5 Things California: Kids’ mental health, ‘5 Slides’ recap, CHCF care transition insight


Eli Kirshbaum


We’re getting closer by the day to our 2022 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference on Sept. 22nd!

In addition to information about the event’s Detailed Agenda, this newsletter features analysis of Gov. Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, a summary of our recent “5 Slides” event on CalAIM implementation, and recommendations from CHCF on how to effectively transition seniors and people with disabilities to more efficient delivery systems through CalAIM.

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Eli Kirshbaum
State of Reform 


1. Newsom releases ‘Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health’

Gov. Gavin Newsom released his Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health last week, outlining a $4.7 billion state strategy to conduct “the most significant, multi-year overhaul of our mental health system in state history.” The plan incorporates the recently green-lighted Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, along with additional initiatives to combat California’s concerning levels of youth mental health issues.

Alex Briscoe, Principal at the California Children’s Trust, spoke to the magnitude of the plan: “Now, we have a fundamental commitment by the state for the first time to pursue reform at scale. Right now we have an unprecedented quality of leadership at the state level.” Some of the plan’s major provisions include the expansion of early interventions to get individuals connected with treatment before their condition worsens and creating a targeted suicide prevention program for high-risk youth.


2. View the Detailed Agenda for the 2022 LA State of Reform Health Policy Conference!

In case you missed it, we recently sent out the Detailed Agenda for the 2022 Los Angeles State of Reform Health Policy Conference! Take a look to see the speakers we have lined up for our conference on Sept. 22nd.

Along with keynotes from DHCS Director Michelle Baass and LA Care’s John Baackes, we will be hosting timely panel discussions on topics including the future of Medi-Cal, CalAIM implementation, and supporting the health care workforce. We have some really exciting names teed up, so if you haven’t registered already, we would love to have you join us!

3. ‘5 Slides’ recap: Stakeholders discuss CalAIM implementation challenges

Thank you to all who joined us for the “5 Slides: Lessons learned through CalAIM implementation” webinar we hosted last month! Health Net CEO Martha Santana-Chin and her fellow speakers shared valuable insight from their initial experiences rolling out CalAIM. Santana-Chin emphasized that Health Net’s investments in and partnerships with community organizations over the years have helped build a foundational network that’s been key to implementing CalAIM programs like Community Supports.

According to the speakers, the main challenge has been navigating the new “business” relationship between health plans and CBOs that’s required by CalAIM. “While many CBOs had community engagement-type relationships with the health plans, they didn’t have contractual and business relationships,” observed Katherine Bailey, CEO of the San Diego Wellness Collaborative. “These are really new ways of working together, and we just have to realize that new ways of working together take time.”

4. Numerous plans contest MMC contract announcement

Following DHCS’s announcement of the 2024-2028 Medi-Cal Managed Care contract recipients last month, Aetna Better Health of California, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, Community Health Group, and Centene Corporation have all appealed the decision in protest. While Health Net—owned by Centene—still got contracts in certain counties, the plan is specifically contesting its absence from LA County, arguing that their historical presence and work providing Medi-Cal in the region merits their continued provision of managed care in the county.

Gary Cohen, Principal at Health Management Associates, offered his insight, saying the new contracts represent a renewed focus from DHCS to both reduce the state’s number of managed care plans and to address outstanding problems with the Medi-Cal program.  Cohen added that many Medi-Cal members will have to switch plans and/or providers, which could lead to issues with continuity of care.


5. CHCF releases guidance for managing care transitions for SPDs

CalAIM seeks to transition seniors and people with disabilities (SPDs) into new or consolidated delivery systems in order to reduce the complexity of Medi-Cal service provision for this population. A brief published by the California Health Care Foundation outlines potential problem areas for the transition of SPDs into these new delivery systems, as well as recommendations to address these potential problem areas and make the transitions as seamless as possible.

The recommendations include keeping information between state agencies as consistent as possible to limit confusion when communicating this information to SPDs, using clear and accessible language when developing notification and enrollment materials for SPDs, and training managed care plan staff in diversity, equity, and inclusion “… to recognize and attend to cultural differences that impact care preferences, communication methods, or both.” Read more about CHCF’s guidance here.