Addressing Health Care Access in Sonoma County -- 2007-08

Addressing Health Care Access
in Sonoma County-- 2007-08
Presentation at Sonoma State
March 3, 2007
Gil Ojeda, Director
CA Program on Access to Care
University of California
Office of the President
Point of View
35 years in health care delivery and
Past national, state-level and community
Advisor to the Legislature and the
University; past advisor to community
groups and public HMO’s
Analyst in the health sciences, public
policy and the competitive marketplace
Resident of Sonoma County since 1995
Elements of California’s
Health Care Marketplace
Regional market issues: “most health care is
local & regional”
Rural & urban imperatives: “most problems &
their solutions are situational”
Public & private sector roles: “there’s a fabric
of relationships & conflicts; dialogue is key”
Regulation vs. market competition:
“continuum from the prison to the jungle to
the game preserve”
Delivery of care & the public’s health: “driven
by demand, but limited by resources”
Diversity & Age: “California’s minorities &
the aged often generate program imperatives”
The Art of Public Solutions
Allocation of public resources :
“driven by public budgets, private
roles, profits & political advantage”
Relative power of constituency
groups: “health plans, providers,
employers & healthcare advocates”
The Governor & the Legislature: “the
Governor is now the leading player
since he has acted”
Natural allies & strategic partners:
“must be guided by common goals,
opportunities, and intentionality”
Federal Support: the Post Nov ‘06
Change in Posture to ABC:
“Anything but California”
Coming debates on Medicaid & Children’s
Health Insurance (S-CHIP): “funding
authorizations, overlapping mandates & a
rush to reduce entitlements”
Changes to Medicare: “proposed rate
reductions, prescription drugs plans, & the
shift to managed care”
Access to care for underserved: “more
community clinic support, higher
likelihood of direct support for uninsured”
The Coming Storm?
California’s Leading Edge
Healthcare Issues
Increasing cost of employer based coverage: “increased
premium inflation, economic slowdown, expanded self
& temporary employment”
6.5 million uninsured: “is increasing again; public
solutions being debated”
Ethnicity and income-driven disparities: “California’s
diversity & the unemployed as key factors in health
Managed care/HMO’s: “Many are doing well by
avoiding risk & competition; in a balancing act for
State collaboration and oversight”
Physicians and hospitals-at-risk: “lower
reimbursements, higher financial risks, system
Nursing and specialist shortages: “still out of control,
worsened by recent policies; few short-term, some
long-term solutions”
State budget deficits: “last year & this year, may
compromise efforts to expand coverage to millions of
Health Care Reforms:
County Roles in Expanding
Healthy Kids programs implemented
throughout state including in this county
Board appointed task force considering
stand-alone or multi-county options for
managing all Medi-Cal enrollees
Sutter inpatient closure places current
County indigent care arrangements in
jeopardy. Can Memorial Hospital step up?
Continued loss of physicians from county
jeopardizes any efforts to preserve or expand
health care coverage.
State level, “shared pain”, effort to bring
local low & middle income uninsured,
including undocumented, under coverage has
chance for passage in 2007-08. Will county's
public and private sectors be ready?
Cooperative dialogue among the various
sectors, including Kaiser Health Plan, offers
best hope for county's successful expansion
under framework of new state reform plan
Considerations as We Go
What part of the problem are we
trying to fix OR do we think we can
fix it all?
Who are the natural institutional allies
for health care reforms or are
consumers, employers & other health
care advocates ready to go it alone?
What can we do locally in the short
How can we leverage State &
federally mandated changes?