New California Waiver Focused on Whole-Person Care has Potential to Support Transformation of Safety-net Care

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As California enters its next chapter of safety net health care reform – to include caring for an additional 12 million Medi-Cal enrollees – John Snow, Inc (JSI) is proposing a focus on achieving "whole-person care." JSI's recently published unique guiding document, California's 1115 Waiver: An Opportunity to Move from Coverage to Whole-Person Care is receiving positive attention from stakeholders across the state.

California is in the process of developing a proposal to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for a waiver from section 1115 of Medicaid regulations that would allow the state programmatic and financial flexibility to implement innovative health care reforms. California's previous health care reform chapter was focused on preparing for Affordable Care Act implementation.

"This waiver represents a significant opportunity for the state to build on successful coverage expansion through the ACA, and chart a course for moving forward," said Jeremy Cantor, MPH, senior consultant at JSI who contributed to the paper.

"We drew on knowledge of experiences and initiatives in other states and in California counties to identify how the waiver can advance whole-person care – potentially transforming and improving the way health care services are delivered to the most vulnerable, leading to improved health while also controlling costs."  

JSI's paper, published in January, offers a big-picture vision as well as seven specific recommendations categorized under three key levers to arrive at the whole-person care ideal. The three levers are:

  • Increase access to effectively coordinated care.
  • Increase financial flexibility and capacity for shared risk among Medi-Cal providers and delivery systems.
  • Incorporate focus on social determinants of health.

The paper follows JSI's September 2014 report on Opportunities for Whole-Person Care in California, which details a comprehensive approach to addressing vulnerable individuals' health, behavioral health, and social needs in concert rather than in isolation.

Read more about the report: California's 1115 Waiver: An Opportunity to Move from Coverage to Whole-Person Care 

Contact: Rachel Tobey: 415.400.0003 or Mary-Kathryn Aranda: 617.482.9485

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SOURCE John Snow, Inc.