DHCS announces postponement of CalAIM implementation timelines

In a “CalAIM Stakeholder Update” email sent Wednesday, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced the department is postponing CalAIM implementation timelines in order to allow the state to focus on addressing COVID-19.

According to the email, DHCS plans to “engage stakeholders and the federal government in both an extension of the existing 1115 waiver and the 1915b Special Mental Health waiver.” DHCS also notes that the department will continue to seek approval for the CalAIM proposals for a later date.

The full text of the email is available below:



Dear DHCS Stakeholders,

CalAIM and the COVID-19 Pandemic

DHCS is committed to ensuring that all of our partners are able to focus their limited resources on the needs arising from the public health emergency due to COVID-19. While the important goals and objectives we have outlined for CalAIM continue to be a high priority, DHCS is postponing CalAIM implementation timelines in order to allow all of us to effectively address COVID-19 in our communities.

DHCS plans to engage stakeholders and the federal government in both an extension of the existing 1115 waiver and the 1915b Special Mental Health waiver. In parallel, DHCS will continue to seek approval of our CalAIM proposals for a later date. We are committed to keeping you updated on the terms of this postponement and will release more details as they are finalized. DHCS and the entire Administration continue to be committed to advancing the CalAIM proposal. Thank you for your understanding.

As such, here are a few immediate changes to our CalAIM implementation activities:

  • CalAIM “Redline” Proposals and Summary of Changes:  We will be delaying the release of the “redline” version of the CalAIM proposals that reflects changes informed by the CalAIM Workgroup process and stakeholder feedback. We still plan to finalize the proposals later this summer, but they will not be released in April as originally planned.
  • CalAIM Regional Meetings and Technical Assistance Process: The in-person Regional Meetings on CalAIM Enhanced Care Management (ECM) and In Lieu of Services (ILOS) implementation have been postponed until further notice. We will also be delaying the launch of our CalAIM Targeted Technical Assistance teams. Future dates to be announced.
  • ECM/ILOS Transition Plans: Due to these changes in our timeline, we have determined that the ECM/ILOS Transition Plans will no longer be due to DHCS on July 1, 2020.  A new deadline will be determined and communicated in the near future.
  •  Medi-Cal Section 1115 Waiver Public Hearings: Public hearings for the Section 1115 waiver renewal and consolidated Section1915(b) hearings are currently scheduled for May 18 and May 27, 2020. At this point, we are keeping these hearings on the calendar as scheduled, but they are subject to change based on the COVID-19 situation and/or discussions with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. More information will be provided via this listserv when available.
  • Foster Care Workgroup: In consultation with key stakeholders, DHCS and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) have jointly decided to launch the Foster Care Model of Care workgroup on June 26 instead of April 21. We want the workgroup to have the attention necessary to launch with full engagement. The DHCS and CDSS will be reviewing the applications submitted for membership in the workgroup and finalizing group membership by May 15, 2020. More information on the workgroup can be found here. Please send any questions regarding the Foster Care Workgroup to CalAIMFoster@dhcs.ca.gov.

 Please send any questions regarding CalAIM to: CalAIM@dhcs.ca.gov.

Thank you for your partnership and understanding during these uncertain times.