5 Things California: Dustin Corcoran, Topical Agenda, Identity MSO

Happy 4th of July! In this edition of 5 Things We’re Watching we have an interview with Sonya Araiza of Identity MSO, coverage of last week’s Assembly Health Committee meeting, and a rundown on federal legislation that looks to reduce out-of-pocket health care costs.

DJ will be back for the next edition, but until then, here’s what we’re watching in California health care.

Emily Boerger
State of Reform

With help from Emily Viles
and Laura Lundberg

1. Spotlight: Sonya Araiza, CEO Identity MSO

Reporter Emily Viles had the opportunity to speak with Sonya Araiza, CEO of Identity MSO, a group that functions in Ventura County. In the conversation, Araiza discusses the framework for the beginning of Identity Medical Group, the role of technology in health care, and the success of Identity’s care coordination efforts.

“I do not think this happens very often in the state of California. We got independent doctors, we started with seven of them, to give up their private practice and form a medical group under the same tax ID called Identity Medical Group.”

2. ICYMI: our Topical Agenda is now out!

In case you missed it, we recently released our Topical Agenda for the 2019 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference. With about 300 senior health care executives and health policy leaders expected in attendance, State of Reform will be a “can’t miss” event. We’ll be exploring policy and politics in health care, evaluating opportunities and setbacks in reform, and diving deep into costs, disruptions, and care delivery.

Check out our Convening Panel to get an idea of those who helped put our agenda together. As always, if you have any suggestions on what we should include or potential speakers, you can send those our way. If you haven’t already registered, we’d be honored to have you join us!

3. Assembly Health Committee coverage

Last week, the Assembly Committee on Health held a hearing on a series of bills related to health care coverage, homelessness, and maternal health. The legislation includes: SB 260, a bill designed to help Californians avoid health care coverage gaps; SB 361, which would make changes to the Health Home Program; and SB 464, a bill aimed at addressing implicit bias and racial disparities in maternal mortality rates.

The three bills passed unanimously out of the health committee and were sent to Appropriations. Our coverage of the hearing is available here, and video of the entire meeting can be viewed here.

4. Video: Dustin Corcoran, CMA

Dustin Corcoran is the CEO for the California Medical Association. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss creating a virtuous lifecycle for physicians.

Corcoran says that one method to create that virtuous lifecycle is to offload some of the business burdens that physician practices face: “The fact that primary care physicians are spending 30 to 50 percent of their time doing non-clinical work is insane. That’s crazy. We need them spending time with patients, not in the back office trying to deal with prior authorizations and payment issues.”


5. “Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019”

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray recently introduced the “Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019.” The bipartisan bill includes 54 different proposals from 65 senators (36 Democrats and 29 Republicans), all aimed at lowering the cost of health care.

Key proposals include ending the practice of surprise billing, reducing the prices of prescription drugs, increasing cost transparency, and improving public health. The bill recently passed out of committee on a 20-3 vote, and Alexander says he will urge Senate leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote before the end of this month. Check out our rundown of the committee hearing and what’s included in the bill here.