News @ JSI

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

February 18, 2015

[An article about the CA1115 Wavier Paper also appeared in numerous media outlets, including]

California is in the process of developing a proposal for an 1115 Medicaid waiver renewal, which would allow the state programmatic and financial flexibility to implement innovative health care reforms. California’s previous waiver, titled The Bridge to Reform, was focused on preparing for Affordable Care Act implementation.

As California enters the next chapter of reform, including caring for an additional 12 million Medi-Cal enrollees, JSI is proposing a focus on achieving “whole-person care.” JSI’s paper California’s 1115 Waiver: An Opportunity to Move from Coverage to Whole-Person Care, has been receiving positive attention from stakeholders across the state since being published in January, and offers a big-picture vision as well as seven specific recommendations categorized under three key levers:
  • 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.
“This waiver represents a significant opportunity for the state to build on successful coverage expansion and chart a course for moving forward,” said Jeremy Cantor, MPH, senior consultant at JSI.

“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.”

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.