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Medi-Cal Member Advisory Committee

Design Recommendations for the California Department of Health Care Services

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced the launch of its Medi-Cal Member Advisory Committee (MMAC) in February 2023, consisting of diverse Medi-Cal members from across the state. Before the launch and with support from CHCF, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) partnered with DHCS to develop recommendations to inform the design of the MMAC.

This report presents CHCS’s recommendations and summarizes the research and feedback that informed them. It is intended to provide transparency into the design process and outcomes of the MMAC as well as to share insights that could be helpful for other states looking to create an advisory committee of Medicaid members.

CHCS’s recommendations covered 10 key areas and included:

  • Composition and size. Ensure composition reflects the Medi-Cal population. Include a diverse mix of races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and uses of Medi-Cal services (e.g., members on waiver programs, managed care, fee-for-service).
  • Recruitment. Use a multipronged approach. Effective recruitment will require a multipronged approach that includes (1) leveraging networks of providers, community-based organizations, managed care plans, DHCS staff, and others and (2) use of marketing events, social media posts, flyers/mailers, etc., to get the word out.
  • Compensation for MMAC members. Provide a fair amount, at least a $100 stipend per MMAC member per meeting, regardless of it being virtual or in person. Let MMAC members choose their compensation preference — check or gift card.
  • Meeting logistics. Be consistent regarding meeting format, length, and cadence. To accommodate MMAC members located across the state, meet virtually for two hours every other month. As possible, meet in person once or twice per year to build relationships and have more in-depth discussions around certain topics or when important deadlines are approaching (e.g., public comment period, legislative session, etc.).
  • Meeting facilitation. Identify a strong meeting facilitator. The ideal meeting facilitator for the MMAC will have rich experience working with community members, a strong understanding of the Medi-Cal program, and background and race/ethnicity reflective of MMAC membership.

Explore the report, available under Document Downloads, for the full list of recommendations.

About the Authors

Courtney Roman, MA, is senior program officer; Madeline Steward, MPH, CAPM, is program officer; and Kelly Church, MPH, is program associate at the Center for Health Care Strategies.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a policy design and implementation partner devoted to improving outcomes for people enrolled in Medicaid. CHCS supports partners across sectors and disciplines to make more effective, efficient, and equitable care possible for millions of people across the nation.

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