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L.A. Care Awards Nearly $1.5 Million for Physician Recruitment and Commits $6 Million to Physician Loan Repayment

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Sixth Round of Provider Recruitment Grants is Critical in Wake of COVID-19

LOS ANGELES – With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in millions of job losses, L.A. Care Health Plan is expecting a surge of new Medi-Cal enrollees, which could place an even greater strain on safety net clinics and practices in Los Angeles County. Today, the health plan is announcing the latest 11 awardees in its sixth round of Elevating the Safety Net Provider Recruitment Program grants to help ensure there will be enough qualified physicians to support the influx of these new enrollees.

In 2018, L.A. Care launched Elevating the Safety Net (ESN), a five-year, $155 million initiative to recruit highly qualified primary care physicians into the Los Angeles County safety net. Safety net providers offer health care access to a substantial share of the Medi-Cal population and the uninsured.

“Elevating the Safety Net is proving to be extremely successful. Since launching, we have awarded 120 grants and have recruited 85 physicians into the L.A. County safety net,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Each of those new physicians can serve as many as 2,000 new patients.”

There was already a physician shortage in the L.A. County safety net, and the expected surge in COVID-19 Medi-Cal enrollment will make recruitment even more critical. The grants announced today are worth nearly $1.5 million dollars, bringing the total award amount from all six rounds to about $15 million.

The sixth round awardees are:


AltaMed Health Services Corp., South Gate
Complete Care Community Health Center, South Gate
Garfield Health Center, Monterey Park
KHEIR Center, Los Angeles
Northeast Valley Health Corporation, Van Nuys
QueensCare Health Centers, Los Angeles
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, Wilmington
Valley Community Healthcare, North Hollywood
Via Care, Los Angeles
Watts Healthcare Corporation, Los Angeles
Son Le, MD, Rosemead

Newly recruited physicians to the safety net are eligible for the Provider Loan Repayment Program, another part of Elevating the Safety Net. Under the program, physicians receive loan repayments of up to $5,000 per month for up to 36 months, as long as they continue to work within the safety net. Fifty-five physicians have been approved for loan repayment grants, so far, and the L.A. Care Board of Governors just approved another $6 million for this program to serve even more doctors. The initial commitment was $3 million.

For information about the other programs in Elevating the Safety net, please visit our Elevating the Safety Net web page.


About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.1 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Media Contact
Penny Griego Media Relations Specialist
213.694.1250 x 4560
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