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Policy Brief: Specialty Connect: A WellSpace Health and UC Davis Health Partnership to Improve Access to Specialty Care for Sacramento County Medi-Cal Beneficiaries

WellSpace Health, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and UC Davis Health have partnered to develop an innovative health care delivery model that can expand access to specialty care for Sacramento County Medi-Cal members. Physicians from UC Davis Health provide specialty care to patients in a WellSpace Health facility, ensuring a reimbursement amount that adequately covers the cost of delivering care. The policy brief describes the model, how technical challenges were overcome and considerations for replicability.

Policy Brief: Fatal Overdoses in California: 2017-2021

Key findings: Almost 11,000 Californians died in 2021 as a result of preventable overdoses, double since 2017. Overdoses kill as many as lung cancer, more than diabetes, and 2-3x as many as car accidents. Fatal overdose death rates are growing fastest among African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

Policy Brief: Financial Responsibility For Behavioral Health Services Under Medi-Cal – What’s The County, State And Federal Share Of Cost For Mental Health And Substance Use Disorder Treatment?

The federal participation rate under Medi-Cal for the cost of services has traditionally been 50 percent in California for most services. For behavioral health services most of the non-federal share has traditionally been borne by counties who have responsibility for providing mental health and substance use treatment services to low-income individuals. The Affordable Care Act increased that federal share to 90% for newly eligible categories including low-income childless adults. For these childless adults with mental health needs, many of whom are experiencing homelessness, the state now picks up the remaining 10% non federal share of cost; there is no county share.

CalAIM for Reentry and Justice-involved Adults and Youth: a Policy Implementation Guide

CalAIM for Reentry and Justice-involved Adults and Youth: a Policy Implementation Guide. Provides an overview of CalAIM’s key program elements relevant to justice-involved individuals and an initial implementation framework. The guide is intended as a resource for justice system agencies, Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders who are key to designing and implementing this new program in their county and community to serve justice-involved individuals.

updated August 2022

Policy Brief: Embedding Mental Health Clinicians in Public Defender’s Offices: A Potential CalAIM Strategy for Reducing the Mentally Ill Inmates Population in Jails

As state and local policy makers develop CalAIM action plans for local justice-involved individuals, this policy brief suggests a potential innovative strategy that places mental health clinicians in public defender’s offices to facilitate alternative placements in a community mental health treatment programs and reduce the number of incarcerated jail inmates with serious mental illness.

Policy Brief: Expanding Access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Los Angeles County’s Criminal Justice System

Report to  the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee (CCJCC) finds key findings and recommendations about drug overdose deaths and MAT capacity in LA County.  Overdose deaths increased by 144% since 2017.  Deaths from fentanyl increased 1,114% over this same period.  The number of jail and prison individuals needing MAT in the community are projected to dramatically grow and could overwhelm the current capacity of MAT providers and pharmacies that fill prescriptions for buprenorphine.

Policy Brief: The Overdose Crisis in California 2017 to 2021

Analysis of most recent overdose data finds that preventable drug-related overdose deaths have doubled since 2017.  The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an acceleration of the overdose crisis with about 1,000 additional unpredicted deaths in 2020.  Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were responsible for almost 5,000 more deaths in the twelve month period before June 30, 2021, an 800% increase.

CalAIM Update: Summary of pricing guidelines to Medi-Cal managed care plans for Community Supports (formerly, In Lieu of Services -ILOS)

A key feature of California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) is the introduction of a new menu of health-related Community Supports (formerly “in lieu of services” or ILOS), which offer non-clinical services to address key social determinants of health, such as housing. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has pre-approved fourteen ILOS and is encouraging Medi-Cal managed care organizations (MCOs) to offer them beginning January 1, 2022.