforementioned major factors affecting projected changes in Medi‑Cal spending in 2017‑18 and other policy changes proposed by the administration. These include the Governor’s proposed uses of Proposition 56 revenues, the proposal to shift additional New Qualified Immigrants (NQIs) to Covered California in 2017‑18, assumptions around federal CHIP funding, and the proposed abolition and transfer of the Major Risk Medical Insurance Fund (MRMIF).
February 18, 2004 - We describe the current Medi-Cal health care delivery system and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses in regard to addressing the health care needs of the aged and disabled. We identify additional aged and disabled persons that would benefit from receiving care from managed care plans. We recommend the enactment of legislation directing the Department of Health Services (DHS) to gradually shift an estimated 330,000 aged or disabled persons from the fee-for-service system to the Medi-Cal managed care system. We further recommend strengthening the existing Medi-Cal managed care system to address problems that limit the ability of DHS to ensure access to services and quality of care.
February 18, 2004 - Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, Health and Social Services Chapter
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.
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.
October 23, 2023 - This post summarizes overall spending in the 2023-24 budget package for health programs. It is part of our California Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget.
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 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.
March 12, 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 third in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—analyzes CalAIM’s potential to reduce health disparities, and therefore promote health equity.
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 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 17, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal in the Department of Health Care Services to provide $200 million General Fund ($400 million total funds) one time to provide incentive payments to Medi-Cal managed care plans to increase the number of students receiving behavioral health services.
September 13, 2012 - The LAO’s annual "California Spending Plan" publication includes detailed descriptions of this year’s state budget package, as approved by the Legislature and the Governor. Included are highlights from the administration’s official scoring of the budget package. This final version of the publication reflects gubernatorial actions on budget-related bills through the end of September 2012. (Revised 10/4/12)