Director Toby Douglas
Welcome to the Web site of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Our vital mission is to preserve and improve the health status of all Californians, a goal we pursue through an array of important health care programs and services.
Our largest and most far-reaching program is Medi-Cal, California’s version of the national Medicaid program. It serves more than 8.3 million beneficiaries annually – men, women and children who otherwise could not afford critical and sometimes life-saving health care. Medi-Cal serves as the financing structure for the payment of a myriad of public and private health care providers who serve our state’s low-income children, parents and disabled adults.
Medi-Cal is supported by a combination of federal and state dollars. Our annual budget is $42 billion, and we rely on our staff to use those resources in a manner that provides the most effective, efficient care possible. We value innovation and ideas that allow us to do the most with the resources at hand.
Some of DHCS’ programs are mandated by the federal government, while others are required by state law. They range from California Children’s Services and the Child Health and Disability Prevention program to the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program and the Newborn Hearing Screening Program.
DHCS is committed to ensuring its programs deliver superb medical quality and achieve outstanding clinical outcomes. This is accomplished through a focus on improving the health of the population, optimizing quality of care at the patient level and reducing the per capita cost of care.
The current economic issues confronting California demand that we find ways to accommodate a growing number of low-income and disabled individuals with even fewer resources. This drives us to continue to innovate and implement more cost-effective ways of delivering, financing and purchasing health care, while ensuring the highest level of program integrity and health care quality and outcomes.
Federal health care reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a priority for DHCS. It will offer Californians access to affordable health care insurance, a consumer friendly, streamlined process for enrolling in coverage and an opportunity to improve the quality of health care. We have been an early implementer of the ACA among states. Our Medicaid Section 1115 waiver, granted by the federal government last year, allows us to prepare in advance of the full implementation of health care reform by covering hundreds of thousands more uninsured people, transitioning our most vulnerable beneficiaries into managed care and investing in transforming the state’s safety net delivery system.
DHCS is a dynamic department with talented, committed staff. We work collaboratively to fill a vital role in the ongoing health of Californians. Going forward, we will continue to use our state’s limited tax dollars as effectively as possible, finding opportunities to improve Californians’ health, and the health care delivery system, of our great state.
On January 7, 2011, Governor Brown appointed Toby Douglas as director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Home to the state's Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal, DHCS administers programs to support the vital health care needs of more than 8.3 million Californians annually. DHCS employs 3,000 staff and manages expenditures of more than $42 billion in public funds. Douglas had been chief deputy director since 2009 and held leadership positions in the department since 2005.
From 2001 to 2005, Douglas was a senior manager of activities related to health access, policy and planning at the San Mateo County Health Department. Before that, Douglas was a research associate at the Urban Institute, a non-partisan, social policy research organization in Washington, D.C., and an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer.
Douglas graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also earned master’s degrees in public health and public policy from Cal.