5 Things California: Whole Person Care, Aaron Byzak, IHA Atlas

The May budget revise will be out later this week, setting the stage for finalizing the budget ahead of June 15th. You can keep tabs on those numbers here.

But, if you want to know where the conversation is really heading in Sacramento when it comes to health policy and the budget, you have to go here.


With help from Emily Boerger
and Marjie High.


1. IHA Atlas looks at risk, cost, and quality

The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) released the third California Regional Health Care & Cost Quality Atlas including over two dozen measures of cost, quality, and utilization with 2017 data from over 30 million Californians. The data is aggregated from commercial insurance, Medicare, and Medi-Cal and is freely and publicly available.

Early finding: Provider risk sharing is associated with higher quality, at 67.1% (full risk) versus 57.9% (no risk) quality composite with the same or lower cost. Expect additional data reports from IHA soon, including a comparison of Medicare versus Medicare Advantage, an ACO-specific report, and a third focusing on chronic care performance. We will be spending time on this during our Afternoon Keynote at State of Reform this week.

2. Whole Person Care pilot update

With a year and a half remaining in California’s Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot program, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) announced the release of two studies providing a midway status update. One report, written by Harbage Consulting, outlines key initiatives and innovations adopted by WPC pilots, including county-hospital partnerships, multi-disciplinary care teams, and housing supports.

The other report, from Intrepid Ascent, focuses on the importance of data-sharing for the WPC pilots and identifies key technological challenges and opportunities. Our rundown of the reports and the status of the WPC pilot programs is available here.

3. NorCal State of Reform in two days

We are closing in on our fourth annual Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference held this Thursday.  You can take a look at the speakers lined up or a list of some of the organizations that have registered to be with us this week.

We’re also beginning to plan for our 2019 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference coming up on September 18th.  If you’re interested in being a part of the Convening Panel for the LA event, drop me a note. I’m looking forward to the conversation – and to seeing many of you at one of our annual events!

4. Video: Aaron Byzak, Tri-City Medical Center

Aaron Byzak is the Chief External Affairs Officer for Tri-City Medical Center. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss investing in the health care pipeline.

“I think that we as a state and as an industry need to do a better job of investing in workforce development and in particular, bringing the segments of pipeline together, because all the segments kind of exist independent of each other…I think that’s really the goal: to take the best pieces of the different [pipeline] programs that are working fairly well and put them together into something that public policy leaders can actually institute across the state.”


5. Medicare for All and its price tag

Last week, the Medicare for All bill received its first Congressional hearing. The hearing, which attracted a great deal of partisan debate, discussed many of the unanswered questions regarding the shift from a patchwork, to a single-payer health care system. Reporter Emily Viles covered the hearing here.

Following the hearing, the Congressional Budget Office released a report suggesting the process of creating such a plan could be more difficult than originally anticipated. The report explained how a single-payer system could be constructed, how it could be paid for, and some of the challenges lawmakers face in establishing rules and regulations for the Medicare for All model.