Did You Know that One-Third of Californians Receive Health Care Through Medi-Cal?

Wewill continue to resist any efforts to reduce funding for the Medicaid Expansion that was created through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the following reasons:

The Medicaid Expansion has proven to be one of the most important aspects of the ACA, providing comprehensive coverage to some of the most chronically ill people who have no other healthcare options.

The cost of the Medicaid expansion is shared among federal, state, and local governments, so that collectively everyone is invested in lowering costs and improving care. Continuing this under a per capita cap or a block grant is not possible.

 California’s providers in public and private hospitals, private practices and safety net health centers have embraced Medicaid Expansion because it’s allowed millions of Californians to get covered and receive comprehensive health benefits for the first time. 

 Community Health Centers are the primary care provider to more than 54 percent of the Medicaid beneficiaries in California who gained coverage under the ACA.

More than one-third of Californians are Medicaid beneficiaries.  

Update: Relief from Repeal

Early this morning, a few minutes after Speaker Paul Ryan stated"ObamaCare will stay in place for the foreseeable future." Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced: "What happened on the floor was a victory for the American people, for our seniors, for people with disabilities, for our children, for our veterans."

While advocates against a plan that would have resulted in between 15 and 23 million Americans losing health coverage have prevailed for now, it is important to remain vigilent through future budget processes, where Congress could seek to significantly reduce Federal funding for the Medicaid program (Medi-Cal in California.)  For now, however, thanks to all those who visited, protested, tweeted, wrote letters, called, and tried to bring fact based analysis to what had become a political and emotional fight, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

 

 

 

Attempts to Take Health Coverage Away Not Over Yet...

While two different versions of ACA repeal have failed this week, an unknown number of Senators are planning to vote on a "skinny repeal" bill.  If they are able to pass this bill, the danger is that it would then be sent tobe reconciled with the House-passed AHCA, which would deprive over 20 million Americans of health coverage. Legislative language on the "skinny repeal" has not been made public, but the danger is that the reconciliation process would result in something that decimates Medicaid like the original House bill.


 

 

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Motivating Healthy Behavior

SFCCC is pleased to announce that the following people have been trained and certified as faculty in the Institute for Healthcare Communication Choices and Change: Motivating Healthy Behavior course:

·        Alexa Madrid, SFCCC Consumer Advisory Panel Member

·        Cyndi Musto BSN MA, Clinical Nurse Educator, NEMS

·        Jennifer Mangaccat RN Nurse Manager, St. Anthony Medical Clinic

·        John Hunsaker MPP MBA, Director of QI, SFCCC

·        Beth Midanik-Blum MA, Clinic Manager, Women's Community Clinic

·        Maribel Lopez MA Case Manager, Mission Neighborhood Health Center

·        Merrill Buice MPH MCP, Director, Health Care Coverage & Access

·        Octavio Nevarez, QI Manager, HealthRIGHT 360

Thanks to a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, these eight staff and patients representing SFCCC and six of our member health centers can now provide training to providers and front line staff on motivational interviewing techniques and communication skills. Core skills include teaching others to practice empathy, open-ended questioning, and reflective listening, all of which have been demonstrated in clinical trials to increase patient adherence to taking life-saving medication and increase healthy behaviors. These skills will lead to better clinical outcomes, lower per patient cost, and increased patient and staff satisfaction – and improve the quality of life for the communities and 100,000 patients our clinics serve.

For additional information, or the request a training, please contact John Hunsaker, SFCCC’s Director of Quality Improvement, at jhunsaker@sfccc.org or by calling (415) 355-2274.

 

 

SFCCC Has a New Interim President/CEO

Yesterday, with laughter and tears, SFCCC staff said a final farewell to SFCCC's leader for 26 years, John Gressman.  While conducting a national search for a new President/CEO, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Ms. Beth Schecter has been named Interim President/CEO. 

Beth is a nonprofit consultant specializing in Executive Transition Management. She has over 20 years of executive management experience and has directed four health and social service organizations in Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara Counties. She also served as Director of Business Development for WestEd and for United Behavioral Health. Since 2010, Beth has provided interim leadership, planning, board support, and program development services to dozens of organizations. Her primary goal is to help nonprofits become more streamlined and sustainable during pivotal transition times in order to be better prepared for new leadership. She enjoys working with staffs and boards to achieve their financial, fundraising, and programmatic and governance goals.

Advocacy Alert! Senate Vote Delayed! Stories Needed!

The Senate has delayed a vote on the terrible Senate version of "repeal and replace"called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.  Unfortunately, however, they are still moving forward by asking the Congressional Budget Office to score new amendments.  The amendments would not substantially improve the devastating impact of proposed Medicaid cuts.  The amended bill would still take health insurance for working middle and low income working people and use the money saved for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

While our California Senators continue to stand firmly with us, we must continue to encourage our elected representatives to stand up and fight for access to health care for our communities.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Click here to download the Share your Health Center Story template. Please scan and email stories to  and dlahn@sfccc.org.

Patient stories helps legislators understand the scope of care our patients rely on. Health centers are the foundation of community health, providing excellent care and good jobs where it is needed the most!

Communities and organizations around the country are standing up to put patients before politics. With limited time, urge your networks to join in and share their story!

Senate "Health Care" Bill released: Contains Devastating Medicaid cuts

Despite promises to create a "better" repeal and replace bill than the House version, the bill that Senate Republicans released today contains devastating Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) cuts.  It slows the elimination of the Medicaid expansion, which delays the pain past the time when some legislators must face their constituents, but would still result in millions becoming uninsured.  The Medicaid program would be capped or block granted to the states, and the rate of growth in this bill is lower than the health bill, and far lower than the reality of health care costs.  

 

What can you do?

Thank our Senators Feinstein and Harris and our Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier for continuing to stand up for the Health of all Americans.

Contact friends, relatives and colleagues in Republican Senatorial Districts and House districts (since the bill will need to be reconciled with the House) and ask them to contact their Republican members to remind them that the health of people in their district will be impacted by this bill.

Write down your story or the story of patients you know and send it to dlahn@sfccc.org.  Our Senators need these stories to defend Medicaid and therefore keep community clinics thriving. 

The picture here ( (Photo: Screenshot/CNBC)  is of protesters with disabilities being carried away from Senator Mitch McConnell's office hallway.

No Sunlight on Senate Health Bill

A small group of Republican Senators are reportedly putting together a Senate Version of the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act.  Although they are trying to take a vote on it before the July 4 recess, they are keeping the details carefully guarded, not even sharing information with fellow Senators.  It is likely, however, that it will provide a devastating blow to Medicaid and therefore to the patients we serve. 

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has put together a chart based on predictions about the Senate Bill.  http://www.cbpp.org/research/health/tracking-reports-about-the-emerging-senate-bill-to-repeal-the-affordable-care-act.  The House version of the bill was so damaging that we run the risk of policymakers seeing it as a baseline.

What can you do?

Thank our Senators Feinstein and Harris for continuing to stand up for the health of all Americans.

Contact friends and colleagues in Republican Senatorial Districts and House districts (since the bill will need to be reconciled with the House) and ask them to contact their members.

Write down your story or the story of patients you know.  Our Senators need these stories to defend Medicaid and therefore keep community clinics thriving. 

 

 

 

This is Carly! Look for her on the van.

Carly:  " I majored in kinesiology at San Francisco State University, where I made a more concrete decision through volunteering and shadowing to study medicine. After I graduated from college I traveled to Peru with MEDLIFE to provide free medical care, education, and community development to individuals/families living in poverty.. I was previously working at a start-up as a medical scribe but was interested in obtaining more patient interaction, which is how I ended up at this fantastic place. "

New Faces on SOS/VET SOS Outreach Vans!

As some of our treasured staff depart SFCCC for medical school and public health graduate school, we welcome three new staff:  Carly Matsukuma, Sam Gilmore, and Brooke Wilson. We are excited to have such talented individuals working in our Health Care for the Homeless Program, Here is a little bit about them: Carly:  " I majored in kinesiology at San Francisco State University, where I made a more concrete decision through volunteering and shadowing to study medicine. After I graduated from college I traveled to Peru with MEDLIFE to provide free medical care, education, and community development to individuals/families living in poverty.. I was previously working at a start-up as a medical scribe but was interested in obtaining more patient interaction, which is how I ended up at this fantastic place. "

Sam:  I grew up in Ithaca, NY and went to school in Colorado, Florida and Sweden. Having worked in finance, law and business, I am pleased to be working in a field more aligned with my beliefs and values.  I came to SFCCC after volunteering at Most Holy Redeemer and meeting the SOS staff. My role at SFCCC is to travel in a medical van to sites throughout San Francisco, where the dedicated SOS team of doctors, nurses, outreach workers, and volunteers creates “clinics without walls” at soup kitchens, on city streets, under freeway overpasses, and in parks.

Brooke: I am the Street Outreach Services Coordinator. My role consists of coordinating medical clinics for both humans and animals to ensure that quality and appropriate healthcare is being provided for those in need.  I worked at the San Francisco SPCA for five years and became familiar with the Vet SOS program. When I heard about an opening at this organization that would involve working directly with both humans and their animal companions, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity.

 

 

 

 

American Health Care Act Would Have Terrible Consequences

 

 

Republicans in Congress voted on the American Health Care Act before the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office had time to provide an official “score” of the bill. That score came out yesterday and estimated that 23 million additional Americans will become uninsured over the next decade if the bill passed by the House goes into effect,

The bill allows states to decide whether to eliminate two consumer regulations put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  The ACA required insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions, and required that all insurance plans cover essential health benefits, such as maternity and mental health. California may choose to keep those protections, but that will not protect Californians from the biggest impact of the American Health Care Act:

An additional 3.7 million previously uninsured adults in California became insured through the ACA’s Medi-Cal expansion.  Those people would gradually lose their coverage under the bill.   While a majority of California’s lawmakers would not want this to happen,  the huge amount of money that the Federal government is cutting out of the Medicaid budget ($884 billion) will force states to either raise taxes or make significant cuts.

American Health Care Act Passes - SFCCC Strongly Opposes this Bill.

On May 4, 2017 the House of Representatives voted to take health care away from millions of Americans by passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  This bill would do even more damage to health care for Americans than a previous version, which was estimated to result in a loss of health coverage for 24 million Americans. The bill continues the previous plan to defund the Medicaid program and adds new provisions threatening people with pre-existing conditions.

Fortunately, the bill now moves to the Senate where there are indications that our elected officials will take more time and more care.  We cannot accept the House's version as even a minimal baseline. Please note that while the bill purports to give States "options" it would result in so much less funding for California's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal , that people in our state would still be severely impacted.

In the months to come we need to keep our Senators informed about our concerns and thank them when they speak up.  If the Senate passes a bill, it will then be reconciled with the House version.  San Francisco's CongresswomenPelosi and Speier, have been strong voices AGAINST the cynical move represented by the AHCA, and our California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamila Harris, are expected to defend their constituents on this matter. It is important to thank those who stand with us, keep up the pressure, and educate people you know in other districts and states about the damage this bill would create. 

Every phone call, e-mail, post card, letter you write counts!  Elected officialsreview and tally each one of these with the staff providing a daily update. 

Please do not give up or become discouraged!

Please take action when you receive a request!

Please spread the word! 

Contact your federal representative

CONGRATULATIONS TO NATIVE AMERICAN HEALTH CENTER!

A founding member of SFCCC, Native American Health Center, has passed accreditation standards with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) for the next three years.

"Accreditation gives NAHC's members, who are our first priority, peace of mind that they are receiving services from an an organization that performs at a certain standard."

(for the full press release or more information please go to www.nativehealth.org.