June 4, 2021 Edition

Legislature Announces Budget Agreement, Negotiations Underway with Administration

On Tuesday, Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee Chair Nancy Skinner and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting announced early agreement between both houses on a joint $267.1 billion budget package, which includes significant investments in public health, individual financial supports, education, and aging. According to both budget committee chairs, the Legislature’s framework builds on priorities established in the Assembly’s “A Budget of Opportunity” blueprint and the Senate’s “Build Back Boldly,” as well as the Governor’s May Revision. 

The Legislature’s budget framework differs from the Governor’s May Revision in that the Legislature’s framework maximizes flexible federal funds to support and improve core programs. The Legislature’s framework also uses revenue forecasts from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) which have proven to be more accurate in recent years than other forecasts.

Below, we detail high-level investments included in the Legislature’s joint budget package:

Public Health Investments

  • $200 Million General Fund Annually for Local Health Department Infrastructure and Workforce – The Legislature included the California Can’t Wait Coalition request for $200 million ongoing for local health department infrastructure and workforce. While details are yet to be finalized, the Legislature has proposed various planning, transparency, and accountability requirements associated with the $200 million funding, including a triennial public health plan to be completed by local health departments.
    • A statement from the California Can’t Wait Coalition applauding the Legislature’s inclusion of our budget request is available here.
  • $115 Million General Fund Annually for Health Equity and Racial Justice Innovation – The Legislature included $115 million for a grant program to address health disparities statewide. The grant program would be facilitated through the CDPH Office of Health Equity and clinics, community-based organizations, and tribes would be eligible for grants. Local health jurisdictions are encouraged to work with grant recipients. Of this amount, $15 million would be allocated annually to the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund, also to be administered by the CDPH Office of Health Equity.
  • $35 Million General Fund Annually for Public Health Workforce Development – The Legislature proposes a $35 million investment to CDPH, in collaboration with OSHPD and local health departments, to establish a public health workforce development program to recruit, expand, and retain a modern public health workforce. While details are limited at this time, the Legislature indicates the program could include training, scholarships, apprenticeships, and other programs.
  • $40 Million General Fund for CDPH Statewide Coordination and Planning – The Legislature proposes to provide $40 million annually to CDPH to support statewide coordination and planning of activities associated with the above public health investments. CDPH would receive funds to provide technical assistance to local health departments, learning collaboratives, public health communications, IT systems supports, and a workforce gap analysis, among other activities.
  • $3 Million General Fund One-Time for Public Health Infrastructure Study – The Legislature proposes $3 million for CDPH to coordinate with local health jurisdictions, community-based organizations, health care providers, and other stakeholders to conduct a study to identify specific needs to develop an agile and flexible public health infrastructure at the local and statewide level. The study would be informed by two or more public stakeholder meetings.
  • $79.1 Million General Fund One-Time for Other Public Health Investments – The Legislature proposes $63.1 million one-time for the California Reducing Disparities Project, as well as $19 million General Fund ($13 million ongoing and $6 million one-time) for End the Epidemics investments.

Other Health and Human Services

  • Youth Behavioral Health Investments – The Legislature invests $4 billion to create a new, modern, and innovative behavioral health system for youth, including $250 million for the Mental Health Student Services Act to fund school and county mental health partnerships to support mental health and emotional needs of children and youth.
  • Medi-Cal Expansion to Undocumented Adults Ages 50+ – The Legislature’s budget framework includes ongoing funding, growing to $1.3 billion annually, to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible residents ages 50 and older, regardless of immigration status.
  • Medi-Cal Asset Test Removal – The Legislature’s budget framework eliminates the Medi-Cal asset test for seniors by removing the “senior savings” penalty and expanding access to more income-eligible seniors.
  • CalWORKs Pregnancy Aid – $10 million ongoing is provided in the Legislature’s framework to allow a pregnant person to receive aid to meet special needs resulting from pregnancy. The budget framework also increases the CalWORKs pregnancy supplement to $100.
  • Food Supports – The Legislature’s budget framework provides $550 million in ongoing support to provide state-funded nutrition benefits to those ineligible for CalFresh or the California Food Assistance Program solely due to immigration status. The framework also provides nearly $300 million one-time to help foodbanks address high demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Record Levels of Homelessness Funding – The Legislature’s budget framework provides $8.5 billion in new funding for homelessness programming statewide over the next two years.
  • Local Government Support – The Legislature includes $1 billion in ongoing support for local governments to address homelessness. According to the Legislature, this is the first ongoing commitment from the state to address homelessness, and the funding will be accompanied by strong oversight and accountability measures.
  • Front-Line Anti-Poverty Programs – The framework includes over $1 billion for various California Department of Social Services (CDSS) programs, including for housing and homelessness.


  • Broadband – The Legislature appropriates $7 billion over a multi-year period to implement broadband infrastructure statewide. Details will continue to be ironed out in negotiations between the Legislature and Newsom Administration.
  • Early Care and Education Facilities – Over$1 billion is provided for early care and education and K-12 infrastructure, including $250 million for preschool/transitional kindergarten and kindergarten facilities and $500 million for school facilities.


  • $25.2 Billion in General Fund Reserves – A record $25.2 billion in General Fund reserves is proposed by the Legislature. The reserves include $2.9 billion in the state’s Regular Reserve, $1.2 billion in the Safety Net Reserve, $5.3 billion in the Proposition 98 Reserve, and $15.9 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. Under the Legislature’s framework, the state’s reserves will increase each year and will total over $35 billion by FY 2024-25.

Economic Stimulus

  • $8.1 Billion for Golden State Stimulus II – The Legislature has approved the Governor’s proposed Golden State Stimulus II to provide $8.1 billion in tax cuts to residents with incomes of up to $75,000. This will provide taxpayers with individual payments of $500, $600, $1,000, or $1,100, depending on their tax filing status.
  • $1.5 Billion for Small Businesses and Non-Profits – The Legislature also approved the Governor’s proposed $1.5 billion in small business and non-profit organization grants.

Both the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday convened hearings to review the joint legislative budget framework and approve proposed investments. During the hearings, legislators spoke to the historic budget framework that provides significant investments in numerous areas of interest, including public health and health care, infrastructure, and early childcare and education, among other areas.

During public comment, CHEAC Executive Director Michelle Gibbons applauded the Legislature’s inclusion of the California Can’t Wait Coalition budget investment for public health infrastructure and workforce and expressed a commitment to continuing to work with legislative leaders as investment details are finalized over the coming weeks.

With the approval of the Legislature’s budget framework by both houses, legislative leaders will bypass the use of a conference committee to resolve differences between the houses. Legislative leaders are now engaged in negotiations with Governor Newsom as the parties work to finalize agreement on the state’s budget which is expected as early as next week. While an agreement is expected to be reached between the Legislature and the Governor before the June 15 constitutional deadline for a budget to be passed, many specific funding details, including trailer bill language, are anticipated to emerge over the coming weeks and months.

 A full overview of the Legislature’s FY 2021-22 State Budget Framework is available here.

Legislature Meets House of Origin Deadline, Committees to Resume Next Week

Today marks the deadline for the California Legislature to pass bills introduced in their house of origin. The State Senate and Assembly both conducted lengthy floor sessions only this week as they worked to advance hundreds of measures from their house of origin to the next house.

Beginning next week, the Senate and Assembly will resume policy committee hearings, reviewing measures from the opposite house. Policy committees will have just over one month to make their way through measures, next facing a deadline of July 14 for policy committees to hear and report bills. Looking ahead, the Legislature will begin its summer recess on July 16.

Most of the Legislature’s focus, however, will remain on the state budget as lawmakers face a June 15 deadline to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22. Below, we highlight several bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Access to Health Services

AB 32 (Aguiar-Curry) as amended May 24, 2021 – SUPPORT

AB 32 by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry would require the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to indefinitely continue telehealth flexibilities established during the COVID-19 pandemic. AB 32 was advanced by the Assembly to the Senate on Tuesday on a 78-0 vote with one member not voting.

Recall, the Governor’s May Revise proposes to establish rates for audio-only telehealth services that are 65 percent of the Medi-Cal rate for the service rendered in the fee-for-service delivery system and comparable to the prospective payment system (PPS) rates for clinics. Both the Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees rejected the Newsom Administration’s proposal and instead opted to align with telehealth flexibilities detailed in AB 32.

SB 316 (Eggman) as introduced February 4, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman’s SB 316 was advanced from the Senate to the Assembly on Tuesday on a 39-0 vote with one member not voting. SB 316 would authorize Medi-Cal reimbursement for a maximum of two visits on the same day at a single FQHC or RHC location if: 1) after the first visit, the patient suffers an illness or injury requiring additional diagnosis and/or treatment; or 2) the patient has a medical visit and a mental health visit or dental visit.

Communicable Disease Control

SB 306 (Pan) as amended May 25, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Richard Pan’s SB 306 would expand access to a variety of services that address sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including provisions allowing pharmacists to provide expedited partner treatment (EPT) for STDs, requiring private and public health insurance coverage to cover home STD kits, adding EPT treatment and liability protections for health care providers when diagnosing and treating STDs, requiring specified health care professionals to provide syphilis screening and testing, allowing HIV counselors to perform rapid STD tests, and allowing Family PACT program reimbursements for STD-related services to uninsured individuals, income-eligible patients, or insured patients with confidentiality concerns. SB 306 was passed by the Senate to the Assembly on Wednesday on a 31-7 vote with two members not voting.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 4 (Arambula) as introduced December 7, 2020 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 4 would expand Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented adults with income at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), contingent upon appropriation by the Legislature. AB 4 was advanced by the Assembly to the Senate on Tuesday on a 58-18 vote with three members not voting.

SB 56 (Durazo) as amended May 25, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Maria Elena Durazo’s SB 56 would expand, effective July 2022, Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented adults 60 years of age and older with incomes at or below 138 percent FPL, subject to an appropriation by the Legislature. SB 56 was advanced by the Senate to the Assembly on Wednesday on a 29-7 vote with four members not voting.

Of note, SB 56 aligns with the Governor’s May Revise proposal to expand Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible undocumented adults ages 60 and older. However, both the Senate and Assembly budget package adopted this week includes funding to expand Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented adults ages 50 and older. Legislative leaders and the Newsom Administration are anticipated to negotiate the age threshold for Medi-Cal expansion among undocumented residents.

Health Equity

SB 17 (Pan) as amended May 20, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 17 by Senator Richard Pan was advanced from the Senate to the Assembly on Wednesday on a 31-6 vote with three members not voting. SB 17 would establish a statewide Office of Racial Equity to be governed by a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council to coordinate, analyze, develop, evaluate, and recommend strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies, departments, and the Office of the Governor. SB 17 is supported by CHEAC, CAPH, CWDA, and CBHDA and aligns closely with our previous CHEAC statement and county association statement on racism as a public health crisis.

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Services

AB 1046 (Rubio) as amended May 24, 2021 – SUPPORT

AB 1046 by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio would require the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency, upon availability of funding, to consult with stakeholders to improve state and counties’ abilities to draw down Medi-Cal funding for evidence-based maternal-infant and early childhood home visiting encounters. AB 1046 was advanced by the Assembly to the Senate on Tuesday on a 77-0 vote with two members not voting.

SB 682 (Rubio) as amended May 25, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 682 by Senator Susan Rubio was advanced from the Senate to the Assembly on Wednesday on a 38-0 vote with two members not voting. The measure would require CHHS, subject to an appropriation by the Legislature, to develop and implement a plan that establishes targets to reduce racial disparities in health outcomes by 50 percent by December 2030. The measure also requires CHHS to develop a plan to reach reduction targets in chronic conditions affecting children, including asthma, diabetes, dental caries, depression, and vaping-related disease.

Tobacco Control

SB 395 (Caballero) as amended May 3, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 395 by Senator Anna Caballero was advanced by the Senate to the Assembly on Tuesday on a 29-8 vote with three members not voting. SB 395 would impose a 12.5 percent tax on the retail sale of electronic cigarettes in California and allocate tax revenues to Proposition 99, Proposition 10, and Proposition 56 accounts. A portion of revenues would also be dedicated to the Health Careers Opportunity Grant Program to improve access by underrepresented students from disadvantaged backgrounds to postsecondary health professions programs, including schools of public health. CHEAC is joined by CSAC in supporting SB 395.

Newsom Conducts First “Vax for the Win” Drawing

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom conducted the state’s first “$50,000 Fridays” drawing as part of the “Vax for the Win” incentive program to encourage Californians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 15 winners were randomly selected today out of 21 million eligible residents, each winning $50,000, for a total of $750,000 in cash prizes. Winners from today’s drawing are from the following counties: Mendocino, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Alameda, San Diego, San Francisco, Orange, and San Luis Obispo. Winners will be notified directly by CDPH, and winners have the option to claim their cash prize while remaining anonymous or decline the prize altogether.

During today’s cash prize drawing, Governor Newsom also indicated that roughly 350,000 newly vaccinated residents have become eligible for $50 incentive cards which will be provided to two million residents who begin and complete their COVID-19 vaccine series.

The Governor will conduct another “$50,000 Fridays” drawing next Friday, June 11. The grand prize drawing for $1.5 million each for 10 vaccinated residents will occur on June 15.

Additional information from the Governor’s Office is available here.

Cal/OSHA Board Adopts Updated COVID-19 Workplace Regulations

On Thursday, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) narrowly adopted, after initially rejecting, a new COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) for California workplaces. Recall, Cal/OSHA previously proposed a revised ETS but then delayed action on the standard after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced updated and forthcoming guidance for use of face coverings among vaccinated persons.

During the Thursday meeting, OSHSB members initially rejected the proposed revised ETS based on concerns raised by business groups and employers. However, minutes later, the board re-voted and adopted the proposed revised ETS after realizing that rejecting the new rules would always require everyone to physically distance and wear masks in the workplace, pursuant to the existing ETS. With the updated ETS approved by OSHSB, the standard now is reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). If OAL approves the new ETS, the majority of the standard becomes effective on June 15, the same day the state plans to retire the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Some of the rule’s provisions will take effect July 31, 2021.

The updated ETS more closely aligns with the latest available guidelines from the CDC and CDPH and requires all employees to wear masks when in a workplace setting with unvaccinated persons. If all persons in the same room in the workplace are vaccinated, however, masks are not required. Outdoor masking is not required except for unvaccinated employees at mega events of more than 10,000 people.

OSHSB also convened a subcommittee to work with Cal/OSHA on a proposal for further updates to the standard as part of the emergency rulemaking process. It is anticipated the newest and yet-to-be-developed standard will be heard at an upcoming OSHSB meeting.

Additional information from Cal/OSHA on the adoption of the new COVID-19 standard is available here.

Newsom Announces Continued Regulatory Relief for Restaurants and Bars

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a restaurant in San Francisco to announce a series of actions to provide restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries with regulatory relief as the state prepares to reopen its economy with the retirement of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy on June 15.

Specifically, the Newsom Administration extended relief measures permitting restaurants and bars to continue outdoor operations in areas such as sidewalks and parking lots and to continue the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages with food deliveries. The Administration is also urging local governments to facilitate outdoor dining opportunities through local zoning and programs that support and promote expanded open-air, takeout, and delivery options. Additionally, the Administration’s action will allow bars to continue to partner with food trucks, caterers, or restaurants to sell meals with beverages, as required, and allow wineries and breweries to partner with restaurants to host virtual dinners with wine and beer pairings.

The notice of regulatory relief is available here. The Governor’s letter to local governments is available here.

DHCS Releases Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan Procurement Draft RFP

On Tuesday, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released a draft request for proposal (RFP) to solicit feedback from interested parties regarding the Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan contract and upcoming plan procurement process. Interested parties may include, but are not limited to, health plans, counties, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders.

DHCS is conducting a one-month public comment period with feedback due to DHCS by July 1, 2021. DHCS will host a Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan Draft RFP Webinar for interested parties on June 10, 2021, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

Additional information on the draft RFP is available here. Registration for the June 10 webinar is available here.

CHHS Releases California’s $5.2 Billion Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Spending Plan

On Thursday, leaders from the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency, including CHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, unveiled a $5.2 billion spending plan to expand home and community-based services (HCBS) for California’s most vulnerable and at-risk residents through the state’s Medicaid program. Recall, in March, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provides states with a temporary increase in federal funds for specified Medicaid expenditures for home and community-based services from April 2021 through March 2022.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance to states in May, requiring states to submit a spending plan to the federal government by mid-June. The CHHS spending plan released this week outlines a series of proposed investments in HCBS, including workforce recruitment and retention efforts among HCBS direct care workers, HCBS navigation, HCBS transitions, HCBS service capacity and models of care, and infrastructure and support activities.

A statement from the CHHS leaders, including the full CHHS spending plan for HCBS, is available here.

President Biden Announces National Month of Action on COVID-19 Vaccinations

This week, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. announced a National Month of Action to mobilize the country in reaching its goal of ensuring 70 percent of U.S. adults receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. The National Month of Action will engage national organizations, local government leaders, community-based and faith-based organizations, businesses, employers, social media influencers, athletes, and volunteers to encourage residents in their communities to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The following initiatives are planned for the National Month of Action, which begins today:

  • Free Childcare for Individuals Getting Vaccinated – Four of the country’s largest childcare providers will offer free childcare to all parents and caregivers receiving a vaccine or recovering from vaccination until July 4. KinderCare and Learning Care Group locations will offer free, drop-in appointments, and more than 500 YMCAs in nearly all states will offer drop-in childcare. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week announced new guidance that encourages states to use childcare funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) to provide financial incentives to childcare providers who join the President’s call to action.
  • Extended Pharmacy Hours – Beginning next week, thousands of pharmacies throughout the country will stay open late every Friday in June and offer services throughout the night to ensure Americans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Participating pharmacy chains include Albertsons, CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens.
  • Community Canvassing, Phone and Text Banking, and Vaccination Events – The Month of Action will include calls and text messages to people in areas with low vaccination rates and canvasses in neighborhoods close to walk-in vaccine clinics. More than 100 organizations have already committed to hosting over 1,000 events in the first weekend with thousands more to occur throughout the month. President Biden will call on Americans to take at least five actions to help their communities during the Month of Action, and Americans can visit WeCanDoThis.hhs.gov to learn more and sign up to help their communities get vaccinated.
  • “We Can Do This” National Vaccination Tour – Vice President Kamala Harris will lead a nationwide tour to highlight the ease of getting vaccinated, encourage vaccinations, and energize and mobilize grassroots vaccine education and outreach efforts. The Vice President’s travel will be anchored in the South, and the First Lady, the Second Gentleman, and members of the Cabinet will join the Administration’s tour to communities across the country.
  • Mayoral Vaccine Challenge – In collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a “Mayors Challenge” competition has been established to see which city can grow its vaccination rate the most by July 4. Participating mayors commit to taking actions throughout the month to boost vaccinations, such as coordinating canvassing efforts, partnering with local businesses, and providing incentives to local residents. The Biden-Harris Administration has created a toolkit for local government leaders, and more than 50 mayors of cities across the country have signed up for the challenge.
  • Shots at the Shop Initiative – The Biden-Harris Administration has partnered with the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity, and SheaMoisture to launch the “Shots at the Shop,” an initiative that will engage Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons across the country to support local vaccine education and outreach efforts. Throughout the month of June, each participating shop will engage customers with information about vaccines, display educational materials, and host on-site vaccination events in partnership with local providers.
  • Local TV, Radio, and Social Media Engagement – The National Association of Broadcasters (NABA), representing over 7,000 TV and radio stations across the country, will have local station members participate in the National Month of Action by airing vaccine education segments featuring trusted community voices and leading medical professionals. The Administration will also deploy medical experts, public health leaders, and Cabinet officials to communicate directly with Americans on social media platforms.
  • COVID-19 College Challenge – The Biden-Harris Administration is launching the COVID-19 College Challenge, enabling colleges and universities to take a pledge to commit to taking action to get their students and communities vaccinated. As part of the challenge, the Administration will provide training sessions, toolkits, and educational materials to assist in vaccination efforts, facilitate on-site vaccination efforts, and launch a student corps within the COVID-19 Community Corps to encourage students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Business Incentives for Vaccinated Persons: During the Month of Action, the Administration will partner with employers and businesses to facilitate setting up workplace vaccination clinics. The Administration is also calling on more businesses to encourage and incentivize vaccinations. Americans will be able to find a list of available incentives on vaccines.gov/incentives.html.

For additional information on the National Month of Action, visit the White House website here.

Biden-Harris Administration to Donate 25 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Globally

This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a series of strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic in countries throughout the world, including by donating U.S. vaccine supply, working with U.S. manufacturers to increase vaccine production for the rest of the world, and assisting more countries expand capacity to produce vaccines.

Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million U.S. vaccine doses globally by the end of June. As part of this effort, the Administration will share 75 percent of vaccines through COVAX, prioritizing distribution to Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. The remaining 25 percent of the supply will be dedicated for immediate needs and surges around the world.

Additional information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s global COVID-19 vaccination efforts is available here.

HHS Announces Venture Capital Partnership to Combat Future Pandemics and Health Emergencies

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new type of public-private partnership that enables investments using venture capital practices. Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will partner with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) to accelerate the development and commercialization of technologies and medical products needed to respond to or prevent public health emergencies and other health security needs.

Through the partnership, BARDA intends to provide GHIC with a minimum of $50 million over five years with potential for up to $500 million over 10 years. GHIC will launch a global health security fund with matching capital from other investors, allowing direct linkage with the investment community and establishing sustained and long-term efforts to identify, nurture, and commercialize technologies that will aid the U.S. in effectively responding to future health security threats, such as pandemics.

With BARDA Ventures funding, GHIC will provide investment to companies developing breakthrough technologies. GHIC will collaborate with countries throughout the world to source promising products with the potential to strengthen health security and generate financial returns. GHIC will structure investments with co-funding from additional private investments, and investment return proceeds will be returned to GHIC for reinvestment and sustainment of BARDA Ventures.

Additional information on this new type of partnership for HHS is available here.

Children Now Issues Brief on Medi-Cal Children’s Preventive Services

This week, the Children Now’s Health Team released a report entitled, “Accountability for Medi-Cal Children’s Preventive Services: Medi-Cal Health Plans are Key to Improving Preventive Care for Kids,” examining the role of Medi-Cal managed care in ensuring optimal health among California children. Children Now assessed the utilization of various preventive health services, including lead screening, well-child and well-care visits, and dental fluoride varnish.

According to the report, recent troubling trends in children’s utilization of preventive care highlight the urgent need for action from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to hold contracted Medi-Cal managed care plans accountable to ensure California’s children and youth access to these services that promote overall well-being.

Children Now utilized data from DHCS to rank Medi-Cal managed care plans on their 2019 performance of providing preventive care to children, determining that none of the state’s 56 Medi-Cal health plan reporting units qualify as “high performing,” largely due to a history of poor oversight and accountability on behalf of the state.

Of note, the utilization of preventive services was far lower for children of color in addition to those living in households speaking a primary language other than English, highlighting racial gaps in access to care.

The Children Now’s Health Team identifies a series of short- and long-term strategies available to DHCS to improve children’s preventive care. Namely, Children Now urges DHCS to strengthen existing quality improvement requirements on health plans, promote member education activities on child health preventive services, elevate promising practices among higher ranking health plans, and establish health plan benchmarks and minimum quality standards for all preventive services.

For more information, please read thefull issue brief here.

CHCF, Aurrera Health to Hold Webinar on California’s Medical Respite Landscape

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and Aurrera Health Group will host a webinar on Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00 pm, to explore California’s medical respite landscape. The webinar will feature representatives from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Aurrera Health Group, National Health Foundation, and the Hospitality House for a discussion on the value and role of Medical Respite programs, an overview of current practices, and upcoming opportunities.

Please find the link to the registration here.

NASEM to Convene Two-Day Workshop on Maternal Health Equity

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will convene a two-day public workshop focused on “Advancing Maternal Health Equity and Reducing Maternal Mortality.” The workshop will occur from June 7 to June 8 from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm PT. There is no cost associated with the workshop.

The workshop will discuss factors affecting maternal health outcomes, promising approaches to improve outcomes and reduce mortality, and life course strategies for improving maternal health outcomes.

For more information, please visit here.

County Health Rankings to Hold Webinar on Transforming Narratives to Create Racial and Health Equity

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is reconvening for a second webinar in their Advancing Racial Equity series on Tuesday, June 15 at 12:00 pm PT. The webinar will discuss transforming narratives to create racial and health equity and will feature three racial equity advocates from Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, and Mobilizing Action Towards Community Health (MATCH).

To register, please click here.