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The CHCF Blog

One Man's Story Shows Why Medi-Cal Must Provide Whole-Person Care

Anne Sunderland, Senior Communications Officer, Improving Access
Anne Sunderland
Anne Sunderland

On July 13 a panel of experts gathered in Sacramento to discuss key recommendations from a new CHCF-commissioned Manatt Health paper, Moving Medi-Cal Forward on the Path to Delivery System Transformation. Much of the conversation centered around the call to intensify efforts to coordinate care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with serious mental illness (SMI). Dr. Brad Gilbert, CEO of the San Bernardino-based Inland Empire Health Plan and a CHCF board member, got everyone's attention with a story about the consequences for one man when the system failed to coordinate his care.

Hear his story in the video below.

As Dr. Gilbert's story illustrates, when counties and managed care plans fail to coordinate care, patients suffer. It also costs the program. Five percent of Medi-Cal enrollees account for 51% of Medi-Cal costs. Almost half of these high-need enrollees have a mental illness.

At the same briefing, Manatt Health's Cindy Mann spoke in more detail of the structural barriers that can impede care coordination. Watch another video here.

Read Manatt Health's recommendations for change in Moving Medi-Cal Forward and watch the video of the July 13 briefing. You can also share your thoughts about Dr. Gilbert's story on social media using the hashtag #MediCal4ward.

Moving Medi-Cal Forward #MediCal4ward

You can access CHCF resources on behavioral health integration, including our papers The Circle Expands: Understanding Medi-Cal Coverage of Mild-to-Moderate Mental Health Conditions and Fine Print: Rules for Exchanging Behavioral Health Information in California. Stay tuned for the launch of a new CHCF project with the California Health and Human Services Agency Office of Health Information Integrity aimed at further improving the ability of health care entities to safely and legally share patient data, including behavioral health data, to improve care coordination.

About Anne

Anne Sunderland is the senior communications officer for CHCF's Improving Access team, which works to improve access to coverage and care for low-income Californians.

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