5 Things California: CalAIM, David Wetherelt, Augmedix

Thursday, we release our list of speakers curated and ready for you to engage with at the 2019 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference coming up in San Diego on December 3rd. It’s a quick 4 weeks away, which will be here before you know it. We’d be honored to have you sign up to be with us and about 250 of your best friends in SoCal health reform!




With help from Emily Boerger and Michael Goldberg   

1. CalAIM proposal released

DHCS released the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative proposal last week. The initiative looks to implement broad program, delivery system, and payment reform for the Medi-Cal program. With California’s current 1115 and 1915(b) waivers set to expire in 2020, the initiative will serve as a framework for upcoming waiver renewals.

We break down what’s included in the initiative here and the details of the BH-SAC’s first meeting on the proposal here. DHCS will continue to conduct stakeholder engagement meetings throughout 2019 and 2020. A CalAIM behavioral health workgroup meeting will be held Nov. 8.


2. Two reports: regional & geographic models of care

CHCF recently released two reports evaluating quality, access, and patient satisfaction in Geographic Managed Care (GMC) models and Regional models. As noted by the report authors, the findings are particularly important as DHCS begins the re-procurement process to select future commercial managed care plans.

The first report points to a “mixed picture” of the GMC model performance, with GMC counties performing no better on access to care than comparable urban counties. GMC counties have lower quality scores, on average, on 22 of 30 quality measures. The second report shows that enrollees in Regional model counties “have received somewhat poorer quality of care, have greater difficulty accessing specialty care, and are less satisfied with their health care.” A rundown of the findings and recommendations of the two reports is available here.

3. One company we’ve been watching since 2014

Back in 2014, we spoke with Ian Shakil about Augmedix, a company that turns clinician-patient conversations into medical documentation in real time, using hardware like Google Glass. The firm was later named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.” Augmedix recently announced raising $19m in Series B funding, on top of a $17m strategic round, growing to include a client list that includes Sutter Health, Dignity Health, and US Oncology.  Emily Boerger checked in with Shakil to discuss the future of the company and where it’s headed next.

I like this company for a handful of reasons, but one is that they are bringing innovation straight into the physician-patient interaction, to allow providers to better engage with those in their care. It seems simple, but if you listen to enough tech pitches, you soon realize it’s not.

4. Video: David Wetherelt, 3M

David Wetherelt is the Director of Business Development, Populations and Payment Solutions at 3M Health Information Systems. In that role, David has a unique perspective where he can see the tech and data sectors converging with the opportunities that exist around population health, risk-based contracting, and the intersection of plan-provider relations. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss health data consent management and the future of data-sharing.

“What needs to happen is there needs to be this smoothing out behind the scenes of how consent is managed. There’s this notion of health data rights management. And it’s either on an individual basis — so you’ll be able to go to apps and say I’d like to give this doctor consent; I’d like to give this facility consent to share my data. But behind the scenes, it’s actually opening up a whole bunch of ways for all of these multiple organizations to share the data for the greater good.”

5. San Diego BH hub project moves forward

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced last week big steps forward in the creation of a Central Region Behavioral Health Hub. Fletcher announced that UC San Diego Health and Scripps Health are working on a partnership agreement with the County to provide services and invest in the creation of the site at a “dilapidated County property” in the Hillcrest neighborhood.

The Hub is meant to serve as a “one stop shop” to connect individuals to services, a care coordinator, and a long-term plan. The goal, according to Fletcher, is for a final agreement between UC San Diego Health, Scripps Health, and the County to be completed by January 2020.