Report 2018-111 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-111: Department of Health Care Services: Millions of Children in Medi-Cal Are Not Receiving Preventive Health Services (Release Date: March 2019)

Recommendations to Health Care Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To increase access to preventive health services for children in areas where they are needed most, DHCS should identify by September 2019 where more providers who see children are needed and propose to the Legislature funding increases to recruit more providers in these areas.

Will Not Implement

To ensure that children in Medi-Cal have access to all of the preventive services for which they are eligible, DHCS should modify by May 2019 its contracts to make it clear to plans and providers that they are required to provide services according to Bright Futures.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that eligible children and their families know about all the preventive services they are entitled to through Medi-Cal, DHCS should include by May 2019 clearer and more comprehensive information about those services in its written materials and by September 2019 ensure annual follow-up with any children and their families who have not used those services.

Partially Implemented

To improve access and utilization rates, DHCS should establish by March 2020 performance measures that cover Bright Futures services through well-child visits for all age groups, and require plans to track and report the utilization rates on those measures.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that health plans and providers are adequately delivering children's preventive services, DHCS should implement by September 2019 audit procedures through its annual medical audits that address the delivery of EPSDT services to all eligible children for all plans annually.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that plans address underutilization of children's preventive services, DHCS should require plans by September 2019 to use their utilization management programs to identify barriers to usage specifically for these services and hold the plans accountable to address the barriers they identify.

Partially Implemented

To better ensure the accuracy of its data and ensure that California receives all available federal Medicaid funding, DHCS should require its EQRO to perform its encounter data validation studies annually using the most recent set of data available, and it should implement recommendations from its EQRO studies.

Partially Implemented

To ensure that plan provider directories are accurate, by September 2019 DHCS should begin using a 95 percent confidence level and not more than a 10 percent margin of error on its statistical sampling tool and should require at least 95 percent accuracy before approving a plan's provider directory. In addition, DHCS should ensure that its staff adhere to its policy to retain all documentation related to its review of provider directories for at least three years.

Partially Implemented

To mitigate health disparities for children of differing ethnic backgrounds and language needs, DHCS should revise by September 2019 the methodology for its EQRO's health disparity study to enable it to better make demographic comparisons, and it should use the findings to drive targeted interventions within plan service areas. It should publish this study annually.

Partially Implemented

To ensure that plans are effectively mitigating child health disparities in their service area, DHCS should implement by September 2019 a policy to require the plans to take action on the most significant findings cited in their group needs assessment reports, and to regularly follow up with the plans to ensure they have addressed the findings.

Fully Implemented

To help increase utilization rates, DHCS should begin by September 2019 to monitor and identify effective incentive programs at the plan level and share the results with all plans.

Partially Implemented

To improve the usefulness of its PDSA process, DHCS should implement by September 2019 a process to share the results of successful strategies with all plans and require plans to share these results with providers who could benefit from them.

Fully Implemented

To improve its ability to ensure that children are receiving recommended preventive health services, DHCS should create by September 2019 an action plan to annually address the EQRO's recommendations relating to children's preventive services, including recommendations left unaddressed from the previous two years' reports.

Partially Implemented

To maximize the benefits of the studies it commissions from its EQRO, DHCS should ensure that by September 2019 the EQRO's annual reports include an assessment of the actions plans have taken to address the EQRO's prior-year recommendations.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status

To improve children's access to preventive health services, the Legislature should amend state law to direct DHCS to modify its criteria for evaluating plans' alternative access standards requests to include not only whether plans' efforts were reasonable but also whether the resulting times and distances are reasonable to expect a Medi-Cal beneficiary to travel.

Legislation Enacted

To improve children's access to preventive health services, the Legislature should amend state law to require any plan unable to meet the criteria for time and distance access standards to allow its affected members to obtain services outside of the plan's network.

No Action Taken

To improve children's access to preventive health services, the Legislature should amend state law to direct DHCS to require plans to inform members allowed to obtain services outside of the plan's network that they may do so.

No Action Taken

To improve children's access to preventive health services, the Legislature should amend state law to require plans unable to meet the criteria for time and distance access standards to assist members in locating a suitable out-of-network provider.

No Action Taken

To improve the health of California's children, the Legislature should direct DHCS to implement financial incentives, such as a pay-for-performance program, designed to help ensure that plans are more consistently providing preventive services to children in Medi-Cal. To the extent DHCS can demonstrate that additional funding is necessary to operate such a program, the Legislature should increase funding specifically for that purpose.

Legislation Introduced

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