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CenCal Health Earns Top Spot as Best Place to Work

Apr 19, 2019


Pacific Coast Business Times Publishes 2019 List of Top 25 Companies for Employee Satisfaction

Santa Barbara, CA – April 19, 2019 – CenCal Health, the health plan founded in Santa Barbara over thirty-five years ago, is being recognized as the Best Place to Work by Pacific Coast Business Times. The publication annually produces a list of the 25 Best Places to Work, determined by an employee survey and other criteria, administered by Pacific Coast Business Times. The full list was published today in the business weekly, and an event honoring all 25 of the Central Coast companies will be held May 23 at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

CenCal Health provides comprehensive health coverage to more than 175,000 men, women and children enrolled in Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). This regional health plan partners with over 1,500 local physicians and other providers to deliver quality patient care to approximately 1 in 4 residents of Santa Barbara County and 1 in 5 residents of San Luis Obispo County. CenCal Health also collaborates with community-based organizations to address social determinants of health while increasing members’ access to medical care and reducing costs. The oldest Medicaid managed care plan of its kind, CenCal Health is a public entity that employs close to 250 people at offices in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The agency also contributes approximately $50 million a month into the local economy, primarily through payments to healthcare providers who serve its members. Employee positions include medical physicians and nurses, IT analysts, customer and provider service representatives, as well as claims representatives, to name a few.

“If you invest in people, in their training, in their career growth, and in having the privilege to serve the community, then they will most often invest in you,” said Bob Freeman, CenCal Health CEO.

Based on health outcome and process measures, CenCal Health has been found to be one of the top performing Medi-Cal plans in the state, according to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set or HEDIS®. (HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance [NCQA]). Overall results reported in 2018 mark the best performance that the agency and its network of physicians have achieved since CenCal Health began annual reporting in 2000, with its Santa Barbara County plan ranking 5th out of 53 county or region-specific Medi-Cal Managed Care plans.

“Being a best place to work isn’t a destination, it’s a continuous journey,” said Karyn Fish, Director of Human Resources at CenCal Health. “It’s about being responsive to the evolving needs and expectations of CenCal Health’s greatest asset – our staff.”

A 1983 experiment in health care in Santa Barbara County gave birth to a health plan recognized by The Ford Foundation and Harvard University for its innovation and efficiency. That plan – originally called the Santa Barbara Health Initiative, and later known as CenCal Health – was the first local-control Medicaid program of its kind in the nation. Last fall, CenCal Health marked its 35th year providing care to Medi-Cal recipients in Santa Barbara County, and, for the past decade, in San Luis Obispo County. Some of the core plans and programs with which CenCal Health has served members during its 35-year history on the Central Coast include Access for Infants & Mothers/Prenatal Plus 2, California Children’s Services (CCS), Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, In Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Multipurpose Senior Services, and Mental Health Benefits.

CenCal Health Contact:

Nicolette Worley Marselian (805) 685-9525 ext 1993

Press Contact: Sheri Mobley (805) 845-5627, (213) 509-9816