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Improving healthcare access


Last updated 9/24/2018 at 8:39am

CHBRP is a strange sounding acronym for an important program providing Californians with better healthcare policy at lower costs. The California Health Benefit Review Program analyzes healthcare policies for efficiencies and cost effectiveness for the best available healthcare outcomes for patients.

A Medi-Cal patient may not be able to access innovative treatments due to cost, insurance formularies or other issues. A CHBRP analysis of legislative policies may improve access to care by demonstrating the longer term savings and better patient outcomes of newer treatments.

My bill, AB 2893, extends the current 12 month CHBRP review process to up to two years. Better treatment protocols upfront may, in fact, produce cost savings, fewer hospitalizations or doctor visits, and improved quality of life for the patient in a longer view. The California Chronic Care Coalition writes that the longer evaluation period would “allow a more complete assessment of health outcomes, budget savings and costs rather than keeping CHBRP’s analyses limited to the current 12 month period.”

The review is limited to a 12 month fiscal analysis required by current law to coincide with the state budget cycle. This may not capture the full impact of complex healthcare policies which may result in higher costs up-front but have better patient outcomes with actual cost savings over the long-term.

CHBRP responds to requests from the Legislature to provide independent analysis of medical and public health impacts of proposed healthcare changes. A team of analytic staff at the University of California, along with actuarial consultants and a National Advisory Council of experts provide balanced studies and reviews.

I am happy to report that AB 2893 received unanimous bipartisan support, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 10, and goes into effect Jan. 1.


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