Our Blog

(November 30, 2018)

By Hilary Haycock, President, Jennifer Ryan, Vice President and Kevin Wren, Communications and Public Affairs Consultant.

Flu season is upon us and National Influenza Week is starting on December 2nd. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot as the first, and most important, line of defense. Vaccines.gov echoes this sentiment, noting that millions of people get the flu every year, and the seasonal flu vaccine can lower the risk of getting the flu by as much as 50 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) reports that the flu results in over 200,000 hospitalizations and...

(November 1, 2018)

By Allison Valentine, Senior Policy Consultant; Chelsea Kelleher, Senior Policy Consultant; Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy; and Jennifer Ryan, Vice President

The opioid addiction epidemic in our nation continues to be one of the most significant public health crises in recent history, as we have noted in recent blogs. Drug overdose deaths involving opioids have more than tripled in the United States from 2000-2015. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 66 percent of which involved an...

(October 17, 2018)

By Hilary Haycock, President

Navigating the health care system can be confusing for people who havehave both Medicare and Medi-Cal. With so many health plan choices, comparing benefits can be stressful and time-consuming. That’s why The SCAN Foundation, Harbage Consulting, and other partners created the web tool My Care, My Choice to help Californians who are eligible for both programs to discover their...

(September 24, 2018)

By Hilary Haycock, President and Lilly Clements, Junior Policy Consultant

Public programs are notoriously byzantine, and individuals who are trying to navigate across multiple public programs can face serious barriers to getting the care they need. California is one of 13 states operating a “duals demonstration” – or an initiative to provide more integrated care to individuals who have both Medicare and Medi-Cal (Medicaid in California) benefits (known as dual eligibles)....

(August 8, 2018)

By Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy and Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation

The State of California is midway through a five-year effort to dramatically expand, improve, and reorganize Medi-Cal’s system for treating people with a substance use disorder (SUD). Forty California counties are taking part in the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) pilot program under California’s Medicaid Section 1115 waiver, which was approved in 2015 and will run through 2020. ...

(July 22, 2018)

By Bethany Snyder, Director, Outreach and Communications; Tanya Schwartz, Director of Medicaid Policy; and Hilary Haycock, President

On July 1, the California Medicaid program launched its Health Homes Program, which provides a new set of health care services at no cost to beneficiaries with certain chronic health conditions and/or a serious mental illness. San Francisco County is the first county to roll-out the program, with 28 other counties implementing in two phases over the next year...

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications.