California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM): Behavioral Health Proposals

NAMI California is proud to be collaborating with other state health leaders for California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), a multi-year initiative for California’s Medi-Cal program, sponsored by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

With the state’s current Section 1115 and 1915(b) waivers expiring in 2020, DHCS developed the CalAIM initiative to set the course for a broader Medi-Cal delivery system.

Workgroup discussions are taking place between November 2019 and February 2020, and our CEO, Jessica Cruz, is on the Behavioral Health Workgroup as a committee member.

The primary goals of CalAIM are to identify and manage member risk and need through Whole Person Care approaches and addressing Social Determinants of Health; move Medi-Cal to a more consistent and seamless system by reducing complexity and increasing flexibility; and improve quality outcomes and drive delivery system transformation through value-based initiatives, modernization of systems and payment reform. 

On October 29, 2019, DHCS released its initial CalAIM proposal, which was presented to the DHCS Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and Behavioral Health Stakeholder Advisory Committee (BH-SAC). DHCS intends to conduct extensive stakeholder engagement for both CalAIM and the renewal of the California’s Section 1115 and 1915(b) waivers. 

 According to DHCS, the CalAIM behavioral health proposals are intended to invest in and improve access to mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, as well as improve health outcomes and coordination across delivery systems. DHCS is exploring four (4) key behavioral health proposals as part of the CalAIM initiative, which are detailed in our summary.