California Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a flat funded General Fund budget plan of $122.5 billion for FY 2017- 2018 based on a conservative fiscal outlook that anticipates a $5.8 billion decline in state revenue through the FY 2018 fiscal year. This is due, in part, to the fact that 69.2 percent of the state budget is comprised of revenues derived from personal income taxes, making this a highly volatile system as a result of the significant reliance on capital gains and on taxes paid by a small portion of the population.
The budget does not include any significant funding cuts to senior programs, however, it also does not propose any new funding to restore programs cut during the state’s 2009 recession.
Coordinated Care Initiative Eliminated
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles has been a key participant in the state’s Coordinated Care Initiative which has sought to better serve people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
When the CCI program was created, the legislature included a requirement that the program be shut down if it could not achieve the required cost savings. Because the program did not achieve these cost savings, the program was automatically ended.
Despite the formal elimination of the CCI program, the work being done here in Los Angeles under the Cal Medi-Connect program will continue largely unchanged at least through December 31, 2019 when federal authority for the program would need to be renewed.
As a result, Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles will continue working closely with the five health plans participating in the Cal Medi-Connect program in their efforts to build a more dementia capable service delivery system by encouraging plans to:
- Adopt proven screening tools to better identify people with dementia
- Establish a protocol to identify family/friend caregivers
- Document family/friend caregiver in the patient’s medical record
- Assess family/friend caregiver needs
- Provide respite benefits
- Provide dementia-specific professional training programs and technical assistance to health plans
- Adopt ALZ Direct Connect referral program to connect members to:
- Support groups
- Caregiver education
- Early stage services
- Care counseling
- Medic Alert Wanderers I.D. program
The State Supplemental Payment (SSP) for SSI Recipients
The budget provides nothing new for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, for whom grant levels remain at just 90% of the federal poverty level, as a result of recession-era cuts that have never been restored.
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles will be monitoring all of these issues and keep you informed of any proposals that would negatively impact people with dementia and their families.