See What's Happening
With The California Health Benefits Review Program!
Academic Rigor On A Legislature's Timeline
Letter From The Director
Welcome to CHBRP’s Fall Newsletter.

Having grown up in New England, this time of year conjures up memories of huge crimson and golden maple leaves, cider donuts, and an increasingly sharp bite to the air. While autumn in the Bay Area is more muted, the light and winds change, and the occasional bursts of color reminds me that the march of seasons is definitely afoot. So too, are the gears changing in political and policy environments. In our neck of the woods, CHBRP's staff, task force, actuaries, and national advisory council members are readying for the new legislative session that is fast approaching. We have been actively finalizing our approach for the upcoming "peak season," updating the California Cost and Coverage Model, and meeting virtually with many of our stakeholders.

We are grateful for the opportunity and time that is offered to us by our stakeholders. This year we received very positive feedback on the quality and thoroughness of our work overall, as well as thoughtful ideas and suggestions for developing new resources and the roll-out of our pilot infographics. We continuously seek ways to learn and improve, and these annual meetings bring fresh perspective and on-the-ground expertise that we share not just with our staff but also our faculty, task force contributors, and advisory council. We also get a preview of what we might see in the coming legislative session.

A common thread we heard this year was that there seems to be an unusually high degree of uncertainty in the air on many fronts, and several political, policy, and economic issues at play. For example, stakeholders noted a tremendous amount of activity by the state, especially with regard to Medi-Cal, challenges in our strained health system (i.e. workforce retention and burnout, transitions to telehealth, skyrocketing behavioral health utilization), and re-emerging increases in medical cost trends. This upcoming legislative session may be a very busy one as there seem to be many policy topics vying for consideration and focus. Because of this, we hope our readers are taking extra steps to take good care and recharge their own “batteries” as we prepare for what is ahead.

Until next time,
2022 Completed Analyses - Final Status
In 2022, the Legislature requested that CHBRP analyze 18 bills. The following chart shows the final status of these bills, with each column indicating where the bills were located at the end of this legislative session.
Four bills analyzed by CHBRP were signed into law by Governor Newsom: AB 2585 Nonpharmaceutical Pain Management treatment, SB 858 Civil Penalties, SB 1338 Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court Program, and SB 1473 COVID-19 Therapeutics

CHBRP has published a "Final Status" document that indicates the final version of each analyzed bill and the extent to which CHBRP's analyses remain relevant. This is available on CHBRP's website under Completed Analyses.
An-Chi Tsou Joins CHBRP as Principal Analyst
CHBRP is thrilled to welcome An-Chi Tsou, PhD, to the team! An-Chi joins us as a Principal Analyst after working with CHBRP as a contract lead for several years. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge, insight into policymaking in Sacramento, and experience analyzing legislation. CHBRP is excited to have her on board year-round.

An-Chi earned her BS in Engineering Science at Smith College, and her PhD in bioengineering from UC Berkeley carrying out blood cancer research.

Good Luck to our 2022 Summer Interns!
CHBRP was joined by three talented interns this past summer: Alondra Peregrino, Madison Olmsted, and Nadav Senensieb. Each of them focused on one substantial independent project, as well as multiple smaller projects. They dove into issues surrounding deductibles, network adequacy, terminology questions, and California's population age 65 and older. We wish them well as they continue on their professional journeys!
Alondra Peregrino was a Health Career Connection Undergraduate Student Intern at CHBRP. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health at UC Berkeley with a minor in Public Policy. She is currently looking for her next opportunity!
Madison Olmsted was a Graduate Student Intern with CHBRP and is continuing as a Master of Public Policy student at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, focusing on health policy. Madison is continuing with CHBRP as a Student Assistant for the fall semester.
Nadav Senensieb was a Graduate Student Intern with CHBRP and is in his second year of the MPH program in Health Policy and Management from UCLA with an emphasis in Health Policy.
Find us at APHA!
CHBRP Policy Associate Victor Garibay will be at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference in Boston, MA November 6th through 9th. He'll be presenting his poster, An Overview of Health Policy Addressing the Forms of Diabetes and its Treatment in California, on November 8th. Find him and say "hi" if you'll be there!
Upcoming Webinars
CHBRP's colleagues from other organizations host various webinars, here are a few that may interest our readers:
  • UC Center Sacramento presents: Protecting Public Health: Data, Models, and Policy on November 2, 2022, at 12:00 PM. For more information and to register click here.
  • UC Davis Health’s Center for Healthcare Policy and Research presents: Primary Care Time Scarcity, the Changing Practice of Medicine and Physician Burnout: A Qualitative Study on November 2, 2022, at 12:00 PM. For more information and to register click here.
  • UC Berkeley's School of Public Health presents: A Conversation with Professor Osagie K. Obasogie: Race and Public health on November 30, 2022, at 5:00 PM. For more information and to register click here.
  • UC Davis Health’s Center for Healthcare Policy and Research presents: How Black Mamas and Birthing People Are Working to Challenge and Change Health Care Systems on November 9, 2022, at 12:00 PM. For more information and to register click here.
  • UC Davis Health’s Center for Healthcare Policy and Research presents: Emerging Research on California’s “Red Flag” Law on November 16, 2022, at 12:00 PM. For more information and to register click here.
Task Force Spotlight
Each newsletter, CHBRP features Task Force members and the important work they do outside of CHBRP. See more information about all of our Task Force members on CHBRP's website.
Paul Brown, PhD
Paul Brown, PhD is a Professor of Health Economics and Public Health at the University of California, Merced School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. At UC Merced, Dr. Brown formed part of the team that founded the university’s Health Science Research Institute and helped jumpstart the university’s public health department. Dr. Brown is an economist by training and has worked in health economics for the last twenty years. Most of his work focuses on cost effectiveness and health services research specifically looking at access and coverage of care as well as behavioral economics. As a professor at UC Merced, Dr. Brown works with graduate and undergraduate students. Among the graduate students he works with, many are pursuing careers in health economics. Given the great need for health economists, Dr. Brown finds it enriching to support these students in their career paths, especially since many of them are first generation students.

Within CHBRP, Dr. Brown forms part of the Cost team and reviews proposals from a cost standpoint. He measures the potential outcomes of proposed legislation for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. In addition to his work on the Cost team, Dr. Brown also provides his expertise as a reviewer for CHBRP’s products. Dr. Brown enjoys his work at CHBRP due to the great quality of material published by the CHBRP staff, so much so that he feels like he is a reviewer for an acclaimed journal.

Dr. Brown's early work in health policy was as a health economist with the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Since then, he has held several academic positions, including at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the Auckland University of Technology, and the University of North Carolina. His work overseas informed his interest in working with CHBRP. His experience in various government departments in New Zealand provided him deeper insights on policies related to cost effectiveness in other countries. Upon returning to the US, Dr. Brown saw that there was less focus on this issue as compared to other countries. As a result, he was drawn to CHBRP which has placed focus on this important topic in health policy. Dr. Brown takes pride in his dedication to performing research and working on subjects that are of use and will have a positive impact on populations. He believes health economists should play a more important role in the healthcare system and aims to make this a reality.
Sara W. Yoeun, MPH
Sara W. Yoeun, MPH is a senior policy analyst at the UC San Diego, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. In her role, she works with UCSD faculty to manage several extramural research projects, including current grants from the California Department of Public Health, the California Tobacco Control Program, and the National Cancer Institute. Ms. Yoeun conducts and participates in both quantitative and qualitative analyses to examine state health insurance coverage for various healthcare services, including tobacco dependence treatment and fertility preservation services within the public and private insurance markets.

Ms. Yoeun serves as a UCSD public health section lead of CHBRP reports. Since joining in
January 2017, she has conducted and synthesized evidence-based research to craft summary
evaluations on the background and public health impact of prospective health benefit mandates.
Previous CHBRP focus areas have included authorized coverage for non-pharmacological pain management treatment without medicine, mandated coverage for at-home STD test kits, and mandated coverage of health care services related to clinical trial participation. She has thoroughly enjoyed participating as a member of a highly collaborative and diverse multi-university CHBRP research team—especially given the profound impact increased access to health care coverage can
have on vulnerable populations.

Before joining UCSD, Ms. Yoeun worked for over three years at AcademyHealth, a professional
member organization for health services and policy researchers. Ms. Yoeun served as project manager of several grant-making/fellowship professional development opportunities to support the careers of junior investigators. During her tenure, AcademyHealth granted over 15
small grant awards and placed 25 PhD-trained fellows within 14 healthcare delivery systems
nationwide. Ms. Yoeun accredits her introduction to health policy through her experience as a
member of the AmeriCorps, Philadelphia Health Corps and immersion into the Washington, DC
health policy realm through her former roles at the School Based Health Alliance and

In her career thus far, Ms. Yoeun is most proud of her research work that aids local and state
policymakers in the decision-making process to increase access to health care coverage for the
most vulnerable and underserved populations. As a first-generation American and daughter of
Cambodian war-refugees, she has found it incredibly rewarding to contribute to the
health policy making process.
University of California, Berkeley
MC 3116
Berkeley, CA 94720-3116
(510) 664-5306
Connect With Us: