CHCF’s work touches on a range of health care topics from behavioral health to telehealth. 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.
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.
Expanding Health Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Californians obtained health coverage, and the state’s insured rate rose to an all-time high. Much work remains, however, to ensure that all Californians can get and stay covered. CHCF produces data and analyses to inform efforts to protect coverage gains and further expand coverage so that all Californians can get the health care they need.
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 toward policy solutions.
All Californians deserve the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential for health. But too many Californians today face unacceptable barriers to care because of their race, ethnicity, immigration status, or ZIP code. CHCF is working with a wide range of partners to prioritize health equity and create a health care system that meets the needs of all Californians.
Homelessness & Health Care
On any given day, more than 150,000 people experience homelessness in California. Being homeless is dangerous to your health: People who live on the streets die an average 20 years earlier than people who are housed. CHCF is launching work to improve the delivery of health and social services to people experiencing homelessness, with the goal of promoting care that is responsive, person-centered, and focuses on the patient’s emotional, physical, and psychological needs.
Giving birth is the primary reason for hospitalizations in the US and California. Annually, 500,000 babies are born in the state, with half paid for by Medi-Cal. There are significant, unwarranted variations in maternity care quality, alarming disparities, and wasted resources. CHCF aims to improve quality and lower the costs of maternity care in California, especially for birth people with low incomes, by ensuring appropriate care and reducing disparities in outcomes.
Medi-Cal is the state’s health insurance program for Californians with low incomes, including over 40% of all children, half of those with disabilities, over a million seniors, and one in five workers. CHCF reports provide data and analysis on how well Medi-Cal is serving Californians.
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.
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.
Telehealth is the use of technology to better harness providers’ time and expertise and connect patients to the care they need more quickly and conveniently. For over a decade, CHCF has worked to expand the use of telehealth in the California safety net. This work takes on new urgency in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.