Did you know?

As of the end of June, CenCal Health had over 163,000 members.
A Word from the CEO  
Welcome to the First CenCal Health Bi-Monthly eNewsletter!
Dear CenCal Health Friends,
We're excited to share this premier issue of The Community Pulse, a bi-monthly e-newsletter for our partners, providers, and friends in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.  Our goal is to keep you informed about what is happening not only at CenCal Health, but also with national news and trends related to the health care industry, and to hopefully do so in an effective and entertaining way.
It's appropriate that our first issue comes on the heels of the 50th Anniversary of Medicaid (Medi-Cal, as we know it).  The benefit of expanding healthcare to those who need it is just as relevant today as it was fifty years ago and we appreciate your being a part of it.
Please enjoy this 'first edition' and let us know if you have any comments, ideas, or questions.
Bob Freeman, CEO
Medi-Cal Turns 50

The landscape of health care in the United States changed forever 50 years ago, on July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark amendment to the Social Security Act, creating Medicaid(or Medi-Cal as we refer to it in California). Today, Medicaid is the nation's largest health insurer. CenCal Health has successfully been administering these benefits for 32 years in Santa Barbara County. Read more... 
Our Nurse Advice Line is Here to Help

CenCal Health now offers access to a registered nurse and health information to its members, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  CenCal Health members can call a toll-free number (800) 524-5222, and obtain reliable health advice when their doctor is not available.  This has proven to be very helpful to our members when they have a sick child, or perhaps have a stomach ache and wonder if they should go to the emergency room. Alternatively, they might have been given a new medication and have questions about its use.  When our members call, they are simply asked a few questions about themselves and their concern and are called back right away.  Other languages can be accommodated as well.  This service also has an audio library with information on many health topics from headaches to heart disease.  Our members are always encouraged that if they have a true emergency, they should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
Welcome to New CenCal Health Staff
Please join us in welcoming new staff to our Health Services Department.
Dr. Peter Hasler

Dr. Peter Hasler has joined CenCal Health as our new part-time Associate Medical Director. Dr. Hasler has been in Santa Barbara since 1983. He is a pediatrician and one of his specialties is working with children with special needs. Dr. Hasler has worked in private practice, for the Tri-County Regional Center, and the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.

Blanca Zuniga

Welcome to Blanca Zuniga, our new COACH Social Work Care Manager. Blanca graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Sociology and then earned her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. She is currently finishing up her 3000 intern hours; she interned at Casa Pacifica where she worked for a crisis management intervention team and the SB Housing Authority doing case management for senior disabled individuals and families.
Florence Chan, RN, MBA 

Introducing Florence Chan, CenCal Health's new Director of Health Services. Florence has an M.S. degree in Business Administration and a B.S. degree in Nursing. Florence worked as the Director of Authorization and Utilization Management Units at Contra Costa Health Plan for many years.
Angelica Laurel-Castro

We welcome Angelica as our newest Care Management Aide for the MSSP/COACH programs. Angelica is happy that she came to work at CenCal Health; where everyone has been friendly and helpful.

Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP): A Great California Healthcare Resource

Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) is a non-profit, non-partisan health policy think tank. Its goal is to identify and promote innovative approaches to improve and expand health care and coverage in California. This is accomplished through regional and statewide workgroups, an annual statewide conference, legislative briefings, research and reports. 

For more information, visit its website at
www.itup.org .
CenCal Health partners with Care to Care, LLC to manage advanced imaging services

CenCal Health announced a multi-year agreement in July that establishes Care to Care as their exclusive provider of Radiology Benefit Management (RBM) services.  This agreement was based on the principle of providing the right test at the right time, with a focus on patient safety through the use of proprietary evidence-based criteria. Read more...