A program that is designed to improve the health care of what are called “underserved” patients has been expanded this year. Iowa Primary Care Association CEO, Ted Boesen, says six regions of the state will receive grant money to build local partnerships to connect patients to community resources to overcome barriers in their treatment.
“Health care delivery resources are sometimes spent more wisely if some of the determinates of their health — like housing and transportation and understanding their situations better — is more a function of what happens,” Boesen says.
He says the local partnerships called “Community Care Coordination” ensure the issues outside the doctor’s office or hospital are taken care of.”They’ll actually work with the primary care practices that see these patients, kind of connect with them, and then they’ll connect with the social services…that provide the needed care. They’ll be kind of the conduit between the patients, the practices and some of the services available in the community,” Boesen explains.
The program started last year in Cerro Gordo and Webster County and Boesen says they learned lessons from the first year. “We really kind of downsized the amount of money each grantee got so we could have implementation opportunities, but we could also have developmental opportunities,” Boesen says.
The Iowa Legislature provided more than $900,000 dollars in funding for the program.
Here is a list of the types of grants and the recipients:
Implementation initiatives will deploy a Community Care Coordination team to support primary care practices in providing services for their highest need patients by addressing gaps in care, transitions of care, and connection to community resources.
· Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa – to serve Cerro Gordo County -($200,000)
· Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital – to serve Cass, Mills, and Pottawattamie ($150,000)
· Seasons Center – to serve Clay and Sioux counties ($200,000)
· Webster County Health Department – to serve Buena Vista, Calhoun Webster, Hamilton Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, and Wright counties ($200,000)
Developmental initiatives will assess and develop a plan to provide assistance to local primary care and other health care providers to meet the unique needs of their highest risk patients, establish connections with other community resources, and provide education to their community partners about Community Care Coordination.
· Allen Memorial Hospital to serve Black Hawk County ($50,000)
· Dallas County Nursing Services to serve Dallas County ($88,784)
Learning Collaborative Stipends
Three additional regions were awarded $10,000 stipends to participate in the Care Coordination Learning Collaborative. These three organizations will join the other grantees in a team-based effort to share experiences and best practices to become more patient-focused and efficient.
· Healthy Henry County Community
· YMCA Healthy Living (Des Moines)
· Shenandoah Medical Center