Orange County’s troubled public health care plan is slated to get a new board member, with county supervisor Lisa Bartlett scheduled to replace former Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s seat on the CalOptima board.
Bartlett’s appointment is up for approval at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. It comes at a critical time for the agency, which manages health care for more than 600,000 poor residents, most of them children and elderly.
A federal audit last year found that “widespread” problems at CalOptima were leading to a “serious threat to the health and safety” of elderly patients.
State auditors also found “serious and significant” problems, including potentially dangerous delays in approving prescriptions. Agency officials have vowed to fix the issues identified by auditors.
Bartlett would be joining supervisors’ Chairman Todd Spitzer on the health plan’s board.
The two county supervisor appointees have a powerful role on the CalOptima board, given that the rest of the board members have to be approved by county supervisors.
Bartlett’s appointment is among many board and commission appointments up for approval on Tuesday. Bartlett will also be appointed to the Orange County Fire Authority.
The 36 panels estimated to get appointments include the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the region’s air pollution regulator and South Coast AQMD.
Click here for the full list of appointments scheduled for Tuesday.