From the monthly archives: March 2013

By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors will move forward to create a Local Initiative as part of a Two-Plan model of Medi-Cal Managed Care in Imperial County.

At Tuesday’s meeting Robin Hodgking Director of County Public Health reported that they have remained engaged in planning for the mandated transition of Imperial County form the traditional Medi-Cal free-for-service model to a managed care model of healthcare financing and service delivery. Hodgking said they have worked with Pacific Health Consulting Group to identify a Medi-Cal Managed Care model that would be the most effective and successful in transitioning our unique and challenged health care safety net. The Health Leadership Forum strongly recommends the implementation of what is called a Two-Plan model.

In California there are three models of Medi-Cal Managed Care that have been approved by the California Department of Health Care Services but the County is opting for the Two-Plan Model. The Two-Plan model contains a county-developed public plan called a Local Initiative and a single commercial plan. Both the Local Initiative and the commercial plan contract with the California Department of Health Care Services to operate as health plans within the county. Since the existence of two plans offers a choice to Medi-Cal beneficiaries, it meets federal standards and does not require a federal waiver for implementation. Currently, there are 14 counties who have either individually implemented a Two-Plan model or, through a JPA, created a regional Two-Plan model.

“Since we began researching and planning for this transition back in August of 2012, local control has been recurring priority. We have also needed to balance unique needs of our community with the aggressive timeline called for in the California Budget Act mandate. The Two-Plan model meets both our need for local control and the implementation efficiency needed to meet the mandated implementation goals.” Hodgkin said.

Hodgkin added that the Local Initiative component of the Two-Plan model emphasizes local control, local accountability and connection to the community and will give the community the opportunity to participate in the governance of Medi-Cal managed care plan. Local initiative have also proven to have a lower administrative cost than commercial plans which helps to ensure that our local health care dollars are directed toward health care, health improvements and provider reimbursement, she said.

Supervisor Jack Terrazas thanked Hodgkin since this plan will benefit local population since will have local control and will position the County in a better position now with the health care reform that is coming soon.

Supervisor Ryan Kelley also agreed that this model will benefit the residents of the Imperial Valley and have the local health care providers be in control and better serve the community as opposed of having the State coming to the valley and directing everything from Sacramento. The board passed this item unanimously.  The Board also approved an MOU with Pacific Health Consulting Group in the amount of $43,495 in which Pioneers Memorial Health Care District, Clinicas de Salud, El Centro Regional Medical Center, and the Public Health Department will share equally the cost of the consultant.

 

 

 

 

I.V. Weekly – Chronicle – Tribune 03-15-13 Vol.107 No.11

 

By Mario Conde

With sequestration taking effect at every level of government, Costumes and Border Protection Agency is already feeling the cuts that could cause longer border wait times.

The topic was discussed at Tuesday’s County Board of Supervisor’s meeting when Supervisor Terrazas gave a report on his participation on the Imperial County Transportation Commission Bi-national committee meeting where the Calexico Port Director Billy Withford stated that as a result of sequestration there will be no overtime available and those positions would not be filled when needed because of lack of manpower and that will delay traffic on both the vehicular and pedestrian lanes. The border wait times at the Calexico Port of Entry could increase more than two hours thanks to the sequestration cuts.

CBP sequestration cuts will be made equally across the agency, with no preference by port of arrival.  The first cuts will reduce overtime began March 1st, and personnel furloughs will begin the first week of April.  It is estimated that CBP must reduce its work hours by the equivalent of over 5,000 border patrol agents and the equivalent of over 2,750 CBP officers.

Terrazas said that other areas that will be affected will be the processing of SENTRI application and any other Visa that has to do with the Homeland Security departments will slow down significantly.

The goal of the ICTC bi-national commission is to have collaboration between agencies in both sides of the border in order to improve and speed up traffic at the border and make it more efficient.  Terrazas said that the commission has been discussing six pedestrian lanes to be open on the East of Port of Entry which will push pedestrians from the downtown port of entry and then start a shuttle service at the east port of entry so they could take those pedestrians to Walmart, downtown Calexico, Swap Meets and other points in Calexico. Terrazas said that project is still moving forward and there are two companies interested in providing those shuttle services.

Supervisor John Renison said he will meet with port officials to see if the CBP Supervisors could work the lanes when there is staff available to work those hours. Renison said that if CBP opens just three lanes for border crossing because of the cuts it will be detrimental of the economy of the Imperial County.

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At the direction of the Calexico City Council, the City will be conducting a third Town Hall Meeting.  The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at Mains Elementary School – Cafeteria (655 W. Sheridan Street).  The venue was selected to provide a comfortable and spacious location that promotes participation from residents located in the west side of the city; however it is open to all residents of Calexico.  Remaining meetings will be strategically placed at different venues throughout the city in order to provide residents with a location that is in convenient proximity to their homes.

This meeting is being organized in an effort to improve communications and relations with the residents of Calexico.  It is aimed at providing a forum for residents to dialogue with Council Members and offer suggestions on ways to improve our city and the quality of life for our residents.  Staff will also be present to address concerns and provide updates.  Calexico residents are encouraged to attend.

 

 

I.V. Weekly Chronicle Tribune 03-07-13 Vol.107 No.10

 
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