IEHP Awarded Grant to Develop 10 Health Homes

Sep 09, 2011, 07:03 ET from Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has become one of seven California recipients of a $500,000 grant to transform health clinics into Health Homes by adding medical services and integrated systems of care to improve health outcomes among members.

The grant supports the Health Home Innovation Project under a partnership with IEHP and Riverside County Community Health Agency (RCCHA). Launched this month, the two-year project will improve data exchange, technology and care coordination at 10 RCCHA health clinics representing more than 12,500 IEHP members. The grant was provided by the Community Clinics Initiative (CCI), a joint project of Tides and The California Endowment.

A Health Home is a model of care that emphasizes care coordination and communication, both within and outside the primary care practice, especially for patients with chronic health conditions requiring many treatments, medications and specialty services.

"Improving care coordination and communication in primary care sites is critical to meet the challenge of delivering healthcare to our members," said Dr. Bradley Gilbert, IEHP chief executive officer. "What we learn from this partnership could set the stage for our developing future Health Homes for members."    

With the grant, IEHP will enlist consultants to help RCCHA put into practice an electronic health records (EHR) system for the clinics while also moving them towards becoming a Health Home. In addition, a referral tracking system for primary care clinics and other providers, like specialists, will boost a member's care coordination.

Other planned developments include a disease registry that links all 10 clinics, allowing each to track needed preventive services and monitor health outcomes. Plans also call for a data exchange support system to help manage a member's care, plus maximize how RCCHA participates in the IEHP Pay for Performance (P4P) program, which offers incentives to practitioners for preventive care services to members.

The CCI Health Home Innovation Fund supports local partnerships among private and public safety net providers and local health plans which pursue more effective integrated systems of care in underserved communities.  

IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, based in San Bernardino, California, is a not-for-profit Knox-Keene licensed health plan. The IEHP service area includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties and currently serves over 510,000 members in the following programs: Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, and a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan.

The Community Clinics Initiative (CCI), a unique collaboration between Tides and The California Endowment, began in 1999 to provide resources, evidence-based programming and evaluation, education and training to support community health centers and clinics. Through information sharing and major grants, CCI acts as a catalyst to strengthen California's community clinics and health centers to improve health outcomes in underserved communities.

SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)