Over 3.5 million Californians have enrolled in new coverage options since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, yet communities of color, immigrants, and Limited English Proficient populations continue to face health inequities. Join the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Partnership, and the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino County, for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California on June 5th in San Bernardino.
We’re also excited about the opportunity to examine the unique needs of the Inland Empire. With communities of color representing nearly two-thirds of the population in the region (66.7% of San Bernardino County, 60.3% of Riverside County), we will focus on ways to improve health and reduce inequities in this majority population. We will highlight opportunities to advance health equity both in the Inland Empire and across the state through discussion of the following topics:
Health for All efforts to provide health coverage to immigrants
CPEHN hosted its final Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California convening series today in San Diego. Like our previous three events, this one focused on Health for All efforts to expand access to affordable coverage to everyone regardless of immigration status, strategies to integrate behavioral and physical health services, and ways to include equity considerations when evaluating and improving health care quality.
Marty Adelman from the Council of Community Clinics started things off with a presentation on current behavioral health integration efforts in San Diego. He stressed that integrating behavioral health and primary care services can improve both components by reducing stigma, closing the mortality gap, and limiting costs.
Adelman: behavioral health integration can combat stigma by meeting people in the community http://t.co/e3Qv1eGzJ6
Our Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California convening series continued today in Los Angeles, and we continued to hear more great discussion about behavioral health integration, Health for All efforts to expand health coverage regardless of immigration status, and ways to improve quality of care while considering equity measures.
The day began with a great presentation by Felicia Jones of Healthy African American Families and Dr. Michael Ong from UCLA about Community Partners in Care (CPIC). Jones and Ong described how CPIC was a partnership between community and academic partners to develop strategies to reduce the burden of depression in vulnerable communities, particularly South Los Angeles and Hollywood/Metro Los Angeles.
Our spring convening series, Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California, continued today in Fresno, as health advocates gathered to discuss the most pressing health needs for communities of color in the Central Valley. Like our Oakland convening on Tuesday, this event focused on three key areas: behavioral health integration, considering equity when improving the quality of care, and Health for All efforts to expand access to coverage for everyone regardless of immigration status.
Jennifer Torres from Clinica Sierra Vista started things off by discussing ongoing efforts to integrate behavioral health services with primary care services at community health clinics in Kern and Fresno Counties. She pointed to some initial challenges with assimilating behavioral health into the culture of community health clinics, but also noted that progress has been made.
Updating the bills we've been talking about today: SB 388 (Mitchell), SB 546 (Leno), SB 291 (Lara), and SB 26 (Hernandez) have all passed out of the Senate Health Committee!
Update 3:40 pm
SB 388, authored by Holly Mitchell and sponsored by CPEHN, would require a health insurance plan’s summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) to be translated into non-English languages consistent with California’s existing language access requirements for other vital documents and would require the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to make available translated templates of the SBC on their websites.
Testimony from bill sponsors and supporters showed the importance of reducing language barriers in the health care system. By having access to translated SBCs, patients will have a better understanding of what benefits they receive through their health plans. The bill was heard without opposition.
SB 546, authored by Senator Mark Leno, would add transparency to large group health plans through a rate review process. The rate review would only kick in if the rate increases are higher than the average increases across all the plans being offered. CPEHN and other supporters of the bill point to skyrocketing health care costs in large group plans, particularly in union health plans, as a reason why rate review is necessary. The bill does not include rate regulation provisions, but the transparency that comes with rate review could lead to more public outcry about drastic rate increases.
Today in Oakland, health advocates from across the Bay Area gathered at CPEHN’s spring convening, Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California, to discuss efforts to reduce health inequities in California. The event focused on three priority areas: efforts to expand access to health care to all Californians regardless of immigration status (Health for All), including equity in efforts to improve quality of care, and the integration of behavioral and primary health care services.
After an introductory presentation from CPEHN’s Cary Sanders on the current state of coverage, quality, and behavioral health integration, we shifted to local speakers. The first, Jazmin Segura from Educators for Fair Consideration, spoke about the importance of expanding health care to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. She noted that thanks to the recent executive order by President Barack Obama, many immigrants receiving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are now considered Permanent Residents Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) and are thus eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal if they meet the income requirements. However, years of distrust in the system has combined with pervasive misinformation to keep DACA-eligible immigrants from signing up for Medi-Cal, either because they don’t know they are eligible or because they are afraid of future repercussions.
Segura then discussed current efforts to extend health coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. She noted that Senator Ricardo Lara’s SB 4 Health for All Act is “the next great fight for immigrant rights organizations” and noted that for it to pass through the legislature, it will need help from advocates across the state.
We’re less than a week away from the start of our spring convening series. Starting next Tuesday in Oakland, we’ll be hosting four exciting events, Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California, to examine the future of health equity in California now that the state has fully implemented the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act.
Focus on Equity will take a look at some of the most pressing issues impacting the health of California’s communities of color. Participants will hear experts discuss Health for All efforts to expand health coverage to all Californians regardless of immigration status. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the integration of behavioral and physical health care and how we can incorporate equity when working to improve health care quality.
If you attend you’ll also find out how you can educate your community members and empower them to take action on these important issues. There’s still time to register, so sign up today!
Oakland – April 21, 2015 9:30 am to 2:00 pm Nile Hall, Preservation Park 668 13th Street Co-hosts: ACCESS Women's Health Justice, Asian Health Services, California Immigrant Policy Center, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Young Invincibles Register for Oakland
Fresno – April 23, 2015 9:30 am to 2:00 pm Fresno Downtown Business Hub 1444 Fulton Street Co-hosts: California Immigrant Policy Center, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño, Centro La Familia Register for Fresno
Over 3.5 million Californians have enrolled in new coverage options since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), yet persistent health disparities remain among communities of color, immigrants, and Limited English Proficient populations. Join CPEHN and our partners for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California, as we highlight opportunities to advance equity in 2015 and beyond. Topics will include:
Health for All: There will be updates on the progress of SB 4 (Lara), the Health for All Act, and we will feature why it’s necessary to ensure that all Californians can access health coverage, regardless of immigration status. There will also be information on how you can take action and have your voice be heard in support of SB 4 and other efforts to improve access to health coverage for immigrants across the state.
Integration of behavioral health in primary care: We will hear about why treating behavioral health and physical health in an integrated manner will help improve care in both fields.
The importance of equity in measuring the quality of health care: While the health care system approach to quality is focused on the “triple aim” of population health, patient experience, and costs, we will show why it’s necessary to include a fourth aim: equity.
Our convenings are interactive events that allow participants to participate in important health policy discussions. We’ll feature important policy proposals and how our communities can mobilize in support of them. We value the opportunity to travel throughout the state and hear different perspectives on all the critical health issues impacting California’s communities of color. It’d be great if you can join us and share your thoughts!