Modern Healthcare featured L.A. Care in its August 27 cover story, "Financial imperative: Payers can't control costs without addressing social determinants". The article talks about how insurance companies and other payers are looking beyond the hospital or clinic to better address the social and environmental factors that affect health.
For L.A. Care, it's been about leveraging existing government programs, such as CalFresh, and referring beneficiaries to community-based organizations for additional services and resources.
But this year, L.A. Care made a significant $20 million commitment to secure permanent housing for the homeless, and invested in California's Food is Medicine program that will deliver medically tailored food to 1,000 congestive heart failure patients in Los Angeles.
If what we are paid is based on the outcomes we are able to produce, it begins to shift the focus and realization that … we need to begin to make investments in those issues that while not traditionally healthcare-related, have such a huge impact on health
--Richard Seidman, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, L.A. Care
Plenty of challenges remain in figuring out how much and how best to invest to meet those social needs, but there's a growing awareness that payers that fail to appreciate the context of a patient's life will have a hard time controlling medical spending.
Learn more about L.A. Care's role in Food is Medicine.
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-Cal, L.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.