L.A. Care Launches Ambitious Initiative to Address Looming Physician Shortage

Monday, July 16, 2018

Up to $31 million committed to recruit physicians to serve the most vulnerable

Los Angeles — L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country, announced it has committed up to $31 million dollars to recruit physicians into the safety net of providers — those committed to offering access to care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, which includes the uninsured, Medi-Cal members and other vulnerable patients. 

The initiative, called Elevating the Safety Net, seeks to enhance access to care in the midst of a sweeping physician shortage that a University of California San Francisco study projected would leave California with a shortfall of nearly 9,000 primary care physicians in just a little more than a decade. 

This is the largest commitment L.A. Care has ever made, and we're eager to see the positive impact on the communities we serve. Our members are going to need care next year, the year after, and 10 years from now, and this investment aligns with our mission of supporting the safety net of providers who serve them.

-- John Baackes
CEO, L.A. Care

The initiative will initially be comprised of three grant programs — medical school scholarships, a program to help with physician salary subsidies, sign-on bonuses and/or relocation costs, and a program for medical school loan repayments. It is designed to relieve the financial burdens that often lead physicians away from practices and safety net facilities that treat many L.A. Care members. 
On Thursday, July 19, in a ceremony to launch the initiative, L.A. Care will honor eight students who will be the first to receive full medical school scholarships. Four of the students will attend the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and four will attend Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. All of the students have expressed a strong desire to work in underserved communities.
"These students won't have to carry a loan the size of a home mortgage when they graduate," said Baackes. "Our hope is that the relief from that financial burden will enable them to pursue their passion for serving the underserved, and work in the safety net treating our members."
The overall initiative will help to strengthen the safety net, ensuring access to quality health care for vulnerable populations in L.A. County for many years to come.
Elevating the Safety Net Launch
Thursday, July 19, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (program begins at 10:40 am)
Location: L.A. Care Health Plan
1055 West 7th Street – 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA
Media Visuals:
L.A. Care White Coat Presentation
L.A. Care Stethoscope Presented by Young Children
Mobile Clinic Tour
Interviews with Scholars, L.A. Care Executives
Follow all developments related to the initiative at #ElevatingtheSafetyNet on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™,  Medi-CalL.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. 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 more than 2 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.


Media Contact
Penny Griego Media Relations Specialist
213.694.1250 x 4560
310.613.8309 | Mobile
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn