​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Public Hospital Project


In 2008, the Department of Health Care Services' (DHCS) Clinical Assurance Division (CAD) piloted a new process which allowed selected Designated Public Hospitals (DPHs) to use an evidence based standardized medical review criteria tool in lieu of the TAR process for Fee-For-Service (FFS) Medi-Cal admissions. 

The Designated Public Hospital Project (DPHP) pilot ended in 2010 and allowed DHCS to analyze the impact of the DPHs using standardized criteria on acute inpatient days, length of stay, levels of care, approval and denial rates, and program costs. 

The DPHP, also called t​​​​he Public Hospital Project (PHP) and Tar-Free Project, entered an expansion phase after the pilot period, to transition all DPHs into the project.  Participating hospitals abide by a Participation Agreement and receive training on the TAR-free process for Medi-Cal FFS admissions.  Trainings include an overview of the PHP, Acute Administrative Days, and Medi-Cal Aid Codes.

Participating Hospitals

DPH Denied Medi-Cal Days Template

Frequently Asked Questions​​​​​

​​Technical Workgroup Teleconference Minutes​​

Superior Systems Waiver

Since 1985, the Superior Systems Waiver (SSW), under the authority of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has allowed the Clinical Assurance Division (CAD) to provide oversight of the utilization of Medi-Cal services. 

DHCS CAD Variance Authority

In the DPHP (PHP) Project, CAD reports utilization oversight findings by means of a set of variance codes.  These codes reflect variances from Medi-Cal policy.  Sources of authority for these variance codes include the Federal Code of Regulations, California Code of Regulations, California Welfare and Institutions Code, Federal Social Security Act and Manual of Criteria for Medi-Cal Authorization.​

Dispute Resolution Process

A dispute resolution process is in place for participating hospitals to dispute any DHCS CAD findings.


Contact Information

The PHP is supported by DHCS CAD Headquarters staff based in Sacramento, CA as well as DHCS Medi-Cal Field Offices located throughout the State. The following general email address is available for participating hospitals to submit questions, suggestions, or any other communications to the DHCS CAD Staff:  PublicHospitalProject@dhcs.ca.gov.

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Last modified date: 12/20/2022 9:23 AM