5 Things California: Vaccine bill, Master Plan for Aging, Sarah Steenhausen

DJ is taking a well-deserved vacation, so I’m bringing you the next two editions of 5 Things We’re Watching. I’m the senior reporter here at State of Reform, where I’m usually covering health care in California and a number of other states. Feel free to email me any feedback or tips on what you think we should be covering.

DJ will be back in July, but until then, here’s what we’re watching in California health care!


Emily Boerger
State of Reform

With help from Emily Viles

1. Amended vaccine bill scheduled for hearing

Senate Bill 276, a contentious vaccination exemption bill, has been amended to appease Gov. Newsom, among others. The fifth round of amendments provide narrower restrictions on who can qualify for medical exemptions, and limit bureaucratic intervention into the process — a major concern of Newsom’s prior to amendments.

The Governor is expected to support the bill following these changes, and the bill is scheduled to be considered in the Assembly today. You can watch the hearing here.


2. Register today for LA State of Reform!

We’ve opened registration for our 2019 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference.Registration has been open since May, so we have “Early Bird” pricing up and ready for you. That means if you’re already planning to be with about 250 of your closest friends in California health care, you can save yourself a few bucks and get signed up now.

We recently hosted our Convening Panel meeting to talk through the topics and speakers that you’ll see on the agenda for September 18th. You can expect to see our Topical Agenda released in a few weeks’ time. But, we’ll be working to curate speakers starting this week. So, if you know of an innovative reform effort in California health care, don’t be shy! Drop us a note, and we’ll see where your suggestion might fit on our agenda.

3. Updates on the Value Based Payment Program

DHCS recently held a meeting to discuss the final performance measures for the Value Based Payment (VBP) program through Medi-Cal managed care health plans. The program aims to provide incentive payments to managed care providers if they meet certain quality and efficiency measures.

According to a presentation from the meeting, the incentive payments will be aimed at improvements in prenatal/post-partum care, early childhood prevention, chronic disease management, and behavioral health integration. Details on the specific measures for the targeted health areas are available here.

4. Master Plan for Aging

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order ordering the development of a “Master Plan for Aging” to support the health and well-being of older Californians. The plan will “serve as a blueprint for state government, local government, private sector and philanthropy to implement strategies and partnerships that promote healthy aging.”

We recently spoke with Sarah Steenhausen, Senior Policy Advisor at the SCAN Foundation, about the master plan and some of the key elements the plan will need to be effective, in this edition of “What They’re Watching.”

“A plan has to be comprehensive. Aging issues permeate all different sectors – health, human services, housing, transportation, workforce issues. You can’t isolate aging issues to one particular program or department.”


5. Meeker: Internet trends and health care

Mary Meeker provides a slide deck on “Internet Trends” every year at the Code Conference, which took place last week. In the 333-slide deck, she spends some time on health care. It’s among the most in-depth reviews of the connection between health care and the digital world, and worth noting.

In it, she highlights that EMR adoption is at almost 100%, setting the stage for significant shifts in how the data will be used. Consumers are beginning to drive health care changes, she notes. This is primarily from outside the system, but which is being felt in the system, too. Among all of the things consumers are worried about, job security may be falling but health care concerns still tops the list.