At the 2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference, we sat down with Bradley Schmidt, the chief executive officer of the Northern California PET Imaging Center, for a conversation about addressing health inequities in the state’s healthcare system.
Schmidt said a potential way to increase health equity is by reforming the decades-old Knox-Keene Act, which establishes framework for health plan activity in the state and requires “advanced care” to be provided within a 15-mile radius of patients. He explained that this has resulted in many providers being located 15 miles away from the poorest communities in the state, hindering their ability to access care.
“A lot of it is the policy around pricing. The state of California … could look at Knox-Keene reform, which would basically tighten that window from 15 miles 10 miles. You could also look at managed care laws [to make them] maybe more nonprofit-focused so you can kind of encourage reinvestment into the area.”