CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Policy Priorities for 2021
To advance an
equitable and anti-racist health care delivery system, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates
commits to a policy platform that elevates the mission of California’s
community health centers and reduces racial health disparities existing in the
communities they serve.
that COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine distribution recognizes the
higher burden of the disease in
disproportionately impacted communities – including Black, Asian and Pacific
Islander, Indigenous and Latinx persons – and places those groups at the center
of COVID-19 response and recovery.
and Access for All
pandemic significantly impacted the state’s fiscal health, risking years of
progress in expanding health care coverage, and the health of communities at
highest risk of COVID-19 exposure, transmission, and death, at a time when
access is needed most.
Grant every Californian the right to comprehensive health care coverage,
regardless of immigration status.
Maintain current telehealth access, including telephonic care,
to meet the comprehensive health needs of all persons and communities
while providing patients and providers with the necessary resources to
utilize virtual care by closing the digital divide.
Stand with consumer advocates to strengthen outreach and
enrollment retention systems to support those recently unemployed,
uninsured, and experiencing housing insecurities, in accessing programs of
Ensure that Medi-Cal changes, such as the
Medi-Cal pharmacy benefits transition, causes no harm to community clinics and health centers, the broader
safety-net, or the patients they serve.
Strengthen the behavioral health delivery system through improved provision,
integration, and coordination of mental health and substance use disorder
services in the primary care setting while also allocating the resources
needed to do this work.
Advance and protect the
Medi-Cal dental benefit while enhancing oral health innovations.
Support coordinated care and health services provided outside a clinic’s four walls to
special patient populations including homeless or farmworkers.
COVID-19 laid bare California’s worsening workforce
gaps. COVID-19 is taking a toll on the mental and physical well-being of care
teams and impacts workforce pipeline that further undermine health and economic
stability of predominately Black, immigrant, and rural communities.
Work with state and federal partners,
including HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce, to counter the shortage of
healthcare providers and promote a workforce reflecting patients’ diverse
race and ethnicity, culture, and language by securing funding for residency,
training, and loan repayment programs for nurse practitioners,
physicians assistants, physicians, and behavioral health professionals.
Support the next generation of providers
through improving provider licensing and connecting health care
workforce trainees to community health centers.
Advocate for training programs and
resources that address racial and implicit bias in healthcare.
Identify and promote educational,
retention, and leadership strategies to diversify health center leaders
that are committed to creating an antiracist health care delivery system.
Explore opportunities to expand workforce
training programs in community colleges and occupational advancements for
allied health workforce, including medical assistants and community health
Center Viability that Values Community, Recognizes Racial Disparities, and
Addresses Social Determinants
centers are facing a perilous fiscal future that undermines COVID-19 response
and will stifle equitable economic recovery and increase health gaps across
Support federal funding strategies that guarantee the viability of
community clinics and health centers.
Strive for payment modernization that recognizes the role of every care
team member, allows health centers to provide culturally and linguistically competent care, and addresses
social determinants of health.
Advocate for equitable and transparent reimbursement policies and the
application of those policies in a standardized and timely fashion.
Improve the quality and delivery of care
by promoting healthcare innovations that center on Value-based Payment and shared
Continue to address health center operational challenges,
including FQHC program requirements, licensing and building standard
requirements, and Medi-Cal regulations that impact CHC success today
and into the future.
This pandemic, as well as climate change, has
worsened long standing racial inequities in education, housing, transportation,
food access and other social determinants of health. Intentional policy efforts
will be needed to right these wrongs and health centers must empower their
patients while guaranteeing they are at the center of solutions.
Promote policies that recognize racism as
a public health crisis.
Building on Census 2020 and My Vote. My
Health. campaigns, we commit to expand staff and patient advocacy and
support policies that promote civic engagement.
Support programs, policies, and data
collection systems that promote health equity and build capacity to
measure and address health disparities across racial and linguistic lines.
Support programs and policies that advance
equity in education, food access, housing, income, and
Prepare communities to be resilient in the
face of increasing impacts of climate change – wildfires and extreme heat
events - and support equitable distribution of state and federal resources
to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.