CPCA: Meet To Discuss State’s Safety Net
The California Primary Care Association met last Thursday and Friday to examine public policy impacting the state's community clinics and health centers -- California's safety net care providers. In the keynote address, state Assemblyman Martin Gallegos (D-Baldwin Park) said, "The community clinics and health centers haven't had an easy job, but their role has been very critical to ensuring all Californians have access to health care. It is imperative that we develop policy that strengthens the ability of these clinics to continue to provide vulnerable populations with health care." The CPCA, which represents the state's 275 community clinics and health centers that serve 2.1 million people each year, held the two-day conference to discuss issues currently affecting the state's safety net providers, such as immigration issues that impact community clinics, Medi-Cal managed care implementation, the status of the uninsured and other vulnerable populations and the progress and problems of Healthy Families.
In related news, the CPCA also announced that Gov. Pete Wilson recently signed three bills that "provide more strength to the state's health care safety net."
- SB 687 allocates $3.6 million in restored funding for the Expanded Access to Primary Care program, which predominantly serves working poor adults who have no means to obtain health care coverage. Wilson had previously "blue penciled" this item from the 1998-99 state budget.
- AB 194 enhances the selection criteria for participants in the EAPC program, allowing funding to be steered toward clinics in the greatest need.
- SB 1194 makes federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics more competitive by eliminating administrative barriers for managed care plans that wish to contract with them (CPCA release, 10/2).