CHA News Article

DHCS to Conduct Webinar on Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs Concept Paper
Will address stakeholder comments submitted on its proposal

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will conduct a webinar July 23 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on its Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs California Concept Paper Version 2.0. DHCS will address stakeholder comments submitted on its proposal and provide answers to frequently asked questions. The paper is an update of the initial DHCS proposal, released in November 2014. The Affordable Care Act allows states to create Medicaid health homes to coordinate the full range of physical health, behavioral health and community-based, long-term services and supports needed by Medicaid members with chronic conditions.

Federal matching funds are available for two years at 90 percent. If the plan is implemented in California, The California Endowment has committed to funding the remaining 10 percent (up to $25 million per year) required for the additional services for the same two-year period. AB 361 (Chapter 642, Statutes of 2013) authorized California to submit a state plan amendment (SPA) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), subject to several conditions, including cost neutrality and an evaluation after the first two years. To register for the webinar, visit the online registration site.

DHCS’ guiding principles for this initiative are to improve care coordination; integrate palliative care into primary care delivery; strengthen community links with health homes; strengthen team-based care, including use of community health workers, promotores and other frontline workers; improve the health outcomes of individuals with high-risk chronic diseases; and avoid reportable net cost within two years.

In its revised concept paper, DHCS has outlined its thinking on the following key components of the initiative: eligibility criteria (including the target population, acuity and eligible criteria selection data analysis); health home services (comprehensive care management, care coordination and health promotion, comprehensive transitional care, individual and family support services, referral to community and social supports, and use of health information technology and exchange to link services); the health home infrastructure; Medi-Cal managed care plan requirements; community-based care management entity requirements; beneficiary assignment; additional program elements and timeline; current status of implementation; program evaluation; and stakeholder engagement prior to the state’s submission of its SPA. DHCS anticipates submitting its SPA to CMS in August.

The DHCS concept paper is attached. Also attached are comments DHCS received on the concept paper. For more information on the Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs initiative, visit