Covered CA | Policy leadership | Block grants

With our 2017 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference set for April 27th, you know the event will be timely, well attended, and will have some great speakers.  So, because those speakers will be talking about the same things we typically feature in our newsletter, we have selected a few of the panels from our Detailed Agenda to highlight for you.

These are some “can’t miss” conversations about the future of health care in California – with speakers you’ll want to hear from and engage with directly.

1.  The future of Covered California

One of the major structural improvements resultant from the ACA is the creation of Covered California. Its active purchasing model has provided significant leverage for consumers in the individual market. It’s also a model very much at risk under Congressional Republican reform proposals, which may have stalled but haven’t died.

We have some of California’s savviest observers on the question of the future of the exchange at an 11:30 panel titled “Covered CA: System Level Leadership During a Time of Transition.”  Doug McKeever, the Chief Deputy Executive Director at Covered will be joined by Mohit Ghose of Molina and Michael Lujan from LimeLight Health.

This will be one of the smartest discussions on the future of the exchange you’ll hear.

2.  Legislators and legislative policy cut off

The cutoff for policy bills that have fiscal implications is April 28th, the day after our event. It’s a busy time in the Capitol.  So, it’s a big deal that both chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees are with us at our event.

At 1:45, Sen. Ed Hernandez and Asm. Jim Wood will anchor the panel titled “Policy Leadership: Democrats.”  Asm. Autumn Burke will also join them.  We have a similar panel with Republican members of the legislature at 11:30, so you can expect a bi-partisan set of conversations throughout the day.

3.  A unique keynote panel discussion

Diana Dooley, Secretary of California HHS, will join us during our noon Executive Keynote Panel. She’ll be joined by Don Crane of CAPG and Pat Clarey from Health Net in what will be an extraordinarily timely conversation about the future of California’s health care system.

What does the lack of predictability from Washington DC mean for California’s health care community?  Where are the ‘north stars’ by which executives and policy makers can navigate during this time of competing cross currents?  This panel of senior California health care leaders will be one of the most important conversations held on April 27th, and one you’ll want to listen in on.

4.  Podcast:  Housing, supportive housing and social determinants

In our latest podcast episode, we look at some of the leading state initiatives to integrate housing strategies into the Medicaid benefit. Hawaii wants to prescribe housing as a benefit and response to the symptom of chronic homelessness.  It is projected to save 43% off of medical costs per beneficiary even after the costs of housing are included.

Lisa Chan-Sawin from TransformHC joins the podcast to provide a survey of various state initiatives.  At our Sacramento conference on April 27th, Lisa will be speaking on a panel titled “Can Block Grants Work for California?”  It’s a provocative panel that will balance needs for flexibility – like funding housing through Medicaid – with concerns about federal funding.

5.  John Kitzhaber: One of America’s leading voices on reform

Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is one of America’s leading voices on state-based reform efforts.  While our first two keynote panels feature California voices of national significance, our Afternoon Executive Keynote session will feature one of America’s most thoughtful reformers of the last few decades.

Kitzhaber’s comments will address the opportunity before California to use the federal confusion around reform to push efforts that lead to better health and system savings. These pathways include a deepening integration of behavioral health, a focus on social determinants, and a focus on flexible benefit design.  I’ve heard Kitzhaber speak now a few times and can tell you that you’ll want to make sure to stick around for this closing panel.