Dear Friends and Colleagues:
I'm writing to update you on some changes we are making in our strategy, both to sharpen our program focus and to adapt to the new realities created by passage of the federal Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Health Reform & Public Programs
Most significantly, we have launched a new effort — the Health Reform and Public Programs Initiative — to provide hands-on support to those state officials responsible for implementing the historic legislation that will provide insurance coverage or subsidies to millions of Californians.
We have already begun providing analytic and technical assistance to the state's health reform implementation team on insurance exchange design and governance. We will also focus on developing options and recommendations for implementing select provisions of health reform legislation and promoting efficient solutions to the challenge of determining whether millions of Californians are eligible for subsidies or public coverage.
Since health reform will increase the number of Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal by two to three million, we will also focus our attention on supporting efforts to redesign the way the program works. This includes promoting efforts to streamline enrollment and advancing implementation of the Medi-Cal waiver to improve the way Medi-Cal manages the care of its high-cost populations. Even while we offer technical and analytical support to the state, we will continue our efforts to monitor and report on the progress of transforming the state's public programs and the implementation of health reform. (Read details about this initiative.)
Innovations for the Underserved
The Innovations for the Underserved program will focus on encouraging, testing, and promoting lower-cost models of care. We will leverage the foundation's resources to catalyze the growth of low-cost, efficiently designed health care products and services that provide accessible and high-quality health care for underserved Californians. We will also expand our use of program-related investment strategies when appropriate to spark new innovations for our underserved population. (Read details about this program.)
Market & Policy Monitor
Our Market and Policy Monitor program will continue its efforts to promote greater transparency and accountability in California's health care system. It will provide data and analysis on policy developments and market trends to inform or guide decisionmakers through the CHCF California Health Care Almanac and other efforts. And it will expand efforts to advance reporting on health care provider and insurer performance, especially in the area of physician-level performance reporting. (Read details about this program.)
Better Chronic Disease Care
Our Better Chronic Disease Care program will focus on improving clinical outcomes and quality of life for Californians with chronic conditions. It will support the expansion of the number of providers who effectively care for patients with chronic conditions through engagement of patients and families and the use of technology. We will also continue our work on encouraging the use of appropriate care toward the end of life that is consistent with patients' wishes. (Read details about this program.)
The Vision for Our Future
As part of our strategy review, we also spent time looking at the way we communicate who we are and how we pursue our philanthropic mission. We've found over the years that it is important to step back and review the way we think of ourselves and our work so others gain a clearer understanding of our role in improving the health of Californians. Our refined vision statement will drive our work, and the way we communicate about it, for the foreseeable future:
The California HealthCare Foundation works as a catalyst to fulfill the promise of better health care for all Californians. We support ideas and innovations that improve quality, increase efficiency, and lower the costs of care.
As always, I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA
President and CEO