About the Department of Health Care Services
Welcome to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). DHCS is the backbone of California’s health care safety net, helping millions of low-income and disabled Californians each and every day.
The mission of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is to provide Californians with access to affordable, high-quality health care, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use disorder services, and long-term services and supports. Our vision is to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians.
DHCS funds health care services for about 12.5 million Medi-Cal members. About one-third of Californians receive health care services financed or organized by DHCS, making the department the largest health care purchaser in California. Our success is made possible only through collaboration and cooperation with other state agencies, counties, and partners as we invest more than $90 billion for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
Among the programs administered by DHCS, some of which are mandated by the federal government and others required by state law, are California Children’s Services; Child Health and Disability Prevention program; the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program; the Newborn Hearing Screening Program; the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT) program; Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Every Woman Counts, and Coordinated Care Management. DHCS also administers programs for underserved Californians, including farm workers and American Indian communities.
DHCS is constantly seeking to improve its services. For example, to improve our members’ access to services and to ensure we spend tax dollars efficiently, nearly 80 percent of our members now receive care from a Medi-Cal managed care plan. Under these models access to health care is easier and the quality of care is improved.
Recently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded eligibility for Medi-Cal. As a result, about 3.7 million Californians are now receiving the comprehensive benefits provided by Medi-Cal, including medical and dental care, county-administered comprehensive specialty mental health services, county-supported substance use disorder services, and long-term care services.
DHCS is a dynamic department with ambitious goals and a talented, committed staff. We work hard each day to fulfill our vital responsibility to support the delivery of quality health care to Californians. Going forward, we will continue to use our state’s tax dollars as effectively as possible while finding opportunities to improve Californians’ health and the health care delivery system of our great state.
Read the DHCS 2013-2017 Strategic Plan (PDF)