Briefing — The Medi-Cal Waiver: Perspectives on Promoting Health System Improvement in California

Hear experts discuss how waivers are being used to promote system improvement, delve into California's experiences with and lessons from the current waiver, and explore opportunities in the latest waiver renewal application.

Held: June 11, 2015
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California's five-year federal waiver to help revamp the $95-billion Medi-Cal program is set to expire on October 31, 2015. While crucial changes have been made to the program in terms of flexibility and accountability, and coverage has been vastly expanded, much work remains to be done before Medi-Cal can be considered truly transformed.

With support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), the editors of Health Affairs hosted this Sacramento briefing, where experts discussed how waivers are being used to promote system improvement, delved into California's experiences with and lessons from the current waiver, and explored opportunities in the latest waiver renewal application.

The speakers were:

  • Andrew Bindman, professor of medicine, health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics, UC San Francisco
  • Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director, Health Care Programs, California Department of Health Care Services
  • Brad Gilbert, CEO, Inland Empire Health Plan
  • Mitch Katz, director, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Michael Kelley Gusmano, research scholar, The Hastings Center
  • Jennifer Kent, director, California Department of Health Care Services
  • Peter Long, president and CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • Nadereh Pourat, professor of health services, UCLA School of Public Health
  • Sandra Shewry, vice president of external engagement, CHCF
  • Alan Weil, editor-in-chief, Health Affairs
  • Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California

A recording of the briefing is below. Join in the conversation on Twitter with @Health_Affairs and #HA_California.