Senate Budget Sub. 3 Hears CHEAC’s Oral Health Rollover Request and 340B

Yesterday, the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services convened hearing items related to four state agencies, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority, Department of Managed Health Care, Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Public Health. Two key items of interest to CHEAC, our request for Oral Health Rollover and the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the use of 340B in the Medi-Cal Program, were included in the hearing.

Oral Health Rollover. CHEAC worked within a coalition of organizations – California Dental Association (CDA), California Health+ Advocates, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Children Now, The Children’s Partnership, and the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry Pacific Center for Special Care – to advocate for state authority to rollover local oral health program funding for three years as modeled in the tobacco control program. Dr. Kumar, the State Dental Director, provided the subcommittee with an overview of the Local Oral Health Program and the status of contracts with local jurisdictions. Michelle Gibbons (CHEAC) and Brianna Pittman (CDA), followed Dr. Kumar’s presentation and highlighted compressed timelines local jurisdictions faced during this first year and the concerns around the inability to carry-over funding from year-to-year.

Dr. Kumar then provided new information related to an “ administrative fix” that they believe will resolve the issue. The Department of Finance provided remarks reiterating that the administrative fix should resolve the concerns. While this is the first we have heard of this fix, we will continue to work with the Administration to better understand the details. Dr. Pan, chair of the subcommittee encouraged continued conversation between the department and our organizations and alluded to the Legislature taking additional measures if needed.

The item was held open. The discussion can be viewed using this link and begins at the 6 hour and 19 minute mark.

The request for Oral Health Rollover will be heard by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on HHS on April 30.

340B. The Governor’s proposed 2018-19 budget included a proposal to eliminate 340B drug purchasing within the Medi-Cal program. CHEAC signed onto a coalition letter requesting the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services to reject the Administration’s proposal.

Yesterday’s hearing included an overview of the proposal by DHCS, who reiterated their goal of eliminating duplicate claiming in the program and interim solutions being implemented. Others expressed deep concerns regarding the downstream implications of such a massive change and encouraged the Legislature and Administration to work with stakeholders to identify other solutions as a more immediate step.

Senator Stone questioned the need to move directly to eliminating the 340B program within Medi-Cal and referenced the 2016 OIG report that indicated other states had found solutions to ensure no “double-dipping” of the federal dollars. The Legislative Analyst’s Office focused on the concept of potential savings from the proposal and how the legislature could direct the savings. However, Senator Pan stressed the potential net loss of federal dollars and encouraged the department to examine not only the savings, but the impacts to our healthcare systems. This item was held open.

Additional Resources:

Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 Agenda

CHEAC Letters and Budget Resources