November 9, 2017 Edition

Save the Date—2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting

CHEAC is pleased to announce that 2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting will be held on October 17, 2018-October 19, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento!

Next year will be CHEAC’s 30th Anniversary, and to celebrate, the 2018 Annual Meeting will feature expanded content areas, additional breakout sessions, and several plenary addresses. Given the expanded focus of the conference, CHEAC members are strongly encouraged to bring members of their staff.

More information on the 2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting will be provided in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you in Sacramento next October!

Congressional Republicans Consider Repealing Individual Mandate, CBO Releases Analysis

As part of ongoing discussions and debate around tax reform measures, Congressional Republicans are considering repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance coverage mandate. Such a move would likely provide offsets for additional tax cuts that have recently been proposed by Republicans, though reports have revealed several Republicans are concerned about the chances of a provision to end the individual mandate passing in either the House or the Senate.

Recently released House and Senate tax reform proposals do not currently include language to repeal the individual mandate; however, negotiations continue among House and Senate Republicans about the potential inclusion of repeal language.

Amid the continued debate around the ACA being included in tax reforms, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of the impact of ending the individual insurance coverage mandate. The CBO estimates repealing the mandate would:

  • Reduce federal budget deficits by $338 billion over the next decade;
  • Increase the number of people without health insurance by 13 million; and
  • Increase average non-group health insurance premiums by 10 percent.

The CBO’s report updates a previous analysis conducted in December 2016 by incorporating revised projections of health insurance enrollment, insurance premiums, and other factors. It is important to note that the analysis does not reflect specific legislative language, tax reform-related or otherwise.

Conflicting messages around the repeal of the individual mandate suggest there may not be enough support to include a repeal of the ACA mandate in pending tax reform measures. President Trump last week pressured Congress to include the repeal in the tax reform plan, but House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas) indicated he is not inclined to add health-related provisions to the tax bill.

As such, it remains unclear how Congress will handle remaining legislative priorities, including tax reforms and health insurance reforms, with time dwindling in this year’s legislative calendar.

Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 Examines Managed Care Provider Network Adequacy

Today, Senator Richard Pan, on behalf of the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services, held an oversight hearing to examine provider network adequacy in different managed care models in California. The hearing featured a presentation from Mari Cantwell, Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), on the rate-setting process and the implementation of the managed care final rule.

Senator Pan then heard from three managed care plan officials representing the three different Medi-Cal managed care plan models – Inland Empire (Two-plan), Anthem Blue Cross/WellPoint (Regional), and the Central California Alliance (County Organized Health System). Discussions largely focused on plan model operations strategies, provider rate-setting processes, and the move toward value-based payments.

Provider and consumer organizations also shared their experiences with the Subcommittee and generally testified to the successes and challenges with managed care networks, managed care compliance and enforcement needs, and time and distance-related access to providers.

The hearing later concluded with limited public comments from patient advocates, dental hygienists, CalACEP and a couple other constituent groups.

The agenda and background materials can be found here.

Additional Cannabis & Health Webinars Announced

Dialogue 4 Health have announced the remaining webinars in their Cannabis and Health webinar series, which will explore available scientific cannabis information, equitable policymaking, and the roles public health should play.  The first, as indicated in our October 27 Update, will occur on Tuesday, November 14, from 10:30 am until 12:00 pm entitled “Marijuana and Our Health:  What We Do and Don’t Know.”

The newly announced other webinars are listed below along with registration links:

Four-Part LHD Health Equity Webinar Series Begins This Month

Human Impact Partners, along with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and NACCHO’s Health Equity and Social Justice Committee, are co-sponsoring a four-part webinar series to discuss local health departments’ work to advance health equity. Funded by The California Endowment, the webinar series will highlight success stories and strategic practices to improve internal LHD operations, engagement with communities, and partnership with other government agencies. The four-part series consists of:

Part One: Building Internal Infrastructure to Advance Health Equity

Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST

Register Here

Part Two: Working Across Government to Advance Racial and Health Equity

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am PST

Register Here

Part Three: Fostering Community Partnerships to Advance Health Equity

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am PST

Event Details (Registration information to follow)

Part Four: Championing Transformative Change to Advance Health Equity

Tuesday, February 15, 2018 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am PST

Event Details (Registration information to follow)

Additional information about the webinar series, including the recently-released Human Impact Partners Health Equity Guide, is available here.

NACCHO Releases Annual Report on LHDs, Public Health Landscape

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) recently released The Changing Public Health Landscape: Findings from the 2017 Forces of Change Survey. The report assesses the impact of the economy, public health investments, and more generally, forces that affect change in LHDs throughout the country. The report is used to identify and elevate infrastructure challenges, highlight opportunities to strengthen public health capacity, and raise awareness among policymakers. This year’s report focuses on budget cuts and job losses, Zika prevention and response, multi-sectoral partnerships, and workforce recruitment.  To view the report, visit here.

CDC Publishes Built Environment Real World Examples Grid

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a Real World Examples Grid as part of the Community Preventive Services Task Force’s Built Environment Recommendation to Increase Physical Activity. The document features combined built environment intervention approaches that connect activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations that are safe and convenient for people of all abilities to walk, run, bike, skate, or use wheelchairs. By pairing together multimodal transportation systems and land use and environmental design, studies have shown increases in physical activity levels among community members. Included in the CDC’s examples is the Watts Neighborhood in Los Angeles, which established a network of walking paths with public art. The CDC’s Real World Examples Grid is available here.