California Health Care Foundation
|Focus||Improving access to coverage and care for low-income Californians, ensuring high-value care, and informing decisionmakers|
|Improving health care in California|
|Method||Grants to conduct research and analysis and program-related investments|
|Dr. Sandra R. Hernández, President and CEO|
Based in Oakland, California, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is an independent, nonprofit philanthropy that primarily focuses on improving access to coverage and care for low-income Californians, ensuring high-value care, and informing decisionmakers.
The California Health Care Foundation was one of two philanthropies created in 1996 as a result of Blue Cross of California’s conversion from a nonprofit health plan to the for-profit corporation WellPoint Health Networks. CHCF’s first responsibility was managing the sale of WellPoint Health Networks stock. Of the $3 billion yielded from this process, four-fifths of the proceeds went to create The California Endowment and the remainder, some $600 million at the time, stayed with CHCF. From its inception, CHCF has looked for opportunities to improve health care in California by supporting higher quality, greater efficiency, and broader access to care.
Dr. Sandra R. Hernández became president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation in January 2014. Prior to joining CHCF, Hernández was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco.
Hernández is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and maintains a clinical practice at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic. She is a graduate of Yale University and the Tufts University School of Medicine.
Previously, the foundation had been led for 18 years by founding president and CEO Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, a board-certified internist and clinical faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco.
As of 2015, the foundation has outlined three goals toward which its efforts strive:
Improving Access to Coverage and Care for Low-Income Californians: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped millions of Californians get coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California. Yet many people struggle to get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. Drawing upon expertise in Medi-Cal, public policy, commercial and safety-net health plans and providers, and emerging service delivery and IT innovations, CHCF seeks to expand access.
Ensuring High-Value Care: The care many patients receive doesn't reflect what they want, what is known to work, and what provides value. CHCF supports policies and care models that align with patient preferences, are proven effective, and are affordable.
Informing Decisionmakers: Easily accessible, timely, and reliable information that is effectively used can help spur positive change. CHCF's reports and analysis supply policymakers, researchers, and thought leaders with critical trend data about the cost and quality of California's health care system. This work, coupled with initiatives that seek to unlock government health data, provides changemakers with the information necessary to make well-informed choices that may ultimately lead to improved health care for all Californians.
Signature initiatives of the foundation are:
The CHCF Health Care Leadership Program, which develops clinicians into effective leaders.
The California Improvement Network, which provides quality improvement training and networking opportunities to frontline providers.
The CHCF Health Innovation Fund, which provides program-related investments to companies that are developing low-cost solutions to improve care in the safety net.
The State Health Policy Office, which provides policymakers and other stakeholders with data and information, as well as opportunities to convene with colleagues to discuss issues related to the financing and delivery of health care in California.
CHCF commissions and publishes dozens of reports each year. A selection includes:
- Health Care Costs 101, published as part of CHCF's California Health Care Almanac, provides general background on U.S. medical spending. It details how much Americans spend, on which services, and what proportion is paid directly by consumers.
- Nursing 2.0: Improving Care Through Technology looks at how different innovations are being adopted by health care organizations to help nurses do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
- In Transition: Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Reflect on Their Move to Medi-Cal Managed Care presents findings from a survey of more than 1,500 SPD Medi-Cal enrollees who made the transition.
- ACA 411: Tracking Health Reform in California is an interactive tool that provides baseline and trend data for selected measures to examine how the ACA is changing insurance coverage, access to health care, and affordability in California.
In addition to the publications and resources offered at its main site, CHCF.org, the foundation offers these services:
- CalQualityCare.org: Information and quality ratings for hospitals, medical groups, and long-term care.
- CaliforniaHealthline.org: Daily digest of news, policy, and opinion.
- California Health Care Foundation, http://www.chcf.org.
- Susan Dentzer and Mark D. Smith, “Laying the Foundation for Catalytic Change,” Health Affairs February 2010, vol. 29 no. 2 318-323, http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/2/318.extract
- Bloomberg Businessweek Snapshot, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=8206789
- Katherine B. Wilson, Health Care Costs 101, November 2015, California Health Care Foundation, http://www.chcf.org/publications/2015/11/health-care-costs-101
- Anne Boyd Rabkin and Dan Weberg, Nursing 2.0: Improving Care Through Technology, June 2015, California Health Care Foundation, http://www.chcf.org/publications/2015/06/nursing-through-technology
- Carrie Graham, In Transition: Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Reflect on Their Move to Medi-Cal Managed Care, April 2014, California Health Care Foundation, http://www.chcf.org/publications/2014/04/transition-spds-move-mmc
- ACA 411: Tracking Health Reform in California, California Health Care Foundation, http://www.chcf.org/aca-411