DHCS Releases Formal Medi-Cal 2020 12-Month Extension Request

On Wednesday, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released its proposed Medi-Cal 2020 12-month extension request. Recall, California’s Section 1115(a) Medicaid waiver, entitled Medi-Cal 2020, was approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on December 30, 2015 and is effective through December 31, 2020. DHCS intended to launch California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), a multiyear initiative to implement overarching policy changes across all Medi-Cal delivery systems. However, the COVID-19 public health emergency significantly impacted all aspects of California’s health care delivery system, resulting in DHCS officially announcing the delay of CalAIM in May 2020.

DHCS will submit a 12-month extension request to CMS to ensure that important programs authorized through Medi-Cal 2020 continue and are eventually transitioned under CalAIM. DHCS also intends to submit a 12-month extension request for the existing 1915(b) Specialty Mental Health Services Waiver to align the terms of the waivers.

DHCS will host public hearings via webinar to solicit public comments on the waiver extension requests. These webinars will occur on:

  • Wednesday, July 29 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm – DHCS Tribal and Designees of Indian Health Programs; more information available here.
  • Friday, August 7 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – First Public Hearing; registration available here.
  • Monday, August 10 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Second Public Hearing; registration available here.

Stakeholders are also invited to submit written comments to 1115waiver@dhcs.ca.gov by August 21, 2020.