In May 2019, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) released “2019 Findings from the Cal MediConnect Rapid Cycle Polling Project.” The report compares Cal MediConnect (CMC) beneficiary data by several member characteristics including county, race, language, and disability based on responses of just over 2,900 dual eligibles in 2018. Researchers defined individuals as having a disability when they needed long-term services and supports (LTSS) to assist them with tasks of daily living.
With support from The SCAN Foundation, researchers have been conducting rapid cycle polling with almost 10,000 individuals to better understand the CMC beneficiary experience since 2015. Previous polling analyses have been released comparing the experiences of beneficiaries in CMC with beneficiaries who opted out of the CMC program and similar dual eligibles in non-CMC counties.
Overall, UCSF researchers found that CMC members are satisfied with their care but had different experiences navigating and accessing health services. Key findings include:
- CMC members in San Mateo had high levels of satisfaction with their choice of doctors, choice of hospitals, and continuity with providers.
- Riverside and San Bernardino Counties did the best in making sure their non-English speaking CMC members received interpreter services. Less than 8% of non-English speaking members in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties reported that their health plan failed to provide interpreter services.
- CMC members’ experiences differed by race. White and Black CMC members were significantly more likely than Latinos or Asians to say they were confident in knowing how to manage their health conditions.
- Latinos had the lowest satisfaction with choice of doctors and hospitals (only 25% were very satisfied).
- Asian members reported the most continuity with providers, with most (98%) saying they had a personal doctor and 75% reporting they had the same doctor as before enrolling in CMC. However, Asian members also reported the most difficulty with transportation and the highest rate of unmet need for personal or routine care.
- There were major differences by language in CMC members’ confidence managing health care. English-speaking CMC members were more confident they knew how to manage their health conditions, knew who to call if they had a health need or questions, and knew they could get their questions answered—as compared to Spanish speakers and Chinese speakers.
- Additionally, English-speaking CMC members were the most likely group to be satisfied with their health care and have a single care manager. Furthermore, English and Spanish speakers were most likely to say their single care manager has significantly improved their care.
- However, English speakers were also the most likely to report misunderstandings about health care or coverage, health plans denying treatments, and doctors not being available through the plan.
- Chinese-speaking CMC members reported more continuity with past providers compared to English and Spanish speakers. However, they also reported more problems, such as not receiving interpreter services and having unmet needs for transportation.
- CMC members with no LTSS needs were more likely to feel confident that they knew how to manage their health conditions.
- CMC members with personal care needs were slightly less likely to feel very confident that they could get their questions answered, compared to those with no needs or just routine needs.
This report points to areas to improve the CMC program, such as more access to interpreter services for Chinese speakers, increased provider choice and satisfaction for Latinos, and helping CMC members with personal care needs navigate the health care system. More information about the survey and survey findings can be found here.