5 Things California: SUD Almanac, immigrants and the risk pool, LA keynotes

If you missed our LA event two weeks ago, don’t fret! Join us instead for our 2018 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference in San Diego on November 28th. Check out our newly released Topical Agenda and register now while the Early Bird registration will still save you a few bucks…

That said, here’s 5 Things We’re Watching in California health care this month in October.  Thanks for reading our stuff.

1.  CHCF releases Substance Use Disorder Almanac

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) released its almanac report on Substance Use Disorder in California. Data showed that while the rate of all substance use disorders in California is high at 8 percent of the population, alcohol dependence was by far the most prevalent at rates double all other substances.

The report identified the critical need for increased access to treatment options, showing that only 1 out of 10 dependent Californians actually received treatment within the year and there are only 771 licensed in-patient treatment beds total in the state. With public payers – often counties – bearing the highest proportion of treatment costs, CHCF highlights the initial positive results of the Drug Medi-Cal pilots and waivers, but noted that limitations on covered services and reimbursement rates may challenge continued system reform.


2.  Check out the keynotes you missed at our Los Angeles Conference

We captured a lot of great content at our 2018 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference, which is now posted and available for your review! US Dept. of HHS Region IX Director Edward Heidig joined us for our morning keynote for a conversation on health policy in the Trump Administration.

Greg Buchert, CEO of Blue Shield Care1st, Dr. Christina Ghaly, Interim Director at the LA County Department of Health Services, and Margaret Tatar, Managing Principal at Health Management Associates, joined us for our Executive lunch keynote panel. Senator Ed Hernandez rounded out the day with our afternoon keynote where he discussed the 2018 legislature and his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor.

3.  Live Well San Diego Advance connects community organizations to influence health

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency hosted the Live Well San Diego Advance conference this week. With over 1200 attendees, the gathering built connections across all sectors of community organizations toward Live Well’s vision of healthy, safe, and thriving communities in the region. In addition to over 12 break out sessions, the conference featured the Connection Hub with over 35 community partners.

Live Well San Diego is one good model in California for connecting communities to support overall health. In eight years, it has connected over 400 community partners to produce tangible health benefits for the community. Live Well’s 2018 annual report, showcases several health care related successes including the Getting to Zero program to eliminate all new HIV infections in San Diego County, which reduced newly diagnosed HIV cases by over 21%. Also noted is a Whole Person Wellness program that has housed 761 individuals and connected more than 450 to other health and social services.

4.  Video: Scott Coffin, Alameda Alliance for Health

Scott Coffin is the Chief Executive Officer of Alameda Alliance for Health, which provides health coverage to 270,000 children and adults through the Medi-Cal program and Alliance Group Care program for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers in Alameda County. He joins us in this episode of “What They’re Watching” to talk about community outreach.

“We’re right now involved with several pilots – these are intensive case management pilots that we’re involved with, that do outreach into the community, working with homeless directly in the field…Rather than waiting for our patients to come to us, we’re going to them.”

5. Immigrants’ health premiums exceed benefits received

recent study published in Health Affairs, found that immigrants covered by private and employer-based health insurance contributed $24.7 billion more in premiums than was spent on their health care in 2014. In California, on average, immigrants contributed $795 more per enrollee to private insurance than the benefits they received. By comparison, U.S. born residents in California cost $245 more than they contributed.

The authors of the study say that this surplus is likely due to there being a relatively young and healthy pool of immigrants, as well as an overall reluctance among the group to seek care. They also say, “These findings suggest that policies curtailing immigration could reduce the numbers of “actuarially desirable” people with private insurance, thereby weakening the risk pool.”