On January 10, Governor Newsom released the 2022-23 State Budget proposal, which includes key investments for the Medi-Cal program and support for the health care workforce. The Administration also outlined an important process to strengthen public health care system financing. Below are CAPH’s priority areas for the 2022-23 State Budget:
Public Hospital Financing Reform
Over the next few years, California’s public health care systems are facing a growing funding crisis. Without changes to Medi-Cal and uninsured payments for public health systems, including additional state funding and a decrease in the burden of our self-financing structure, public health care systems could face a $2B annual deficit by 2026. The language in the Governor’s January budget to reform public hospital Medi-Cal payments recognizes the vital role they play in the state’s safety net and the importance of preserving access to high quality, culturally appropriate care for millions of Californians. Read more.
Related to above, CAPH, along with the California Hospital Association, are calling for changes to Medi-Cal fee-for-service inpatient reimbursement, including conversion to a value-based structure for public health care systems with State General Fund. Read more.
The budget proposal includes $2.8 billion for the upcoming fiscal year to implement CalAIM, a multi-year initiative that aims to integrate Medi-Cal services more seamlessly with other social services and provide a more holistic approach to care for those with complex care needs. CAPH is partnering with the State on this critical effort, which builds upon Whole Person Care pilots led by public health care systems and counties over the last six years.
In recognition of the critical role telehealth has played over the past two years in expanding access to care in the Medi-Cal program, the Administration proposes to continue the coverage of both video and audio-only telehealth services on a permanent basis, across provider types, and at payment parity to in-person services.
The health care workforce is in an extreme shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused trauma, stress, exhaustion and burnout for health care providers, causing many to retire early, seek nonpatient care roles, or switch professions altogether. The $1.7 billion package proposed by the Administration would support training and pipeline programs, reduce barriers to health care careers, and help develop a culturally and ethnically inclusive workforce. Read our letter of support and coalition statement.
To help ensure training opportunities for medical students, we are asking the Administration to support a proposal to increase funding for the State’s graduate medical education (GME) program. Public health care systems play a central role in medical education. They train more than half of all new doctors in the state, ensuring that Californians can access the care they deserve. The proposal would provide public health care systems with state General Fund to replace the self-financed dollars spent currently to fund the program and expand the GME program to include all eligible hospitals. Read more.
Public health care systems play a critical, often lifesaving, role in serving the uninsured. CAPH supports the Governor’s historic investment to cover all income-eligible people in the Medi-Cal program, regardless of immigration status.