5 Things California: Nick Macchione, Whole person care, Lisa Chan-Sawin

We are excited to be hosting about 300 of our closest friends in California health care and health policy on December 5th at the 2017 Southern California Health Policy Conference! You can take a look at our Topical Agenda to scan the day’s discussions. The Detailed Agenda has a list of about 65 speakers lined up and ready to engage with you.

As much as we loved hosting the event in LA, we’re very excited to bring the event to San Diego!  Thanks to our Convening Panel for helping to make this all happen.

You should come, network with senior health care executives and health policy leaders, and get up to speed on where the policy discussion is heading in 2018.  You can get signed up here.

DJ 5 Things Signature


1.  Nick Macchione and San Diego County

The Live Well Advance conference hosted about 1000 attendees yesterday in San Diego.  With 304 committed “partner” organizations, this is the broadest group of community stakeholders organized by county health leadership in any region of which I’m aware. It was an impressive group of folks excited about collaboration to solve some of health care’s biggest challenges.

Live Well is the brain child of Nick Macchione, the Director of San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency. If you know San Diego, you know Nick is a visionary and charismatic leader.  He is an out-sized figure in San Diego health care, and also the primary reason our event is heading to San Diego this year.  He’s been after me to host something there since we first met in 2015.

So, I turned the tables on him and have him anchoring our lunchtime Executive Keynote Panel on “What Reform in Southern California Can Look Like.”  It’s going to be a great panel discussion that will be worth the price of admission on its own.


2.  Are 1115 waiver funds under threat?

Last week, Politico reported that 1115 waiver funds are under threat according to a new “draft” memo circulating at HHS. California funding was specifically mentioned in the story.  It’s unclear if the memo refers to existing waiver funds, but pulling those funds would likely lead to lawsuits against the federal government from multiple states. Attorneys General from these states, especially AG Xavier Becerra, haven’t shied away from suing the Trump Administration.

We have a panel on this very subject on December 5th:  “An Update on California’s Waiver Activity.”  That’s set to go at 11:30 am and will be anchored by Erica Murray, the CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals.  Erica knows the issues related to the wavier as well as anyone, and she’ll be a thoughtful speaker you’ll want to listen to if you’re tracking Medi-Cal issues.


3.  Panel: Tech as a tool for care improvement

I would not recommend a panel on technology to you unless it was really good.  There has been too much “tech-here-to-save-the-day” over the last 15 years for me to hype a tech panel.  But, we’ve got something at 1:45 pm that will be a unique discussion I think.

Dr. Tanya Dansky is the CMO at Blue Shield/Care1st and has been all over the Medicaid space. She doesn’t suffer fools (other than me, she’ll tell you), so when she talks about technology, it’s because it’s having a meaningful benefit in the lives of patients.  Likewise, Barbara DeBuono from 3M and Steve Rimar from Analytica Consulting both see tech a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

This panel will talk through what works when it comes to technology rather than what’s promised. The result will be a session you’ll be able to learn a lot from.


4.  Video: Lisa Chan-Sawin on whole person care

Lisa Chan-Sawin is the Principal at Transform Health. She has over 15 years of experience in policy analysis, strategic planning, and large systems transformation projects.  She’s working on Sacramento’s efforts to implement its whole person care pilot.  However, our Kylie Walsh reports that Sacramento County may be withholding millions of dollars in funds going back to 2008 that could have otherwise been allocated to the project.

Chan-Sawin joins us for this edition of “What They’re Watching,” where she offers thoughts on payment reform under the wavier.  At our conference, Chan-Sawin will join the 1:45 pm panel titled “Reviewing Whole Person Care Pilots.” She’s part of an all-star line up with Melissa Tober from Orange County and David Estrella from San Diego County.

She’s worked in over half the states with approved DSRIP programs and on staff with Health Committees in both the Senate and Assembly.  She joins us in this episode of “What They’re Watching” to talk about payment reform: “There’s a lot of discussion and a lot of activity around transforming the way we deliver care, but all of that has to be tied with the way payment systems work.”



5.  Transparency: politics and policy

One of the biggest bills to move, be passed, and be signed this session was the multi-year effort to adopt pricing transparency rules related to pharmaceutical costs. Senator Hernandez’s SB 17 requires drug manufactures to give advance notice if they plan to increase drug prices by more than 16 percent in a two-year period.

So, we’ve built a session entirely focused on the topic of transparency. It’ll address pharmacy pricing, but it’ll likely also take on issues beyond pharmacy related to costs and consumer protections, as well.  To speak to the topic, we’ve recruited Asher Lisec from PhRMA, Dena Mendelsohn of the Consumers Union, and Scott Suckow from the American Liver Foundation.  It’s going to be a smart panel and likely outline some of the debate you’ll hear when the session reconvenes next year.