Enrollment Lags in Pilot Project in San Diego County; Funds at Risk
San Diego County is working to enroll low-income residents in a program that aims to help manage their high blood pressure and diabetes to avoid losing a significant portion of the $39 million in federal grants allotted to the program over three years, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
On May 10, the Union-Tribune reported that enrollment stood at 95.
The program's goal was to have enrolled 3,260 patients by Aug. 31, but the county had registered only 309 patients as of last week. County officials said they were processing applications for 347 other prospective participants.
Of the nine counties with similar programs, San Diego's has the lowest enrollment, the Union-Tribune reports.
Over the past month, the county has increased its recruitment for the program, called the Coverage Initiative, widened the program's income eligibility level and trained teams to help accept more applications.
Coverage Initiative aims to help patients with diabetes and high blood pressure by providing them with medications, conducting testing and encouraging lifestyle changes.
Leaders of three not-for-profit groups involved with the initiative said they believe the county is resisting efforts to publicize the program because of fears that those patients after the program may apply for County Medical Services, a program for low-income patients with severe health issues. Increasing enrollment in the CMS program would raise costs for the county.
Once Coverage Initiative ends in 2010, County Medical Services likely will have to accept the new patients, according to the three leaders (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/27).