California Healthline: New Payment Reforms, Shared-Savings Initiatives Could Be Part of Waiver Plan

by David Gorn,

tate health officials have big plans for next year.

The five-year “Bridge to Reform” federal 1115 Medicaid waiver expires at the end of October 2015 and state officials announced an ambitious lineup of new programs that could take its place.

The waiver program ideas are built on the concept of shared savings, which could reduce programmatic costs and allow savings to be split between federal and state coffers.

Those potentially large new programs would need to be submitted to CMS well in advance of the waiver expiration — most likely in early 2015, according to officials at the Department of Health Care Services.

DHCS officials, who said they need to act immediately, held their first stakeholder meeting on the subject last week. “Several hundred” stakeholders joined that meeting on relatively short notice, said Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director of health care programs at DHCS.   

“The Bridge to Reform waiver was a successful waiver for us,” Cantwell said.

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