Dr. Robert Tranquada
L.A. Care has made extraordinarily productive contributions to the improvement of access to health care for millions of LA County’s uninsured and underinsured population.
In 1991-2, I chaired the LA County Task Force on Health Care Access. Hearings held after the Rodney King riots led to recommendations to form the LA County Community Clinic Association and Community Health Councils. The state passed legislation that would require the 13 largest counties to form managed care programs with state funds. In 1993, the Task Force plus several additional members became the Managed Care Planning Council, of which I was co-chair.
The Managed Care Planning Council recommended to the Board of Supervisors the creation of Local Initiative Health Authority for Los Angeles County (later named L.A .Care) to be the public/private entity to create the managed care system for the County. It was to be headed by a 13 member Council appointed by the Board of Supervisors and was to include members recommended by provider and consumer agencies. I was nominated by the Los Angeles Medical Association and became a member of the initial board in 1995 and served until 2007.
I chaired the Council from 2001-2004 and the major achievement during that time was the appointment of Howard Kahn as Chief Executive Officer. Howard’s 13 year tenure has led to many constructive changes, including creation of the Community Health Incentive Fund which has provided many millions of contributions to not-for-profit entities that strengthen health care for the underserved and uninsured. The movement from Medi-Cal only financing to additional insurance plans, creation of the electronic health record for our providers and the addition of low income elders and the disabled in L.A. Care plans were some of the remarkable achievements under Mr. Kahn’s leadership.
Thus, with it’s now two million members and major efforts to qualify hundreds of thousands of the previously uninsured as Medi-Cal eligible and who are now members, with the additional funding these programs have provided to the safety net clinics of the county and participation in the California Insurance Exchange, its major contributions to a large number of non-profit providers of health care, L.A. Care has made extraordinarily productive contributions to the improvement of access to health care for millions of LA County’s uninsured and underinsured population.