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Breaking the Cycle: Improving Outcomes for California’s High Need, High Cost Population

November 7, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

Photo by Terrabass CC BY-SA 3.0

A slim slice of California’s citizens use the majority of government services.  At hospitals, jails, and homeless shelters across the state, we see familiar faces again and again.  Many of these people suffer from mental health, substance abuse, or persistent health conditions. Are we serving their needs effectively, efficiently, and equitably?

Several cities and counties around the state – from San Diego to Humboldt – are seeking to identify and address these “frequent utilizers.”  Some of these efforts are focused specifically on health-care utilization and Whole Person Care.  Other efforts are trying to reduce frequent contacts with law enforcement by testing new diversion options.  And still others are trying to solve the state’s homelessness crisis, and are finding that housing-first models have downstream benefits in improving health and criminal justice outcomes.

The California Policy Lab is hosting a conference on November 7 that aims to integrate each of these valuable perspectives and provide a platform for sharing lessons learned between localities that are working on similar problems.

We will hear from national experts about which interventions are most promising.  We will hear from counties that have integrated data on high utilizers and have surprising findings about the population.  We will hear from practitioners about potential obstacles to success ­– including coordination across modalities, data linking, and public affairs strategies – and how to overcome them.

Registration is subject to space limitations and host approval.




8:30 – 9:30
Registration and breakfast
9:30 – 9:45
9:45 – 11:00
Session 1: Three lenses on a similar problem
How are health, homelessness, and criminal justice practitioners approaching the issue of high utilization?  What lessons can each offer the others?  What promising efforts are ongoing nationwide?
11:20 – 12:35
Session 2: Understanding California’s high-utilizing population
How to we define utilization?  What attributes distinguish the highest utilizers?  What patterns or trends do we see?  What subgroups, taxonomies, or frameworks help disaggregate potential problems and solutions?
12:35 – 1:40
1:50 – 3:20
Session 3: Outcomes and interventions
What interventions are promising? What are the differences between criminal justice, health, and housing interventions? What evidence gaps remain?
3:40 – 5:10
Session 4: Overcoming practical challenges
How to accomplish data integration? How to get momentum across several public agencies?  What public affairs strategies work best?
5:15 – 6:30


This event is organized by the California Policy Lab, which enables better lives through data-driven policy. We do this by generating evidence that transforms public policy by forming lasting partnerships between government and California’s flagship public universities to harness the power of research and administrative data. We have sites at UCLA and UC Berkeley, where we are a center of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.


November 7, 2017
8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Charlotte Rutty


The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704 United States
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