March 1, 2023

Elizabeth Mitchell To Represent Employers On California Board To Lower Health Care Costs

CEO Of The Country’s Most Prestigious Business Group On Health Selected By Governor Newsom To The Board Of California’s Office Of Heath Care Affordability

Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH), has been appointed to the Health Care Affordability Board for California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA).

Mitchell’s appointment signals a commitment to ensuring health care is affordable for consumers and large employers, who provide health benefits to millions of Californians. She will bring her extensive background working with employers and public purchasers of health care and industry knowledge to the position to improve access to affordable health care services. A major focus for Mitchell and the purchasers she represents is redirecting existing health care spend to high-quality, equitable and evidence-based care while holding total cost flat.

“Consumers and employers pay the bills, and it’s important to have their voices heard,” said Mitchell. “This is not only beneficial for individuals and companies, but for all Californians. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to bring their voices to the table.”

OHCA was established within the Department of Health Care Access and Information through legislation in 2022. Recognizing that health care affordability has reached a crisis point as health care costs continue to grow, OHCA’s enabling statute emphasizes that it is in the public interest that all Californians receive health care that is accessible, affordable, equitable, high-quality and universal. OHCA has three primary responsibilities: managing spending targets, monitoring system performance and assessing market consolidation.

The Health Care Affordability Board will establish an overall health care cost growth target for per capita spending in California and have the authority to set specific targets by health care sector. Setting cost growth targets is critical to ensuring health care is affordable. The representation of purchasers on the board is important because it puts those paying the bills front and center.

“There is a lot of work to do, and the problems of affordability and uneven quality need to be addressed urgently,” said Mitchell. “I am eager to get to work.”

In addition to addressing health care costs and market consolidation, OHCA is also charged with promoting and measuring quality and equity through performance reporting, setting a statewide goal for adoption of alternative payment models, measuring and promoting a sustained systemwide investment in primary care and behavioral health and monitoring and addressing health care workforce stability.