Access to Behavioral Health Services for Children in Medi-Cal

The California State Auditor performed an audit of the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Managed Health Care. The report shows that children enrolled in Medi‑Cal face challenges in accessing behavioral health care. The State Auditor “determined that the departments can do more to detect and address challenges that children face when seeking behavioral health services.”

To address findings, the state auditor made several recommendations, “including that DHCS and Managed Health Care make changes to the methodology of their timely access surveys to monitor compliance with the standards for the most urgent appointment types and then to disclose the proportion of providers excluded from survey results along with the reasons for those exclusions. We also recommend that DHCS revise its agreements with managed care plans to require them to demonstrate efforts to recruit new providers to underserved areas and to implement a policy outlining when noncompliance with standards justifies financial penalties.”

You may view a letter from the state auditor and the full report here

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