Tag Archive for Californias

California’s Gregory Franklin to Retire from State Service

Gregory Franklin

Gregory Franklin, California’s assistant secretary of health information technology, will retire from state service in September. Jessica Mulholland

Gregory Franklin, the assistant secretary of health information technology in the California Technology Agency, will be retiring from state service in September.

Franklin has served in the California Technology Agency since June 2011, providing oversight in California’s health IT infrastructure.

Prior to the CTA, Franklin worked as the deputy director of health care operations for the California Department of Health Care Services from October 2009 to June 2011, in which he directed Medi-Cal program administration. He also worked as assistant executive officer in CalPERS from February 2007 to October 2009 as the executive of health care services purchases.

His first high-profile state government position was as the deputy director of health information and strategic planning in the California Department of Public Health from June 2002 to February 2007.

Franklin has long served as the senior health administrator for the United States Air Force Reserves, from January 1996 to the present day, where he ensures medical services for 3000 military personnel.

In 2012, Franklin told Government Technology that when California entered discussions on health-care reform in 2007, an electronic health records system also was being developed in the military, giving him valuable experience — even if the approach is different because of the setting.

“From purchasing health care to IT to project management, all of the political and administrative pieces are pretty much the same in the reserves, but [they’re] at a Department of Defense and federal level,” Franklin said. “A lot of the training and necessary skill sets that you need to be successful in both environments are the same.”

The majority of this story was originally published by Techwire.net. Photo of Gregory Franklin by Jessica Mulholland.

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Making Obamacare Work: California’s Encouraging Start

June 14, 2013 By Robert K. Ross, president and CEO, California Endowment

Put aside, for just a few minutes, whatever political rhetoric has infiltrated your airspace about the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whatever you think of the health-reform law, it’s coming, and with the clock ticking toward an Oct. 13, 2013, pre-enrollment deadline, some of the most important work for implementing “Obamacare” is going on now in the states.

As a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, I’ve had a front-row seat for our state’s efforts, and we’re off to an encouraging start with our state exchange, branded as Covered California.

These state-level health benefit exchanges are the central, essential structural element of the ACA — an effort to create a competitive, transparent health insurance marketplace for individual consumers in which price and quality for comparable products drive the purchase of those products. As of this writing, more than half of the states have opted to pass up on creating their own health exchanges, deferring their operation to the federal government. In my view, every state that relegates this decision to Washington reduces our chances of finding innovative solutions to controlling costs while improving health.

That’s certainly what we’ve been trying to do in California. Our five-member health-exchange board adopted the ACA’s mission of expanding health-insurance coverage, improving health-care quality, improving choice and value, and controlling rising costs. We’ve known from the start that the keys to our success would be contracting with affordable health plans, embarking on an effective outreach and marketing strategy, and executing a smooth, user-friendly enrollment process.

We issued a request for proposals statewide, inviting health plans to compete in one or more of 18 geographic regions across our sizable state. Thirty-three health plans responded. In an evaluation process driven by price, value, quality and provider-network adequacy, we selected 13 health plans to be on the selection panel for Covered California consumers. Moreover, four of the health plans were newcomers to the individual health-insurance market, one that suffers in choice and affordability compared to plans based on large- and small-group rates.

The most encouraging news: the rates we were able to negotiate. The prices that came in were far lower than the most dire, doomsday predictions, and even lower than actuarial and Government Accountability Office projections. In the most populous California regions, our 2014 individual market rates will be equal to or cheaper than 2013 small-group rates.

So we now have health-plan partners and provider networks that are ready, willing and able to provide a reasonably affordable product, and in a new, online, transparent marketplace for consumers. But with that Oct. 13 deadline approaching and the Jan. 1, 2014, open-enrollment and coverage start date not far behind, we still have much wood to chop. Over the next few years, we need to find and enroll as many as 5 million uninsured Californians who stand to benefit from Obamacare.

Our outreach and enrollment will be both “high tech” and “high-touch.” Some Californians will choose the technology-friendly online shopping and enrollment route. Others will need more human, hands-on assistance to enroll. We are building infrastructure and readying ourselves for either approach.

This story was originally published by GOVERNING.com. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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GovTech Innovators: Jon Rosenberg, Chief of California’s Healthcare Infections Map

Our latest GovTech Innovator is Jonathan Rosenberg, chief of the Healthcare Associated Infections Program at the California Department of Public Health. 

His program, established in 2009, tracks the surgical infection rates in the state’s hospitals and reports the data publicly. This means that Californians can check the program’s website if they’re curious about the infection rates associated with local hospitals.

But medical information can be complicated, and sometimes people have trouble deciphering large blocks of texts and detailed tables, so Rosenberg and his colleagues are trying an extra method to simplify the process. 

They’ve created an interactive map (snapshot shown above) that charts California hospitals and assigns them symbols based on how their infection rates compare with state and national averages. They hope this will help people make better healthcare choices.

Rosenberg spoke to us about the map and his program’s role is assisting Californians.

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