Earlier this year we reported that the Governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 called for delaying the implementation of SB 1004 until no sooner than July 1, 2018. Thanks to the hard work of our policy team at CCCC along with eight partner organizations, the governor’s revised budget calls for implementation on or before January 1, 2018.

We appreciate the willingness of Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), her staff and legislators to listen to our concerns. The sooner the State can get SB 1004 moving, the better for seriously ill Californians and their families.

In addition to moving the date, the Governor’s proposed budget also includes one-time grants of up to $50,000 to health plans for network development, data analysis, and other palliative care program development costs. These grants will help jump start the adoption of We are in conversations with DHCS to find out more about the proposed grants and grant proposal process, so watch for details as CCCC has more information to share.

The Governor’s revised budget doesn’t become law until approved by both the Assembly and the Senate and signed by the Governor, who has line-item veto power.  So there are still legislative steps that have to occur before the SB 1004 implementation date and grants are officially law.  These provisions, however, are expected to remain in the final budget since both the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees approved them.

Judy Thomas, our CEO, says “We’re very pleased with the outcome of our advocacy. SB 1004 is important legislation for seriously ill Medi-Cal beneficiaries, but it is meaningless unless it gets implemented. We’re grateful for the leadership provided by Jennifer Kent and her staff to keep SB 1004 implementation moving.”

For more information about SB 1004 and what it means for Medi-Cal patients, see some of our other posts.

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