Advancing Primary Care in California Through Aligned Hybrid Payment Models

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

This panel discussed how to advance a sustainable and equitable future for primary care through payment innovation, investment, and alignment.

Many who work in U.S. health care share a vision of primary care as the foundation for a high-quality, high-functioning national health system. However, over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fatal flaws in current payment mechanisms for primary care which prevent this vision from becoming a reality. One-third of primary care providers in California reported they were at-risk of permanent closure as a result of these flaws. The pandemic has renewed calls for aggressive movement on payment reform to support and sustain primary care.

Based on a recently released paper prepared by Manatt Health on behalf of Blue Shield of California, a panel of California’s leading experts share perspectives on the future of primary care in the state.

White paper:


Alice Hm Chen, MD, MPH is chief medical officer at Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace. In this role she is responsible for health care strategy focused on quality, equity, and delivery system transformation with the goal of improving health services provided through Covered California’s contracted health plans in service of improving access and outcomes for all Californians. Prior to this, she served as deputy secretary for policy and planning and chief of clinical affairs for the California Health and Human Services Agency. Dr. Chen spent 15 years on the faculty of the UCSF School of Medicine and served as chief medical officer and deputy director for the San Francisco Health Network. A graduate of Yale University, Stanford University Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Chen's training includes a primary care internal medicine residency and chief residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Jacqueline Ejuwa, PharmD, MHL is Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation Adoption at Blue Shield of California. Jackie has 3 decades of health care experience across 3 continents. Her 16 years at Blue Shield have taken her from clinical pharmacy, operations, pharmacy product strategy, systems implementation, and regulatory compliance to her current senior leadership role in innovation and transformation. As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation Adoption, Jackie leads a 30+ innovation team providing oversight for piloting, assessing, evaluating, and learning from new and innovative strategies to support Blue Shield’s Health Reimagined strategy. Jackie has a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Healthcare Leadership from Brown University.

Lisa Folberg, MPP is CEO at the California Academy of Family Physicians. Prior to this, Lisa served as President and CEO at the California Medical Association Foundation. She was Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Policy and Associate Director of Government Relations at California Medical Association. Lisa also served as a Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst in the California Legislative Analyst’s Office. She earned a Master of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts at San Francisco State University.

Palv Babaria, MD, MHS is Chief Quality Officer and Deputy Director of Quality and Population Health Management at the Department of Health Care Services. Before DHCS, Babaria was Chief Administrative Officer of Ambulatory Services at Alameda Health System, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Director at the K6 Adult Medicine Clinic as well as a Clinician Educator in the Primary Care Division at Highland Hospital. Babaria is a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee of the California Association of Public Hospitals/Safety Net Institute, the Alameda Health System Technology & Innovation Steering Committee and the Alameda Health System Waiver Implementation Team. She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Master of Health Science degree from Yale University.