From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that low-income communities of color were being disproportionately affected – suffering more cases, hospitalizations and deaths. It put a spotlight on health inequities that have long existed, but could no longer be ignored. The CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, which serves some of the hardest-hit communities in Los Angeles County, joins the Healthy Dose of Dialogue podcast this week to discuss the health inequities and how the health plan is addressing them.
During the podcast, which is hosted by Don Antonucci, Senior Vice President of Growth at Blue Shield of California, Baackes discusses the health plan’s efforts to integrate service delivery with health care to improve health outcomes. One example he gives is addressing food insecurity.
Baackes says the need for food assistance skyrocketed early in the pandemic and has remained a consistent need. Not long into the pandemic, L.A. Care began hosting and sponsoring dozens of food pantries across the county, serving tens of thousands of families. The food pantries continue to this day through the Community Resource Center partnership with Blue Shield Promise.
Baackes discusses his hopes of one day being able to incorporate the formal social services that Medi-Cal beneficiaries are entitled to into their health coverage, rather than sending members to another agency to try to access those services. You can learn more by tuning into the Healthy Dose of Dialogue podcast on Friday, April 30 on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.3 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.