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By Laura Mahoney
Jan. 4 — Federal officials gave final approval Dec. 30 to a $6.2 billion, five-year waiver for California's Medicaid program through which the state plans to overhaul payments and care delivery for uninsured and Medicaid patients.
The new Section 1115 waiver will be in place until Dec. 31, 2020, with four key elements, according to a Dec. 30 letter from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:
According to a Dec. 30 announcement from the California Department of Health Care Services, the Medi-Cal 2020 waiver contains the overall construct announced at the end of October (212 HCDR 212, 11/3/15), with $6.2 billion in initial federal funding and the potential for more funding in the global payment program after the initial assessment is completed.
Anthony Wright, executive director of consumer advocacy group Health Access, said the waiver should spur innovation at the local level.
“We expect an explosion of activity locally, as counties take advantage of the funding opportunities and work to revamp their safety-nets and set up pilot projects on integrating human services,” Wright said in a Dec. 30 statement.
California originally asked for $17 billion in federal funds in its waiver application submitted in March, but the total was slashed after the CMS rejected California's request to share savings the state's Medicaid improvements would bring by giving those savings back to the state. Instead, the waiver contains only elements that have state and local funding elements alongside federal spending.
To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Mahoney in Sacramento, Calif., at email@example.com
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