Community Forum to Address Valley Impacts of Governor's Medi-Cal Redesign Plan

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Community Forum to Address Valley Impacts of Governor's Medi-Cal Redesign Plan

FRESNO- Medi-Cal provides health care services to 6.6 million Californians — primarily low-income children and their parents, elders and persons with disabilities. As state expenses for this public health care program continue to increase, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed redesigning Medi-Cal to contain costs, improve services, and maximize operational efficiencies. The plan includes components that will expand geographic managed care and increase beneficiary cost sharing. The implications of the plan for the San Joaquin Valley are far-reaching, where one in four people are enrolled in the Medi-Cal Program.

On Monday, Apr. 25 from 2:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University, Fresno will convene a community forum at the LaRyan Event Center (4277 N. West Avenue in Fresno) to address the Governor’s redesign plan.

Rene Mollow, Associate Director of Health Policy for Medical Care Services with the California Department of Health Services, will present information about the Governor’s initiatives and discuss the expected process of this plan.

Throughout the forum, San Joaquin Valley community leaders and distinguished panel members will participate in an interactive discussion regarding the impact of the Medi-Cal Redesign project on the region.

“The proposed changes in Medi-Cal are complex and may have broad impacts on health care in our region. But it is really hard for most of us to understand exactly what is being proposed or how things might be changed. Based on the forum, we will release a policy brief that outlines the potential impacts of the proposed Medi-Cal changes for the region. We hope to help communities and leaders make sense of the proposals and decide what they would like to see as new state policies,” said Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute.

Governor Schwarzenegger has suggested major redesign policy initiatives for Medi-Cal, including:

• Families and children in 13 additional counties will enroll in managed care plans along with elders and persons with disabilities. The expansion of managed care enrollment will

include Fresno, Madera, Merced and potentially Kings County. In the Central Valley, this could include creating new managed care programs that combine services for several counties.

2:10 – 2:40

2:40 – 2:50

2:50 – 3:15 Presentation by Rene Mallow on the Governor’s Proposals and the Expected Process

Questions from Panelists and Participants to Clarify Proposals

Panelists Make Short Statements on the Following Questions

n How are the Medi-Cal and Healthy Families Programs currently working in the Valley?

n What are the problems in health care continuity, access, quality, and cost that most impact Central Valley providers and communities?

3:15 – 3:30 Short Break

Comments from Panelists Regarding the Following Questions

n What is the role of the DHS in supporting safety net providers in the region?

n What aspects of the proposals seem most responsive to the region?

n What aspects of the proposals would you like to see changed?

Comments from Panelists Regarding the Following Questions

n How are managed care programs for Medi-Cal participants currently working in the Valley?

n How will the proposed expansion of Geographic Managed Care effect regional participants and providers?

n What alternatives would be more responsive to concerns of local governments, beneficiaries, and providers?

Questions and Statements from Participants Regarding the Following Question

* What other aspects of the Governor’s proposals are of most concern to Central Valley communities and providers2

Closing Comments from Panelists

• Charge monthly premiums to individuals based on their income levels. The monthly premiums would be $4 per month for children under the age of 21 and $10 per month for adults with a premium cap of $27 per month per family.

• An annual limit will be placed on dental services for adults.

• Stabilize the federal funding of California’s safety net hospitals.

“We’re looking at ways to do cost containment,” explained Rene Mollow. Over the past several years the costs for the Medi-Cal program have risen 60% representing an increase in $4.5 billion.” Mollow believes it is important to protect the most vulnerable population to make sure that they have access to medically necessary services.

In the San Joaquin Valley, many low-income families already struggle to find access to health care. The plan may have major implications for disenrollment of families and shifts of costs to emergency room and safety net health care facilities.

Space for this event is very limited. Please contact (559) 228-2150 to reserve a seat. There is no charge to attend. This event is funded with the support of The California Endowment and the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Fresno.

Central Valley Health Policy Institute

College of Health and Human Services

California State University, Fresno

1625 E. Shaw Ave., Ste. 146

Fresno, CA 93710-8106

Reception: (559) 228-2150

Website: w ccchhs

Community Forum

Medi-Cal Redesign: What Does It Mean for the Valley?


Moderator: Dr. John Capitman 2:00 – 2:10 Introduction of Panelists and Overview of Forum