Webinar — Medi-Cal Explained: Waivers and State Plan Amendments

Understand the basics

About This Event

California is about to launch the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, which will include planning for the next Section 1115 and Section 1915(b) waivers for Medi-Cal. Federal waivers play an important role in Medi-Cal, bringing additional federal resources to the program and allowing for critical innovations in the delivery of care. State Plan Amendments (SPAs) reflect program changes, corrections, or updates to California’s State Plan, the contractual agreement between the state and federal government that describes the nature and scope of the Medi-Cal program.

In preparation for CalAIM, this CHCF webinar held in October 2019, provided a high-level overview of waivers and SPAs — and how they differ. It also reviewed how California has previously used waivers and SPAs, and included a refresher on what’s in the current California Section 1115 and Section 1915(b) waivers.

Speakers include:

  • Cindy Mann, partner at Manatt Health, former deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and former director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) at CMS
  • Jennifer Ryan, executive vice president of Harbage Consulting and former director of the Intergovernmental and External Affairs Group for CMCS at CMS

CHCF’s Chris Perrone, director, Improving Access, provided context to open the webinar, and Catherine Teare, CHCF’s associate director, High-Value Care, provided closing remarks.

This webinar is part of CHCF’s Medi-Cal Explained series which provides an overview of the Medi-Cal program, including the people it serves, the services it provides, and how it is organized, managed, and financed. The series includes short papers which explain waivers and SPAs, as well as a one-page comparison chart (PDF) of these two policy instruments.

The presentation slides are available to download below. Below is a recording of the webinar:



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