DHCS Delays CalAIM Implementation, Will Seek Extension of Section 1115 and 1915b Waivers

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on Wednesday announced via email it is postponing its California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal implementation timelines in order to allow for the continued response to COVID-19. DHCS further indicated it plans to engage stakeholders and the federal government in both an extension of the existing Section 1115 Waiver and the Section 1915b Specialty Mental Health Waiver.

DHCS still plans to continue seeking approval of CalAIM proposals but at a later, unannounced date. Below are some of the immediate changes to CalAIM implementation activities given Wednesday’s announcement:

  • Summary of CalAIM Changes: DHCS is delaying the release of “redlined” version of CalAIM proposals that reflect changes informed by the CalAIM Workgroup process and stakeholder feedback. Proposals are likely to be finalized later this summer.
  • CalAIM Regional Meetings and Technical Assistance: In-person regional meetings on CalAIM Enhanced Care Management (ECM) and In Lieu-of Services (ILOS) implementation have been postponed until further notice. DHCS is also delaying the launch of the CalAIM Targeted Technical Assistance teams; future dates will be forthcoming.
  • ECM/ILOS Transition Plans: Given changes to the overall CalAIM timeline, DHCS has determined that the ECM/ILOS transition plans will no longer be due to DHCS on July 1, 2020. A new deadline will be determined and communicated in the near future.
  • Medi-Cal Section 1115 Waiver Public Hearings: Public hearings for the Section 1115 Waiver renewal and consolidated Section 1915b hearing are currently scheduled for May 18 and May 27. These dates are subject to change based on the ongoing COVID-19 situation and discussions with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Foster Care Workgroup: DHCS and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) have jointly determined to launch the Foster Care Model of Care Workgroup on June 26 instead of April 21. Group membership is expected to be announced by May 15.