Report 2019-105 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 2019-105: Childhood Lead Levels: Millions of Children in Medi-Cal Have Not Received Required Testing for Lead Poisoning (Release Date: January 2020)
|Recommendations to Health Care Services, Department of|
Because of the severe and potentially permanent damage that lead poisoning can cause in children, DHCS should ensure that all children in Medi-Cal receive lead tests by finalizing, by December 2020, its performance standard for lead testing of one- and two-year-olds. DHCS should use its existing data to assess the progress of managed care plans in meeting that performance standard and impose sanctions or provide incentive payments as appropriate to improve performance.
To ensure that families know about the lead testing services that their children are entitled to receive, DHCS should send a reminder to get a lead test for children who missed required tests. It should send this reminder in the required annual notification it is developing to send to families of children who have not used preventive services over the course of a year.
To increase California's lead testing rates and improve lead test reporting, DHCS should, by no later than June 2020, incorporate into its contracts with managed care plans a requirement for the plans to identify each month all children with no record of receiving a required test and remind the responsible health care providers of the requirement to test the children. DHCS should also develop and implement a procedure to hold plans accountable for meeting this requirement.
|Recommendations to Legislature|
To provide sufficient information to homebuyers and renters, the Legislature should require CDPH, by December 2021, to provide an online lead information registry that allows the public to determine the lead inspection and abatement status for properties. To accomplish this task, CDPH should use the information it already maintains only to the extent that it can ensure that it does not make personally identifying information, including medical information, public.
To support CDPH's efforts to efficiently monitor lead test results, the Legislature should amend state law to require that laboratories report Medi-Cal identification numbers or equivalent identification numbers with all lead test results.
To ensure that CDPH can contact the families of children with lead poisoning and has alternative information to match lead tests to the children's records that do not have unique identification numbers, the Legislature should amend state law to require laboratories to report phone numbers and addresses with all lead test results.
|Recommendations to Public Health, Department of|
To identify the highest priority areas for using resources to alleviate lead exposure among children, CDPH should immediately complete and publicize an analysis of high-risk areas throughout the State.
To ensure that local prevention programs' outreach results in a reduced number of children with lead poisoning, CDPH should, by December 2020, require local prevention programs to demonstrate the effectiveness of their outreach in meeting this goal. If the local prevention programs are unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of their outreach in reducing the number of children with lead poisoning, CDPH should analyze the cost-effectiveness of other approaches, including proactive abatement, and require the local prevention programs to replace or augment outreach to the extent resources allow.
To offset the cost of mitigating lead exposure in the highest-risk areas of the State, CDPH should seek out and apply for additional lead prevention funding as funding opportunities become available from CDC, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and CMS. To the extent necessary, CDPH should enter into a memorandum of understanding with DHCS to apply for and obtain this funding
To better hold local prevention programs accountable for performing required activities, CDPH should, by June 2020, conduct direct oversight through site visits for each of the local prevention programs, and it should ensure that it continues to do so at least once per contract cycle. In addition, CDPH should use the local prevention programs' biannual progress reports to assess local prevention programs' performance and provide feedback on their strengths and shortcomings.
To better ensure that children with lead poisoning are identified and treated, CDPH should prioritize meeting legislative requirements related to these issues, including doing the following by March 2020: Finish developing the lead risk evaluation regulations and include in them multiple risk factors, such as those used in lead risk evaluation questionnaires in other states. It should also commence the formal rulemaking process.
To better ensure that children with lead poisoning are identified and treated, CDPH should prioritize meeting legislative requirements related to these issues, including doing the following by March 2020: Provide guidance to health care providers about the risks of childhood lead exposure and statutory requirements related to lead testing.
To ensure a more equitable distribution of resources for treating children with lead poisoning, CDPH should, by June 2020, update its methodology for allocating funds to local prevention programs, including accounting for the most recent annual count of children with lead poisoning in each jurisdiction. CDPH should revise the allocations before each contract cycle.