As California steps up efforts to improve access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) through Medi-Cal for older Californians and people with disabilities, it is important to acknowledge that access to these vital services that enable people to receive help at home rather than in an institution varies across the state. In order to ensure equitable access to these services, the state must first understand what types of inequities based on race, age, geography, type of disability, and other factors exist. Comprehensive and publicly reported data is critical to measuring and addressing inequities in access to and use of HCBS.
To that end, Justice in Aging authored a paper for the California Health Care Foundation. Using Data for Good: Towards More Equitable Home and Community-Based Services in Medi-Cal, provides state staff, policymakers, and other HCBS stakeholders with recommendations for collecting and utilizing data to advance equity in access to Medi-Cal HCBS.
Drawing on their extensive expertise in California’s Medi-Cal HCBS system, the authors of the report examine the challenges to data collection in the current HCBS infrastructure, make the case for collecting and reporting comprehensive and intersectional data to identify disparities in access to and use of these essential services, identify recommendations to address gaps in data collection and reporting, and provide strategies to move these recommendations forward.