Gov. Newsom today announced his administration’s 2020-21 state budget plan, including several proposals related to health care policy. One key component would establish an Office of Health Care Affordability, responsible for developing specific strategies and cost targets for the health care field, including enhancing transparency and ultimately creating savings for consumers; this will likely include a focus on hospital costs in the different regions of the state. CHA will provide more details as they become available.
“This work is complex and demands equal responsibility and engagement from all segments of the health care field including providers, insurers, suppliers, and others. While more detail is needed to fully understand the mechanics of this proposal, the goals of greater access and affordability should be priorities for everyone who cares for Californians,” said Carmela Coyle, CHA President & CEO, in a statement.
Other health care-related policies in the governor’s budget proposal include:
Medi-Cal expansion: Allocate $80.5 million to make full-scope Medi-Cal coverage available to low-income undocumented Californians 65 and older, no sooner than Jan. 1, 2021.
Investment in Medi-Cal in preventive care: Allocate $695 million for the Medi-Cal Healthier California for All initiative (previously called CalAIM), which has three primary goals: identify and manage member risk and need; move Medi-Cal to a more consistent and seamless system through increased flexibility; and improving quality outcomes.
Behavioral health parity: Update and strengthen enforcement of behavioral health parity laws and other health plan requirements, focusing on timely access to treatment, network adequacy, benefit design, and plan policies.
Enhanced public option for coverage: Strengthen enrollment, affordability, and choice through Covered California, including opportunities to leverage the statewide network of existing public Medi-Cal managed care plans.
Prescription drug pricing: To advance the administration’s goal to reduce drug costs, the budget includes proposals to expand the Department of Health Care Services’ authority to consider the best prices offered by manufacturers when negotiating for Medi-Cal supplemental rebates; leverage Medi-Cal purchasing power to negotiate supplemental rebates on behalf of target populations outside the Medi-Cal program; continue expanding partnerships with local pharmaceutical purchasers to solicit participation in the state’s drug purchasing program; establish a single market for drug pricing within the state; and establish the state’s own generic drug label.