On behalf of Anne McLeod, President and CEO of Private Essential Access Community Hospitals (PEACH):
We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s investment in the behavioral health of the children and youth of our state. California’s community safety net hospitals provide 40% of pediatric and adolescent inpatient mental health services statewide. This investment comes at a critical time as we have the opportunity to intervene to mitigate the next wave of this pandemic, and that is the behavioral healthcare crisis.
We are also pleased to see the Governor taking action to mitigate the far-reaching impact of homelessness. To that end, we appreciate the Governor’s commitment to improve health equity in the Medi-Cal program through innovative approaches aligned with the Cal-AIM framework. While the Cal-AIM proposal establishes new benefits to address issues surrounding homelessness, Cal-AIM does not start until calendar year 2022 and only then covers those beneficiaries enrolled in Medi-Cal Managed Care, leaving out those beneficiaries who remain in the Medi-Cal Fee-for-Service delivery system.
We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature in the coming weeks to ensure California’s private safety net hospitals have the resources to help tackle the social complexities of caring for our homeless patient populations to ensure this vulnerable population does not get left behind.
Ultimately, health equity cannot be achieved until there is equity in the distribution of resources to communities that need the most support and investment.
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