California has hit some snags in its yearlong effort to move 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities into Medi-Cal managed care coverage, according to the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF). From June 2011 to May 2012, 240,000 people were moved from fee-for-service coverage into managed care. Beneficiaries had trouble reading materials and were confused about how to request temporary exemptions from the managed care mandate. Providers did not get patient information in a timely fashion and health plans had difficulty recruiting fee-for-service providers.
It was impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of the transition since performance goals were not established at the outset. The CHCF suggests establishing longer planning periods, more communication with beneficiaries, better provider outreach, and quality improvement benchmarks when moving additional populations into Medi-Cal managed care. For more information, visit www.chcf.org.