DHCS Modifies MCP Procurement Timeline, Delays CHW and Doula Benefits

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today announced a series of important changes to timelines relative to the Medi-Cal program and services. These include:

  • Managed Care Plan (MCP) Procurement – DHCS is modifying the release date of the Medi-Cal MCP Request for Proposal (RFP) to February 2, 2022. DHCS had initially planned on releasing the RFP at the end of 2021. This modification will not affect the implementation date of January 1, 2024. According to DHCS, additional time is needed to address stakeholder comments and to avoid the winter holidays. Updates to the RFP schedule will be posted here.
  • Community Health Worker (CHW) and Doula Benefits – DHCS is also delaying the launch date for new Medi-Cal benefits related to CHWs and doulas from January 1, 2022, to July 1, 2022. According to DHCS, the six-month delay is needed to work with stakeholders and health plans, review input, incorporate feedback into the State Plan Amendment, ensure system updates, and seek federal approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CHW and doula services will be delivered by unlicensed practitioners, requiring DHCS to define the services, qualifications, and supervision required for practitioners. Additional information on the CHW benefit and doula benefit is available from DHCS.