LOS ANGELES – L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public health plan, announced today that the Board of Governors approved $600,000 in funding to launch a two-year pilot program to provide technical assistance and evaluation to help transform 11 health care practices into patient centered medical homes (PCMHs).
A PCMH replaces episodic care with coordinated care provided by a physician-led healthcare team that is patient-centered, coordinates care across settings, and utilizes electronic health records (EHRs) to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. The PCMH model ensures that each patient has close, ongoing contact and access with his primary care doctor and team for continuing care.
Approximately 85,000 patients will be served by these 11 PCMH practices.
The health care reform law places new emphasis on the role of primary care physician and focuses on patient centered medical homes as a way to improve health care outcomes and lower costs. Practices and systems that have implemented PCMH have shown encouraging results. For example, by using a PCMH model, Community Care of North Carolina reduced asthma-related hospitalizations by 40% and asthma related ER visits by 16% over a three-year period.
The 11 health care practices participating in the pilot are:
7. Clinica Familiar De Los Latinos (Maywood, CA)
8. Kids and Teens Medical Group (Van Nuys, CA)
9. A Diop Family Care Medical Group, Inc. (Inglewood, CA)
10. USC Family Medicine Clinic at California Hospital (Downtown Los Angeles, CA )
“L.A. Care is committed to helping small practices and safety net clinics, which serve the majority of Americans, redesign how they deliver care to achieve better outcomes, higher patient satisfaction and more efficient use of resources,” says Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Medical Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan
. “Early adopters of the PCMH model are mainly large medical groups or integrated delivery systems, which represent less than 10% of the physician practices in the nation.”
L.A.Care is working with Qualis Health
, a non-profit healthcare consulting organization with expertise in PCMH transformation consulting with providers across the country. Qualis Health will be conducting baseline assessments, supporting redesigning workflow processes, and providing technical assistance to participating practices including approximately 70 physicians, nurses and other clinic staff members.
“These clinics and private practices will receive one-on-one assistance and support to learn a new way of doing business,” says Dr. Alexander Li, Medical Director at L.A. Care Health Plan. “We’re asking them to adopt health information technology, use evidence-based guidelines, and improve communication with their patients, all with the ultimate goal of achieving better health outcomes.”
Clinics and private practices were accepted into this pilot program based on a competitive process that assessed their readiness to engage and invest in PCMH activities, commit to implementing health information technology and redesign their workflows to improve access and coordinated care. Clinics and private practices were also selected based on their commitment to becoming a high-performing PCMH that is willing to serve vulnerable populations including Seniors and People with Disabilities (SPDs) and their financial stability to maintain the PCMH model. Location was also taken into consideration in the selection process.
The PCMH pilot aligns with HITEC-LA, a project of L.A. Care Health Plan. HITEC-LA’s goal is to help health care providers implement and use EHRs in a meaningful way in an effort to improve clinical patients’ outcomes. HITEC-LA is the exclusive, federally-designated Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for Los Angeles County.
Since 2001, L.A. Care has provided over $100 million in grants to strengthen the safety net, improve community and public health and expand health insurance coverage. For more information about L.A. Care’s CHIF program, please visit http://www.lacare.org/aboutlacare/grantmaking
About L.A. Care
L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of programs including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids, and L.A. Care Health Plan Medicare Advantage HMO SNP. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With over 800,000 members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest public health plan.