May Revision Budget Impacts to ACEs Aware

May Revision Budget Impacts to ACEs Aware

The state of California is facing an unprecedented budget shortfall due to the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 emergency. The state must make difficult budgetary decisions to protect access to vital services and programs, including Medi-Cal.

While we are all facing these significant budget changes together, we also know that Californians are experiencing increased levels of stress. That stress, combined with disruptions to accessing care and health maintenance activities, will acutely affect the health and well-being of Californians in the weeks, months, and years ahead. The ACEs Aware initiative is a vital part of the Medi-Cal program’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, helping providers identify, prevent, and treat these secondary health effects.

This is reflected in the Governor’s proposed May Revision budget, which includes continued funding for the ACEs Aware initiative, although at a reduced amount.

The May Revision proposes $21.6 million total funds in fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 for provider payments for ACEs screenings, a reduction of $16.1 million total funds from the $37.7 million total funds proposed in the January budget. The May Revision also proposes $20 million total funds for ACEs training funds for FY 2020-21, a reduction of $40 million total funds from the $60 million total funds proposed in the January budget.

Once the Governor and Legislature finalize California’s FY 2020-21 budget, we’ll better understand the impact of the new budget on program activities. In the meantime, we know that this initiative is providing critical resources to help support Californians through this difficult time, including webinars to give providers trauma-informed practices to address stress related to COVID-19 and strategies for maintaining connections with patients through telehealth.

The ACEs Aware website has compiled resources on managing stress related to COVID-19 and mitigating the impact of stress on physical and mental health for health care providers, their teams, and their patients. These resources include the Office of the California Surgeon General’s Playbooks on Stress Relief for Caregivers and Kids during COVID-19 and general Stress Relief during COVID-19.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with you to help Medi-Cal providers better understand toxic stress and how they can respond with trauma-informed care.

Thank you for all you are doing to help care for Californians in need.


The ACEs Aware Initiative,

Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH – California Surgeon General, Office of the California Surgeon General

Karen Mark, MD, PhD – Medical Director, Department of Health Care Services