Department of Health Care Services director to talk policy at palliative care summit

How can public policy influence access to palliative care services in California?

This important topic will be addressed by Jennifer Kent, MPA, director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in a general session at the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California 9th annual palliative care summit.

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Kent is supportive of programs to expand access to palliative care services, and has been a key ally for the Partner’s For Children (PFC) program, an initiative of the Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition, which allows eligible children and their families to receive palliative care services during the course of a child’s illness. PFC was the inspiration behind SB 1004, a bill designed to expand access to palliative care services for adult Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan enrollees.

Kent was appointed as director of DHCS by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015. As director, Kent oversees a staff of 3,700, which is responsible for the operation of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. DHCS manages the annual spending of more than $93 billion in public funds that support the health of more than 13.3 million Californians, which covers nearly half of the state’s children.

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