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New Report Reveals Recommendations to Strengthen California's Healthcare Workforce

Date: 10/14/20

Health Net's Analysis of Community Investments Offers New Solutions to Augment Provider Shortages and Build a More Representative Medi-Cal Workforce

Sacramento, Calif. – Health Net today released its Workforce Development Key Findings Report, which provides a comprehensive approach to addressing California's healthcare workforce shortage — especially as it relates to the state's expanding Medi-Cal population. Through its investment of nearly $4 million in workforce development initiatives amongst 14 statewide grant partners, Health Net was able to identify shared challenge areas and distill best practices to develop a list of targeted recommendations and strategies that can help to overcome workforce challenges.

The report outlined three critical focus areas: the identification of new talent pools, the need to provide upward mobility at all levels, and the importance of cultural competency training and recruitment. By using grants to focus on these three factors, grantees were able to increase clinic capacity and patient satisfaction, improve workforce retention, and begin to develop a more representative workforce that has helped to improve patient outcomes and address existing inequities.

"California's expanding Medi-Cal patient population and continued healthcare workforce shortages create a twin set of challenges that must be met head-on in order to ensure our state's most vulnerable patients receive the care they need – and Health Net is working to do just that," said Brian Ternan, President and CEO of Health Net of California and California Health and Wellness. "By investing in statewide partnerships, education programs and programmatic funding initiatives, Health Net is leading efforts to reverse the workforce shortage trend in California by helping to build a stronger pipeline of qualified professionals to serve our most vulnerable patients."

Based on its analysis, Health Net identified the following recommendations and strategies to overcome current workforce challenges:

  • Recruitment-Centered Recommendations: Center recruitment opportunities of healthcare professionals in underserved markets of the state and focus efforts into previously untapped pools.
  • Investment Strategies: Fund collaborative partnerships between providers, community-based organizations, educational institutions and others to convene, share and establish new best practices.
  • Education & Training Professionals: Develop training programs geared towards all populations and provide clear career ladders and upward mobility opportunities to encourage retention and increase satisfaction of both professionals and patients.

"We know firsthand the challenges facing the healthcare workforce and how they impact providers and patients statewide," said Andie Patterson, Vice President of Government Affairs, California Primary Care Association. "Health Net's new Workforce Development Key Findings Report provides us with learnings from the frontlines and recommendations to help us tackle current challenges, with a specific focus on the Medi-Cal population. We look forward to leveraging these tools as we continue to implement solutions that build a stronger pipeline of qualified and representative healthcare professionals in California."

"These initiatives will help Health Net to create access to healthcare related educational opportunities and lower the barriers that many individuals face when it comes to career ladder progression — ensuring more equitable access to good patient care within our state and communities," said Jodie Wingo, Interim President and CEO, Community Health Association Inland Southern Region. "As we continue to face workforce challenges, we commend industry leaders such as Health Net who are working tirelessly to help with the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers across this state."

To augment workforce shortages and increase the availability of Medi-Cal providers statewide, Health Net is committed to continuing to collaborate and invest in the development of solutions that can help to reverse the workforce trend in California, build a stronger pipeline of qualified professionals and break down barriers to care for the most vulnerable patients.

"Partnering with Health Net not only allows us to address the healthcare workforce crisis we are facing in California, it also helps us establish a pipeline for students like ours in Stockton who have aspirations of going into the medical field with the scholarships they have provided," said Janae Aptaker, Director of Stockton Scholars Program & Strategy. "That is why we value working with partners like Health Net, who are able to apply best practices and help us identify solutions that develop new talent pools to build out our healthcare workforce starting with the young people in our community."

"This insight and determination from Health Net to addressing workforce shortage issue across our region and state cannot come at a more pressing time, said Michael Gutierrez, President of Sacramento City College. "Addressing this issue head on allows us to provide the support, educational experience and tools necessary for our students to become the new generation of healthcare professionals — to support and serve our state's most vulnerable residents."

"Health Net's report reflects the universal recognition that we must continue to work harder in developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state, said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. "This proactive approach in identifying the issue will only help us to continue to build and diversify our healthcare workforce to better expand access to care in under-resourced and underserved areas of California, and to recruit and train a healthcare workforce that looks and sounds like the population they are treating."

About Health Net

At Health Net, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health, regardless of age, income, employment status or current state of health. Founded 40 years ago, we remain dedicated to transforming the health of our community, one person at a time. Today, Health Net's 3,000 employees and 85,000 network providers serve more than 3 million members. That's nearly 1 in 12 Californians. We provide health plans for individuals, families, businesses of every size, people with Medicare and people with Medi-Cal — Coverage for Every Stage of Life™. Health Net also offer access to substance abuse programs, behavioral health services, employee assistance programs and managed health care products related to prescription drugs. We offer these health plans and services through Health Net, LLC and its subsidiaries: Health Net of California, Inc., Health Net Life Insurance Company and Health Net Community Solutions, Inc. These entities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), a Fortune 100 company providing health coverage to more than 20 million Americans. For more information, visit

About California Health & Wellness

At California Health & Wellness, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health. That is why we have been offering access to quality health coverage to Californians in 19 rural counties since 2013. In fact, we operate as part of the state's Medi-Cal Managed Care Rural Expansion program. This expansion brings health coverage to people eligible for Medi-Cal, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other programs. Headquartered in Northern California, our work is based on the core belief that access to quality healthcare is best delivered locally. We are dedicated to helping transform the communities we serve, one person at a time. That is why we partner with local, regional and community-based organizations to deliver access to healthcare, pharmacy, vision and transportation services for our members. California Health & Wellness is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), a Fortune 100 company providing health coverage to more than 20 million Americans.

Last Updated: 11/06/2020