Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released the following response to the Department of Health Care Services’ announcement of its intent to award new Medi-Cal managed care contracts beginning January 1, 2024.
“CPEHN applauds the Department of Health Care Services for conducting a competitive procurement to select health plans that can best meet the needs of Medi-Cal members. California’s reprocurement of managed care plans that serve Medi-Cal members is long overdue; some commercial health plans have held contracts for decades without showing quality improvement. Requiring plans to bid for new contracts and demonstrate their commitment and ability to provide quality and equitable care is a big deal.
“At the same time, the three commercial plans that have been selected to serve members in 21 counties are existing Medi-Cal managed care plans whose records fall far short of what consumers should expect. The new Medi-Cal contract, which goes into effect January 1, 2024, contains significant oversight and accountability provisions which have tremendous potential to improve care and must be robustly enforced by DHCS. Importantly, this contract will apply to all plans, including the three recently awarded plans, Kaiser and local health plans.
“Medi-Cal managed care plans serve nearly a third of Californians, including a majority people of color, families with low incomes, and people with disabilities. The time to hold these plans more accountable for providing timely, quality, and equitable care has come. We thank DHCS for setting a new standard and committing to this important goal.
“Finally, we look forward to working with DHCS to ensure a seamless transition and adequate support for the 2.3M Medi-Cal members who will change their health plan in 2024 as a result of this process.”