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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UCLA: California Program Good Step Toward Coordinating Care for High-needs Patients, Study Finds

An evaluation by UCLA researchers has found that a California program launched in 2016 has been a positive step toward providing better-coordinated health care for people insured by Medicaid.

Initial findings from the ongoing analysis were published today by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for Health Policy Research. The researchers report that the state’s Whole Person Care program has been successful on several fronts so far, including the sharing of patients’ medical, behavioral health and social services data, which should enable providers to better collaborate to treat so-called “high-needs” patients.

That development is important in light of growing evidence that collaboration among medical, behavioral and social service providers can improve the health and well-being of people who frequently use health services — particularly those who are homeless or have mental health conditions. Dr. Nadereh Pourat, who led the evaluation and is the center’s associate director, said the lack of coordination among doctors, social workers and other health providers has been one of the system’s persistent and longstanding challenges.

Whole Person Care launched with 25 test programs covering 26 California counties; it is part of a California Department of Health Care Services effort to provide quality comprehensive care for people enrolled in Medicaid.

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