Letter to Governor Brown and the Legislature on Medi-Cal Update


For this study, the Commission revisited its prior work on Medi-Cal in light of the changes that have taken place since it released its 2007 report, A Smarter Way to Care: Transforming Medi-Cal for the Future. In the report, the Commission recommended that the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) transform Medi-Cal into a value-driven purchaser of health care, ensure Medi-Cal beneficiaries have access to preventative and coordinated care, strengthen and expand managed care, increase its data and analytical capacity and work with other agencies and organizations to ensure qualified Californians are enrolled in the programs for which they are eligible.

In this review, the Commission explored the implementation status of those recommendations and DHCS’ strategy to ensure Californians receive affordable high quality health care. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, it is projected that 11.5 million Californians will be enrolled in Medi-Cal by next year. The Commission was interested in learning how Californians will use health care as more have access to it and how DHCS plans to work with providers to ensure needs are met. 

The Commission also examined opportunities to expand the state’s network of community health clinics and to provide incentives to local communities to try new approaches to primary care and develop capacity to deliver chronic care. In particular, the Commission wanted to know how these services are being provided to disadvantaged communities. 

The Commission explored improvements in data-gathering since the release of its 2007 report, how performance outcomes have been adjusted in response to new data and opportunities to use these tools to ensure that the necessary heath care services are provided to communities in need.

Previous Studies