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New Issue Brief from Health Net Outlines Early Lessons Learned from the Launch of CalAIM Community Supports

Date: 07/07/22

Local Collaboration and Timely, Complete Data Among Key Factors to Successful Local Launches, Report Finds

Sacramento, Calif. (July 7, 2022) – Health Net, one of the state's longest-serving and most experienced Medi-Cal partners, has released a report identifying early lessons learned and recommendations following the January 2022 launch of California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM). CalAIM is a long-term initiative of the California Department of Health Care Services. The initiative aims to "offer Californians a more equitable, coordinated, and person-centered approach to maximizing their health and life trajectory." This report specifically focuses on the Community Supports benefits of CalAIM.

"CalAIM Community Supports are a unique opportunity to address social drivers of health and help advance health equity," said Dr. Pooja Mittal, Health Net's Chief Health Equity Officer. "We've collectively organized around the needs of our members to serve them more holistically and our early learnings are reflected in our company's latest report. Still, we know more work lies ahead and we are committed to working proactively and collaboratively to ensure CalAIM's success."

Among the key insights identified in the report:

  • Extensive Collaboration with Plan Partners and Providers is Paramount: The report confirmed that planned and intentional collaboration minimizes administrative burdens on providers, counties, and others. Extending this model of collaboration and support to relationships with locally embedded providers and organizations is key to reducing health disparities.
  • Foundational Need for Operational Support and Funding for Local Providers: The report identified that many providers that deliver Community Supports were new to Medi-Cal managed care and required infrastructure, capacity building, and operational support to meet program requirements. When providers received comprehensive trainings and funding, they were better prepared to deliver care from day one of implementation.
  • Essential Role of Timely, Complete Data Sharing: Accurate data creates a better picture of the Community Supports needs of counties, which greatly informs how and where these services are implemented, and which providers and organizations are best suited to do the contracted work.

These key findings and best practices shared in the brief follow Health Net's implementation of all 14 Community Supports services in 31 counties as of January 1, 2022, when Health Net leveraged their statewide footprint and long-term relationships with trusted providers to facilitate the transition. These insights inform recommendations for the broader healthcare community to maximize the impact of CalAIM reforms and drive health equity through the subsequent phases of implementation.

To best serve the most vulnerable residents across the state, Health Net has identified the following recommended strategies:

  • Lean into the deep knowledge of local providers who are viewed as trusted advisors by residents
  • Continue to invest in workforce development, training, and recruitment to build new capacity and invest in technology to support service efficiency and reach
  • Leverage connected information systems that offer integrated data on social drivers of health that impact patients to ensure members are receiving the care they need

Learn more and read the full issue brief at Bridging the Divide (PDF). Read other Health Net reports on addressing health equity (PDF), workforce development (PDF) and innovating within Medi-Cal (PDF) here.

Last Updated: 07/07/2022