Dooley Discusses State of Health Reform in California
During the "Health for Tomorrow" conference at UC-San Francisco, Diana Dooley -- secretary of California's Department of Health and Human Services and chair of the Covered California board -- discussed the challenges and successes of implementing health reform in the state, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
In an interview during the conference, Dooley said it is too soon to determine whether the Affordable Care Act has been successful. She noted California had strong enrollment through its insurance exchange, but added, "We're not absolutely good; we're relatively good" compared with other states' enrollment numbers.
Dooley also said that changes called for under the ACA -- including coverage expansion, payment and delivery reforms, and prevention and wellness initiatives -- have prompted "disruptive innovation" in the health care industry. The changes mean that officials "can't completely predict what the result is going to be," she said.
Officials now are focusing on expanding provider networks, but Dooley said, "It's going to take us a couple years at least to settle into a different relationship between the doctors, the plans, the hospitals and the referral systems for care."
However, she added that many plans already have begun to expand their networks and some providers are renegotiating with exchange health plans after "seeing how many new lives (are) covered, how many new patients they can get" (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 6/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.