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Calif. pushes ‘whole-person’ care for Medicaid clients

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A $3 billion federal-state experimental program in California seeks to improve the health of the state’s most vulnerable populations by recognizing that expanding insurance coverage is not enough to do so.

The Sacramento Bee reports that “The state has approved plans in 18 counties intended to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital stays among vulnerable groups, such as people with multiple chronic illnesses, substance- abuse problems and mental-health disorders. The state is accepting a second round of applications for such projects next year.”

The program, called ”whole-person care,”  is part of an agreement between the state and the federal government that gives the state flexibility to try to improve the efficiency and quality of care in the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, through some experiments in population/community health that have shown promises in various places.

The projects are designed to blend physical care, mental-health care and social services.

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