The Sacramento Community Frequent Users of Healthcare Task Force has received a $100,000 planning grant to explore new models of care to redirect frequent users of costly health-care services to more appropriate resources in the community. The grant, one of only seven awarded in the state, is a part of the Frequent Users of Health Services Initiative, a five-year, $10 million program funded by the California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation. The initiative aims to create a cost-effective, comprehensive and coordinated health-care delivery system to address the unique health and medical needs of chronically ill, uninsured Californians.
“Our goal is to investigate a number of collaborative options to address the interrelated health and social issues that drive a person to overuse emergency rooms and other acute services for health care,” said Thomas Nesbitt, a professor of family and community medicine and associate dean at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center, and director of the task force project.
Many “frequent users” of the health-care system are the homeless, those suffering from chemical dependency, the disabled, and the chronically and mentally ill who have serious health conditions. By creating better ways to provide ongoing care to this high-risk population, it may be possible to prevent medical crises, avoid the use of costly emergency rooms and hospital services, and improve health of this vulnerable population of patients. Nesbitt added, “Our proposed solutions will address the complex needs of the diverse populations within our community.”
“Sacramento County’s emergency rooms are beyond capacity and are in crisis,” explained Amerish Bera, medical director of Primary Care Services within the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services and co-director of the project. “By working together, we can analyze the problems and collectively develop new models for delivering services that redirect members of our community to more appropriate and beneficial resources.”
The Sacramento Task Force includes broad representation from public and private hospitals and clinics, county agencies, and community-based organizations that are the major providers of health and social services for high-risk residents in a county or region. Members include: maap Inc, Harm Reduction Services, Transitional Living and Community Support, The HEALTH Project, Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic, Clinica Tepati, Volunteers of America, UC Davis Patient Services, UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis Division of Emergency Medicine, County of Sacramento Primary Care, County of Sacramento Mental Health Division, County of Sacramento Financial Services, and the County of Sacramento Alcohol and Drug Services Division.
The program office for the initiative is supported by the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a national nonprofit organization that works to expand permanent housing opportunities linked to comprehensive services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and often have health, mental health or substance abuse-related disabilities. For more information about the initiative, please visit http://www.frequenthealthusers.org
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. More information, including a copy of the grant proposal request, is available at http://www.calendow.org
The California HealthCare Foundation is committed to improving California’s health care delivery and financing systems and informing health policy. More information about the foundation is available at http://www.chcf.org
Copies of all news releases from UC Davis Health System are available on the Web at http://news.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu