Welcome to the first issue of LHPC Works, a publication dedicated to providing information and insights about the issues confronting California’s local health plans and the priorities they are working on to provide high quality, accessible health care coverage for millions of Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). The local plans’ story began nearly 50 years ago with one county’s vision of creating a health plan directly connected and accountable to its community. Other communities followed suit, bringing California’s Medi-Cal managed care delivery system to the distinguished place it is today – served by the largest community of not-for-profit, public health plans in the nation.
In 1973, Contra Costa Health Plan began enrolling Medi-Cal patients, making it the first county-sponsored health plan in California and the first federally qualified county sponsored health plan in the nation. In the years that followed, 35 counties created 15 more local health plans to ensure Medi-Cal beneficiaries have access to health care through mission-driven, publicly accountable health plans. Today, California’s 16 local health plans serve 70 percent of Medi-Cal patients enrolled in a health plan and continue to lead the way in providing quality health care to millions of Californians.
Recognizing that a collaborative effort would yield even stronger results, a group of visionary local plan leaders formed LHPC more than 25 years ago. LHPC now represents all local health plans – local initiatives and county organized health systems alike – and touts a strong track record of managed care advocacy and policy expertise in Sacramento.
Publicly available reports show that local health plans have low administrative costs and among the highest quality scores in the state, outperforming their commercial counterparts 85% of the time. When Medi-Cal beneficiaries select a health plan, on average 80% choose the local health plan. This type of success is possible because local plans are aligned with their community, member, and non-profit oriented missions creating better health outcomes throughout California.
Our most recent initiative, the LHPC Institute, is a forward-thinking series of classes and forums for LHPC members to learn from experts, share best practices and work together to solve problems. The LHPC Institute is a beacon of the local plan community’s commitment to excellence, innovation and collaboration.
I am proud of local plans’ history of service and success and honored to lead an organization representing health plans with an uncompromising commitment to improving the health of Californians.
Brianna Lierman, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer