Evaluation of California's Low-Income Health Program (LIHP)

The evaluation of the LIHP as it was implemented in counties, focuses on four critical areas: enrollment and retention strategies, coverage expansion, access to and quality of care, and
the transition of LIHP enrollees into Medi-Cal or the California Health Benefit Exchange starting in 2014.

Principal Investigator: Gerald Kominski, PhD
Funding: California Department of Health Care Services, Blue Shield of California Foundation


UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research assisted the DHCS in its evaluation of the Low-Income Health Program (LIHP), under a §1115 Medicaid Waiver, referred to as "A Bridge to
Reform". The evaluation monitored the progress of LIHP across all participating counties, expanded a web-based forum for communicating implementation processes to LIHPs, and
provided regular evaluation measures to DHCS of the program's impact on health care in these counties, and in turn, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and all
interested stakeholders.

UCLA previously assisted the DHCS with its evaluation of an earlier Medicaid waiver program to provide health care for the uninsured, the Health Care Coverage Initiative (HCCI). UCLA provided training and technical assistance to 10 legacy counties who were transitioning from an HCCI to a LIHP and all newly participating LIHP counties. Counties submitted regular data and progress reports to UCLA via secure web-based and data transfer methods. UCLA analyzed county-level population data, as well as LIHP enrollment and health care utilization data, to assist DHCS in fulfilling the requirements of the waiver's special terms and conditions. This information, including a performance dashboard, was disseminated through an established web-site. In addition, separate policy briefs and reports synthesized what was learned about the impact of the LIHP on access to health coverage and health care -- lessons that informed the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.