Assembly Considers DHCS, CalAIM Budget Proposals

On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services heard various proposals under the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), regarding the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative and various Medi-Cal benefits, and DMHC proposals.

Jacey Cooper, State Medicaid Director & Chief Deputy Director of Health Care Programsat DHCS provided an overview on CalAIM, stating that it is moving Medi-Cal towards a population health approach that prioritizes prevention and Whole Person Care (WPC). She indicated that the goal is to meet people where they are in life, with  CalAIM offering coordinated and equitable access to services that address, physical health, behavioral health, developmental, dental, and long-term care needs to help people be healthier.

Ms. Cooper spoke about various deadlines that have been established for DHCS, Managed Care Plans (MCPs), and counties to meet to transition Medi-Cal beneficiaries from existing delivery systems to services proposed in CalAIM, such as Enhanced Care Management (ECM). She also mentioned DHCS, in partnership with plans and providers, had successfully launched Community Supports previously known as In-Lieu of Services. Information regarding Community Supports by county is available on the DHCS website here. Additionally, Ms. Cooper discussed DHCS activities related to their behavioral health initiatives.

Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 Chair Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula asked DHCS several questions related to CalAIM, including how the transition to ECM would be handled and how funding would be equitably distributed.

Additional items considered by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 included discussion regarding specialty mental health, suspension of Medi-Cal benefits for inmates, skilled nursing facility financing, and dental managed care. No action was taken by the committee and items were held open. The full agenda for Monday‚Äôs hearing is available here. A video recording of the hearing is available here.