Dr. Pan Lauds Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for Establishing Health Authority to Better Serve More than 425,000 Sacramento Residents Enrolled in Medi-Cal

December 15, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan today that will establish a health authority in Sacramento County to improve oversight of quality, cost and access to Medi-Cal services.

“Sacramento residents deserve to have a say over their Medi-Cal health plans which cover a third of people who live in Sacramento County,” said Dr. Richard Pan, pediatrician and State Senator representing the Sacramento region. “I want to thank the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for their unanimous support, and Sacramento County Health Director Peter Beilenson, the Sierra Health Foundation, and the many individuals who have come together to provide Sacramento residents with the health care they need.”

Over the last year, a broad range of local stakeholders came together to address concerns with Sacramento’s Medi-Cal managed care program and develop a number of recommendations, including giving Sacramento residents a voice in their own Medi-Cal system. Dr. Pan helped create an opportunity to re-examine the County’s Medi-Cal system by utilizing his background as both a physician and his leadership position as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health.

Last week, Dr. Pan presented the plan to the Board of Supervisors and asked the Board to approve a county health authority to oversee Medi-Cal services in Sacramento County. With today’s vote of the Board of Supervisors approving the plan, the health authority will be governed by a commission composed of a broad range of stakeholders to address issues in Medi-Cal and provide oversight over the delivery of services.

In 1981, California began licensing different models of managed care to deliver services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries in different counties. Since 1992, Sacramento County has operated as a geographic managed care (GMC) county, which allows many Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCP) to operate within the county to provide services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Currently, the State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) contracts on behalf of Sacramento County, with five commercial MCPs directly for the delivery of services to more than 425,000 Sacramento County residents enrolled in Medi-Cal.

“Since the state imposed the geographic managed care system over Sacramento’s Medi-Cal program, we have rarely had a say in our own Medi-Cal plans, unlike almost all other counties in the State,” added Dr. Pan. 

Medi-Cal enrollees have long expressed frustration with fragmented and uncoordinated care.  While health care providers and social service organizations have been frustrated in the unnecessary difficulties in navigating and coordinating care with MCPs that have their own processes and paperwork requirements.

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