Hospital Peer Review® interviewed L.A. Care's chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Seidman, in "Hospitals Take SDOH Beyond Theory, Put Data to Use" (November 2018 edition). The piece details examples of how hospitals and health systems are using social determinants of health (SDOH) data to improve quality of care.
For L.A. Care, SDOH is playing an important role in quality, costs and improving outcomes for its 2.2 million plus members. The health plan has identified homelessness and preventing homelessness, food insecurity, income insecurity, transportation and early childhood education as the determinants most relevant to members.
It is a challenge for healthcare providers, systems, and payers to step into a space that has not been traditionally considered a space for healthcare. We hear people talking about it as the medicalization of social issues. We intend to expand on our commitment in the space. We currently have a request for proposals for a community resource platform we can make available throughout the health plan but also for providers in our network.
--Richard Seidman, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, L.A. Care
Thus far, L.A. Care committed $20 million in grant funding to an organization that subsidizes permanent housing for homeless members, where the partnership is close to reaching its goal of placing 300 members in permanent housing over a five-year period.
L.A. Care also provided $2 million over the past three years to 24 programs addressing members' lack of access to healthy food. Most recently, L.A. Care funded Project Angel Food to provide medically tailored meals to patients recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure, as part of a statewide pilot project.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.2 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's vulnerable and low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, visit lacare.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.