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FAQs: L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Collaboration

This unique partnership from L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise will bring valuable health-related classes and social services into communities across Los Angeles County.

We've provided a set of frequently asked questions below to help L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise members, providers and partners understand the scope and next steps in this exciting collaboration.

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What is the new collaboration between L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise?

L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan have committed a combined $146 million over five years, to expand Community Resource Centers across Los Angeles County, both in terms of geographic footprint and services. Over the next five years, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise will jointly open seven new Community Resource Centers, remodel four existing centers and relocate three centers to larger locations, for a total of 14. The co-branded facilities will be called Community Resource Centers. 

Ultimately, the plans believe that the transformed Resource Centers, which provide a wide range of health and wellness services, will help to reduce health care costs over time.

What is a Community Resource Center?

The L.A. Care/Blue Shield Promise Community Resource Centers (Community Resource Centers) are fun, safe and inclusive spaces to improve the total quality of life of everyone in the community. Each Community Resource Center will have tailored programs to meet the needs of the community it serves including:

  • Fitness Classes 
  • Health Education Classes
  • Preventive Health and Training
  • Health Screenings
  • Nutrition and Healthy Cooking Classes
  • Social Service Assistance (housing, financial literacy, food insecurity)  
  • Support Groups
  • On site Department of Public Social Services Worker
  • On site nutritionist

The Community Resource Centers will enhance community connections, address social needs and improve overall health outcomes for members and the entire community through free health screenings and on-site enrollment support for social service programs. Each jointly operated Community Resource Center will serve as a one-stop community destination, providing classes and services that will help keep center visitors active, healthy and informed. 

While the Community Resource Centers are open to the public, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise members will be able to access personalized health and wellness programs and services. The Community Resource Centers will serve as platforms to introduce health care technology such as Telehealth and health care mobile application support to help build L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise members’ capacity to manage their own health.

Are L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise operating Community Resource Centers now?

L.A. Care has deep roots in the community, and opened its first Family Resource Center in Lynwood in November 2007. There are currently six Family Resource Centers strategically located across the county in Boyle Heights, East L.A., Inglewood, Lynwood, Pacoima and Palmdale.

Blue Shield Promise (offering Medi-Cal coverage through Blue Shield Promise, formerly called Care1st Health Plan) currently operates an Informational Resource Center in Huntington Park which opened in September 2007.

Why are Community Resource Centers important?

This unique collaboration will help improve health outcomes in local communities by transforming health care for members of the two health plans and the community-at-large. Improved health outcomes will also reduce health care costs over time.

Why are L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise partnering in this unique way?

Both mission-driven health plans are committed to providing access to high quality and affordable health care, and are dedicated to being responsive to and inclusive of all the communities served. 

The two health plans have a long history of working together, as Blue Shield Promise is one of the Plan Partners that L.A. Care contracts with to serve Medi-Cal members in Los Angeles County, and this Community Resource Center effort greatly expands the ongoing collaboration.

This new collaboration will reinforce and expand the relationship between the two plans, with opportunities to leverage respective strengths and areas of expertise. This collaboration also creates opportunities to share perspectives and learnings, as well as opportunities for joint problem-solving and innovation.

The health plans are excited to be working together to reimagine the Resource Centers to better serve the communities in Los Angeles. Together, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise are elevating the total quality of life for members and local communities.

How will the collaboration benefit members and the community?

Today, Resource Centers offer many classes and services including health education, nutrition and fitness classes for the community.

Going forward, the Resource Centers will provide personalized services for members and their families as well as ongoing offerings for the community. Care managers, Department of Public Social Services workers, health plan social workers and community health workers will be on-site, closer to the members they serve.

Thanks to this health plan collaboration, the next generation services that will be tested in these new Community Resource Centers may include:

  • Night and weekend hours
  • Enhanced Telehealth support and access
  • Support for health care related smartphone apps and tools
  • Additional health screenings
  • Targeted programming for members to manage chronic or acute conditions
  • On-site support from community social service organizations focused on social factors such as legal aid, vocational training and financial services
  • Referrals to other community services
  • A mobile clinic partnership and mobile Community Resource Centers
What health issues will this new collaboration aim to address?

As mission-driven health plans, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise know that medical care only contributes about 20% to health outcomes. Social factors that affect individual health, such as food and income security, have been shown to have a much greater impact, and the Community Resource Centers will be a connector to services and resources that can help members address those issues. 

Health is local, and a key principle of this effort is to customize programming based on the specific health and wellness needs of each Community Resource Center community. Through health plan community outreach representatives, on-site care managers, community health workers and health screenings, those needs will be addressed at the local level.

The health plans hope these new Community Resource Centers will become Centers of Excellence for identifying health disparities in each community and creating focused programming to address those disparities.

Is this sort of partnership happening elsewhere?

This is the first time two health plans have entered into this type of relationship, and the plans are excited to learn from and build upon each other’s strengths and really collaborate to transform health and well-being.

Where will the new Community Resource Centers be located?

Pomona, Metro L.A. (Koreatown adjacent), Long Beach, the Westside, San Gabriel Valley, Gateway Cities and the South Bay. 

There are also plans to relocate or retrofit the existing seven Resource Centers to support the additional services that will be available.

Will Community Resource Center staff include both L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise employees?

Yes. Staff from both L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise will be on site.

What are the roles of community partner organizations located at Community Resource Centers?

Partner organizations will be on site at scheduled times to lead health education, nutrition and exercise classes, to administer screenings and to help connect visitors to various social services.

What is the current relationship between Blue Shield Promise and L.A. Care?

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is one of L.A. Care’s three Plan Partners that provide coverage to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Los Angeles County. Blue Shield Promise serves more than 320,000 of L.A. Care’s two million Medi-Cal members. 

Blue Shield of California acquired Care1st Health Plan (now Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan) in 2015, but Care1st had been a Plan Partner since L.A. Care opened for business in 1997.

As the new Community Resource Centers are built out, what will happen to the existing facilities?

The L.A. Care Family Resource Centers and the Blue Shield Promise Informational Resource Center will continue to operate in the same way. Members and the entire community will continue to be able to visit any center. By the end of 2021, all of the existing Resource Centers will be co-branded with the new Community Resource Center name, and new programs and services will be introduced at that time.