Report 2018-122 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-122: Department of Health Care Services: It Has Not Ensured That Medi-Cal Beneficiaries in Some Rural Counties Have Reasonable Access to Care (Release Date: August 2019)

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Recommendations to Health Care Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that beneficiaries in Regional Model counties have adequate access to care, DHCS should identify by August 2020 the locations requiring additional providers and the types of providers required. It should also develop strategies for recruiting and retaining providers in those locations. If it requires additional funding to complete this assessment or to implement actions to address its findings, DHCS should determine the amounts it needs and request that funding from the Legislature.

2

To obtain assurance that health plans throughout the State exhaust all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements before requesting alternative access standards, DHCS should immediately develop written guidance that specifies the conditions under which staff should approve, deny, or contact health plans for clarification regarding their alternative access standard requests.

3

To obtain assurance that health plans throughout the State exhaust all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements before requesting alternative access standards, DHCS should immediately determine a specific minimum number of providers that health plans must attempt to contract with before requesting an alternative access standard.

4

To obtain assurance that health plans throughout the State exhaust all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements before requesting alternative access standards, DHCS should immediately require health plans to report on their attempts to contract with providers when submitting their alternative access standard requests, including providing evidence of their efforts, such as the contract information for each provider with which they have attempted to contract.

5

To obtain assurance that health plans throughout the State exhaust all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements before requesting alternative access standards, DHCS should immediately establish a process for periodically verifying the health plans' efforts, such as contacting a sample of the listed providers and determining whether the plans attempted to contract with them.

6

To obtain assurance that health plans throughout the State exhaust all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements before requesting alternative access standards, DHCS should immediately require health plans to authorize out-of-network care if they do not demonstrate they have exhausted all of their reasonable options to meet the access requirements, unless the health plans can demonstrate that closer providers are demanding unreasonably high rates or have documented deficiencies in quality of care.

7

To ensure that it promptly and sufficiently notifies counties and other stakeholders about health plans' quality of care deficiencies, DHCS should immediately post its medical audit reports to its website within one month after it issues the reports to the health plans.

8

To ensure that it promptly and sufficiently notifies counties and other stakeholders about health plans' quality of care deficiencies, DHCS should immediately include information about its recently published medical audit reports and other monitoring efforts in its communication with counties and other stakeholders on its mailing list.

9

To ensure that it promptly and sufficiently notifies counties and other stakeholders about health plans' quality of care deficiencies, DHCS should immediately ensure that relevant county officials are included on its mailing list.

10

To ensure that all counties are aware of the managed care model options available to them and of the steps necessary to implement those models, DHCS should provide by December 2019 information to all counties that clearly defines each managed care model and the steps and legal requirements needed to establish each model.

11

To ensure that it makes informed decisions regarding the extension or renewal of its contracts with managed care health plans, DHCS should immediately begin the practice of requesting annual feedback from the counties that the health plans serve and of using that feedback in its decision-making process.

12

To ensure that beneficiaries in the Regional Model counties have reasonable access to care, DHCS should determine by June 2020 the specific causes of Anthem's and Health & Wellness's inabilities to provide reasonable access to care in the Regional Model counties.

13

To ensure that beneficiaries in the Regional Model counties have reasonable access to care, DHCS should evaluate by June 2020 whether the structural characteristics of a COHS Model would be better suited to providing reasonable access to care in the Regional Model counties and notify the counties whether a COHS would improve beneficiaries' access to care. If some or all of these counties desire to transition to a COHS, DHCS should assist them in making that change after their current contracts expire.

14

To ensure that beneficiaries in the Regional Model counties have reasonable access to care, DHCS should evaluate by June 2020 whether it has the financial resources to provide assistance to counties interested in establishing a COHS or other managed care model after the current Regional Model contracts expire. If DHCS does not have the required financial resources, it should seek an appropriate amount of funding from the Legislature.

15

To ensure that beneficiaries in the Regional Model counties have reasonable access to care, DHCS should provide these counties by June 2020 with reasonable opportunities to decide whether to change their managed care models after the expiration of the Regional Model health plan contracts. DHCS should provide counties that choose to do so sufficient time to establish their new models. DHCS should also include language in its 2020 RFP to allow Regional Model counties that can demonstrate their ability to implement a COHS Model in their county by 2023 to opt out of the RFP process.



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