California Healthline: One Waiver Down, One More To Go?

by David Gorn

With its current waiver, California successfully expanded Medi-Cal, its Medicaid program, and launched the dual eligibles demonstration project. That federal-state agreement — known as a Section 1115 waiver — is due to expire in October 2015, but that doesn’t mean the state is done with it.

State health officials have formulated a new plan, a multifaceted proposal for payment and delivery system reforms under a new federal waiver they hope will be ready to start when the current one ends. They plan to submit the new proposal to CMS in February.

The current waiver deals in large part with enrollment issues. The new proposal takes the next step by focusing on changing the health care delivery system, according to Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director of health care programs at the Department of Health Care Services, which oversees Medi-Cal.  

“The goal is to transform the way we pay for care,” Cantwell said.

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