CPAC works toward the development of supportive policies to expand health insurance coverage and improve access to care for the remaining uninsured through policy reports, briefings, and roundtables that bring legislative and local county agency stakeholders together to develop collaborative solutions.
Depression and other mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability among individuals aged 15-44 in the US and in California. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, young Latinas are nearly twice as likely as young Latinos to think about suicide and to attempt suicide. To address shortages in the behavioral health workforce in California’s low-income communities, CPAC prioritizes policy and technical assistance to enable expanded access to care for behavioral health issues, such as alcohol misuse, tobacco use, substance abuse, depression, and obesity. These behavioral health issues disproportionately impact low-income Latino communities facing major shortages of behavioral and mental health professionals.
CPAC’s technical assistance priorities related to the behavioral health workforce include identification and analyses of emerging workforce models for expanded access to behavioral health services and analyses of supportive policies such as scope of practice and role expansion for nurses, community health workers, and medical assistants. CPAC’s technical assistance to the legislature and county agencies include brief reports, Capitol briefings, and roundtables for collaborative problem-solving.
California has the largest Medicaid program in the nation, with more than 13.4 million Californians, or one-third of the state’s population, enrolled. Known as Medi-Cal, the program has an operating budget of over $86 billion annually. The state’s expansion of Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act is by far the largest expansion of health insurance coverage to previously uninsured individuals of all states in the country, with over 3.9 million new enrollees. As Medi-Cal enrollment continues to grow, it faces numerous challenges, including ensuring access to health services and controlling surging costs of care. To support the sustainability of Medi-Cal, CPAC works to support the development and analysis of policies and strategies to enable expanded enrollment through alternative funding options. CPAC also assists legislative, executive, state and local agency, and community partners in ensuring adequate provider reimbursement rates.
CPAC provides technical assistance to support informed decisions about policies and strategies that incentivize delivery system change and innovation for the most vulnerable segments of California’s population.
California has the largest number of prisoners in its correctional system of any state in the US, with over 135,000 individuals, mostly African-American and Latino men, incarcerated currently. Upon release, previously incarcerated individuals face many obstacles, including homelessness, unemployment, limited social relationships and support systems, and stigma. An estimated 1 in 10 parolees find themselves homeless upon parole and 60% -90% do not possess the necessary skills to complete their parole. Although a lot of funding goes into keeping people in prison, less than 5% of the Department of Correction’s annual budget goes to rehabilitation and integration efforts, which involve transitional accountability, community-based supervision and services, and community-based programs.
CPAC works with UC faculty and experts in reintegration after incarceration to provide technical assistance to support the legislature, the executive branch, and local and state agencies to improve reintegration outcomes.