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Medi-Cal CHAT Project

Rationale for Medi-Cal CHAT

Given the budgetary crisis in this state and its potential impact on Medi-Cal recipients, it is both timely and appropriate to ascertain recipients' views on coverage questions that may have a profound impact on their lives. Though the Medi-Cal budget has long been a concern to legislators, little had been done in California to capture the perspectives of Medi-Cal recipients.

Project development

Since CHAT is relevant when the CHAT Board categories pertain to the services that consumers use, the Advisory Committee (see below) decided to focus this project on adult disabled, non-institutionalized Medi-Cal recipients. With funding support from Sutter Medical Center - Sacramento and the California HealthCare Foundation, four pilot sessions were held, followed by 12 sessions statewide. The meetings were conducted between February and May 2004.

Medi-Cal CHAT participants

Medi-Cal recipients were recruited primarily by Independent Living Centers and sessions were held in Auburn, Bakersfield, Chico, Central LA, Garden Grove, Marin County, Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernadino, Santa Rosa, Sonora, and Ventura. The 131 individuals had a variety of disabilities, but all were capable of doing CHAT on individual laptop computers and participating in the group discussions.

Project results

The final report Making Tough Choices: Adults with Disabilities Prioritize Their Medi-Cal Coverage Options is available here. Or contact SHD for print copies.

Medi-Cal CHAT Advisory committee

Amerish Bera, MD
Sacramento County Primary Care Clinics

Sharon Bishop
Principle Consultant, Senate Republican Fiscal Committee

Farra Bracht
Legislative Analysts Office

Lynette Cordell
CA Department of Health Services, Medi-Cal Division

Ellen Dunn-Malhotra
Health Plan of San Mateo

Robin Krause
Caregiver of Medi-Cal recipient


John Miller
Senate Office of Research

Leah Morris
Blue Cross of California, State Sponsored Programs

Chris Perrone
California HealthCare Foundation

Brenda Premo
Western Univ., Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions

Miko Sawamura
CA Department of Health Services, Medi-Cal Eligibility

Patricia Yeager
Exec. Director, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

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