5 Things California: Steve Wigginton, LA keynotes, “Aging Roadmap”

This month, we feature what is, I think, one of the most interesting studies in California health care in some time. It says that, for all of the energy going into Medi-Cal managed care over the years, the progress on quality has been modest – in fact mostly unchanged.  It’s one of the things we feature this edition, plus some content looking back on our LA event and looking ahead to our next conference in San Diego.


With help from Emily Boerger



1. Q&A: Steve Wigginton, Sutter Health | Aetna

Steve Wigginton is the Chief Executive Officer of Sutter Health | Aetna, a jointly-owned health care company serving members in Northern California. Wigginton joined us for a Q&A to discuss the joint venture’s major accomplishments in its first year, key lessons learned, and the partnership’s overarching goals related to utilizing data and analytics.

“The best thing that can happen is we share everything we know, because we own, together, this entity… Our North Star is to eliminate what were previously structural divides between information pools… The big hurdle has been, historically, governance and business structures. So, long story short, our North Star is to break down those barriers.”


2. Check out the keynotes you missed

We captured a lot of great content at our 2019 Los Angeles State of Reform Conference, which is now available for your review! We kicked off the day with our “Leadership in Health Care” keynote featuring Tanya Dansky, VP & Chief Medical Officer at Blue Shield Promise Health Plan, Demetria Malloy, Senior Medical Director at Anthem Blue Cross, Lisa Chan-Sawin, Principal at Transform Health, and Sarah Summer, CEO of California Physician Services Organization, CMA.

During lunch, I had three one-on-one conversations with some of the state’s most important health care and health policy leaders. Joining us was Don Crane, CEO of America’s Physician Groups, Louise McCarthy, CEO of Community Clinic Association of LA County, and John Baackes, CEO of LA Care. I rounded out the day with a market and policy intelligence report for the California health care market, which was the first time I had delivered this before one of our own audiences.

3. Report: Medi-Cal quality strikingly mediocre

A new report from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) shows lagging quality in Medi-Cal Managed Care. 59% of the 41 quality measures analyzed saw no change, or a slight decline. Overall there was no improvement in the Medi-Cal managed care between 2009 and 2018 — in fact, in 4 of the categories, care declined.

Chris Perrone, director of CHCF’s Improving Access team, says California can respond in a number of ways. Policy responses include establishing measurable quality goals, paying plans based on quality, eliminating data blind spots, continuing to transform delivery systems, and completely restructuring the Medi-Cal program.


4. San Diego County’s Aging Roadmap

In 2015, the number of adults aged 55 and older in San Diego County totaled over 820,000. That number is projected to reach over 1.1 million by 2030. To address and support the region’s growing aging population, the county’s Health and Human Services Agency presented a new “Aging Roadmap” to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors last week.

The roadmap builds off the Age Well San Diego Initiative from 2016 and adds 5 new focus areas: Caregiver Support, Safety, Preparedness, Silver Economy, and Medical & Social Services. One goal of the plan is to partner with the West Health Institute to ensure that all hospital emergency room departments in the region are Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation certified.


5. Convening Panel tees up San Diego event

A few weeks ago, our Convening Panel for the 2019 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference got together to talk through topics, conversations, and speakers for this year’s event.  Each of our three California conferences is different, and it’s because of the diverse input of our Convening Panel.

You can review the Discussion Guide from our meeting together for a sense of the topics we teed up. I hope to have the Topical Agenda out for you soon, perhaps even next week. So, if you have ideas for sessions or speakers, now is a good time to ping me to see what we might be able to include!