Health Net's early lessons from California's Medicaid revamp

Centene subsidiary Health Net released a report July 7 on early lessons it has learned from participating in California's overhaul of its Medicaid system. 

California Advancing and​ Innovating Medi-Cal plan, or CalAIM, is a multiyear strategy to transform the state's Medicaid system to become more integrated with social services and create a new delivery system through value-based initiatives and payment reform. The plan launched in January. 

Health Net is one of California's longest serving Medi-Cal partners and is a key partner in the implementation of the overhaul, according to the report. The payer has identified early lessons learned from the first six months of the program's implementation. The lessons focus on the community supports benefits of the revamp. These include housing supports and medically tailored meals. Along with the lessons, Health Net included recommendations that can be used by the broader healthcare community.   

The payer said it collaborated with its plan partners "in an unprecedented manner" to minimize administrative burdens on providers, counties and others. It recommends leaning into the deep knowledge of local providers who are viewed as trusted advisers by residents.

Health Net said that by design it brought many community support providers into its network who were new to Medi-Cal managed care. This meant that the development of infrastructure, capacity building and operational support were key to meet program requirements The payer recommends continued investment in workforce development, training and recruitment to build new capacity and invest in technology to support service efficiency and reach. 

Health Net said that accurate data allowed it to understand what community supports are needed in the various areas it serves. It recommends using data on social drivers of health to inform how and where services are implemented. 

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