5 Things California: Bills in committee, Jennifer Stoll, Use our stuff

The legislature takes its spring recess next week, but in three weeks, the first policy cutoff looms. In talking with Sacramento stakeholders, it’s still not entirely clear whether this will be a significant session for health care legislation or not. There are some pieces in place, but whether they come together this year (or next) is an open question. It’s part of the reality a new governor has in standing up his or her new team.

With help from Marjie High and Emily Boerger

1. Health care legislation gaining momentum

Marjie High has an extensive review of health care legislation moving forward in this session. She also tees up public hearings on bills scheduled ahead of the policy cutoff on April 26th.

Here are a few hearings of interest in the Assembly coming up. AB 824 is a bill on “Pay-for-Delay” with generic drugs and is scheduled in the Judiciary Committee on April 9th.  AB 890 expands nurse practitioner autonomy and is also heard on the 9th in the Business and Professions Committee.  AB 1309 is on lengthening the exchange open enrollment period moved out of the Assembly Committee on Health and was referred to the Appropriations Committee.


2.  What State of Reform looks like

If you’ve been to State of Reform, you know that we are collecting your thoughts in various ways throughout the day. We do this so that you can hear from one another in yet another form, through another channel. A central part of our mission is to empower voices in the health care ecosystem to better inform the thinking of others in different parts of the system.

So, every year, we put together this highlight reel of footage. In fact, we play it to end the conference – and we use it again to open the conference the following year. If you missed it from last year, take a look. It is a good snapshot of the energy, the insight, and the crowd coming up at the 2019 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference.

As you know, our Topical Agenda is now out. So, check it out and plan to join us on May 9th.


3.  Resource centers target costs through SDOH

The California Schools VEBA celebrated the opening of its new resource center in San Diego. The center brings together mental health support, wellness education, movement, stress reduction, and nutrition. Their aim is to improve overall health by addressing social determinants of health. Cal Schools VEBA’s model centers around nurse navigators who holistically assess members and their health needs to connect them to services based on patient-centered goals.

The resource center model has been growing in popularity as plans continue to innovate to address growing costs without impacting quality of care. Inland Empire Heath Plan is opening its third center in Victorville later this month, while LA Care maintains six family resource centers.  HealthNet also has one center in East Los Angeles.

4.  Video: Jennifer Stoll, OCHIN

Jennifer Stoll is the Vice President of Government Affairs at OCHIN. OCHIN supports information exchange across safety net providers, particularly FQHCs. They have a significant and growing presence in Southern California and particularly in San Diego. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss telehealth and virtual care.

“The providers are really looking to get as much information about their patients as possible, whether it’s trying to get a complete medical record or whether it’s trying to understand the total cost of care for those patients or to include the social determinants information around that patient, to be able to better deliver care at the most affordable cost for the system overall.”


5. Use our stuff. Seriously, go ahead.

We’re excited and honored to be part of a dynamic media ecosystem in California. Collectively, we’re growing and re-writing the rules of media and information in what we think are smarter, better ways. We play a small role, like one straw on the camel’s back. But, it’s one we’re happy to play.

Part of the new logic of journalism today – we think – is that our free content available at StateofReform.com should be shared and used by anyone who would like to. So, if you ever want to use our stuff, please do so. Go ahead and use it. We ask that you follow a few rules, but paying us isn’t one of them. We’re about community rather than clicks, about quality over quantity.

We’re able to make it in health care journalism today because of the support and engagement from our sponsors and our conference attendees. So, if you like any of our stuff and want to use it, go ahead. You can thank our supporters for making it all happen.