CHCF’s work touches on a range of health care topics from the ACA to the workforce. We publish reports and policy papers, host briefings and webinars, and share data and analyses. Explore our body of work by topic.
The burden of untreated behavioral health conditions — encompassing mental health and substance use disorders — is both a major public health problem and a delivery system challenge. CHCF works to improve systems of behavioral health care and to focus on integrating mental health, substance use, and physical health services to achieve the best outcomes for Californians with low incomes.
CHCF partners with a variety of organizations in the health care system to improve care for Californians, with a special focus on the state's safety net of federally qualified health centers and public hospitals. CHCF provides targeted financial assistance, funds for pilot projects, assistance in acquiring and implementing clinical systems, and learning opportunities and technical assistance around quality improvement and payment reform.
An unprecedented level of attention and funding is focused on the opioid epidemic — the deadliest drug crisis in American history. From 2015-2019, CHCF invested $7 million to lower unsafe opioid prescribing and to increase integration of medication-assisted treatment into multiple health care settings. CHCF is building on the opioid safety work to support integration of mental health, substance use disorder, with physical health treatment.
Health Care Costs
Rising health care costs remain a major challenge in California and across the nation. CHCF's work sheds light on trends in state and national health care spending as well as on the affordability of health care for consumers to spur dialogue and action around policy solutions.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health insurance landscape changed dramatically in California. Fewer Californians are uninsured, more than one in three is now enrolled in Medi-Cal, and over a million purchase insurance through the ACA-mandated health insurance marketplace, Covered California. CHCF reports analyze and track trends in health insurance coverage, how much that coverage costs, and who remains uninsured.
Serious Illness & End-of-Life Care
As serious illness progresses, too many people receive ineffective, unwanted, and expensive medical treatments while their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are poorly addressed. CHCF invests in projects that promote palliative care, which focuses on improving quality of life and relieving suffering at all stages of serious illness, and communicating patient preferences across care settings.
Too often, health care decisions and treatments are driven by people and processes other than the person at the center of these decisions: the patient. CHCF is working to turn the health care system toward patient-centered care, where patients are in partnership with doctors and other providers. We fund projects that help health care systems and providers redesign care around the real needs of patients.
Childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization in the US and California. Annually, 500,000 babies are born in the state, and half of those births are paid for by Medi-Cal. Yet there are significant and unwarranted variations in the quality of maternity care, alarming disparities among patient outcomes, and wasted resources. CHCF aims to improve the quality and lower the cost of maternity care in California by reducing unnecessary interventions and delivering appropriate care.
Over the next decade, California faces a number of health workforce challenges, including a population that is growing, aging, and becoming more diverse. To meet these and other challenges, California must develop a modern health workforce that delivers smarter, more affordable care. That will require a new generation of health professionals with roles, skills, and workflows that match our latest understanding of how best to deliver high-quality, high-value care.
Payment & Financing
US health care spending is still too often based on the amount of services provided to a patient rather than the value of those services in improving a patient's health. This encourages more — not better — health care and increases costs. CHCF is helping to move health care payment and financing in California to a value-based system that supports the Triple Aim of improved population health and patient experience as well as lower costs.