Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profile


Project Title: "Care team integration of the home-based workforce"
Geographic Reach: California
Funding Amount: $11,831,445
Estimated 3-Year Savings: $24,957,836


The California Long-Term Care Education Center, in partnership with SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, Shirley Ware Education Center, SEIU United Healthcare Workers, L.A. Care Health Plan, Contra Costa Health Plan in conjunction with Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department, SynerMed, St. John's Well Child and Family Center, Care 1st Health Plan, and the University of California, San Francisco Center for Health Professions, is piloting an intervention project to integrate In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers into the health care system. The project, titled Care Team Integration of the Home-Based Workforce, serves beneficiaries of California's Medicaid personal care services program (known as IHSS). All beneficiaries are disabled and 85 percent are Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Our project recognizes the unique position of personal home care aides (PHCAs) with respect to some of the sickest and most costly Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. In most cases, PHCAs are an untapped resource into the health care system. The program focuses on developing the IHSS workforce by training IHSS providers (or PHCAs) in core competencies that will enable them to serve as agents of change and assume new roles with respect to caring for their IHSS consumer. These core competencies include being health monitors, coaches, communicators, navigators, and care aides. The goal is to reduce ER visits by 23 percent and hospital admissions from the ER by 23 percent over three years. In addition, the project hopes to see a 10 percent reduction in the average length of stay in nursing homes over the same time period. Over a three-year period, the program will train an estimated 6,000 IHSS providers.

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