Program addresses the need for medical treatment for homeless populations
Colton, CA – Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in conjunction with the County of San Bernardino is expanding medical services for the State of California’s Department of Health Care Services Whole Person Care program (WPC). This program coordinates health, behavioral health and social services in a patient-centered manner with the goal of improved health and well-being. The County’s WPC pilot was recently selected to receive additional funding of $500,000, which will allow ARMC to add additional medical care to support the program.
With this additional funding ARMC’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Pharmacy, and the California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM) will work together to provide two new services. The services include homeless outreach for adults over 55 years old with physical disabilities, and mobile Street Medicine outreach services. Homeless outreach started in December 2019 and the Street Medicine outreach will begin in January 2020. Both services will be in partnership with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Homeless Outreach Progressive Enforcement (H.O.P.E) team.
WPC is a statewide program offered through Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. The program provides communities with the opportunity to improve health outcomes among vulnerable populations with services that are not typically funded by Medi-Cal. With the goal of improved health systems across the state, eligible populations must be high-risk patients who are also high utilizers of system services and continue to have worsening health outcomes.
“Vulnerable individuals often have unmet medical and behavioral health needs, who often are experiencing challenging social and economic issues as well, which can exacerbate and complicate the treatment of health conditions,” said Ernest Barrio, program manager for Whole Person Care at ARMC, who was hired in March 2017 to build the team. “By enhancing our current health care delivery system to meet the unique needs of this population, our goal is to improve their quality of life and address a growing concern in the community to help the homelessness with medical challenges.”
The Whole Person Care Pilot Program started in 2016. The program’s target population in San Bernardino County are high utilizing Medi-Cal beneficiaries with two or more chronic conditions. For example, this would include repeated incidents of avoidable emergency use, hospital admissions, nursing facility placement, or mental health and/or substance use disorders. The program’s primary goals are coordination of health, behavioral health, social services and comprehensive coordinated care for the beneficiary resulting in better health outcomes. The program also helps to build self-management skills.
About Arrowhead Regional Medical Center
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is a 456-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital licensed by the State of California Department of Public Health, operated by the County of San Bernardino, and governed by the Board of Supervisors. It is ARMC’s mission, in an environment of learning and innovation, to serve our diverse community with high-quality compassionate care. For more information on CUSM, visit https://www.cusm.org/. For more information about ARMC, visit www.arrowheadmedcenter.org. Follow ARMC on Twitter at @ArrowheadRMC for important announcements and updates, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowheadregional.