In a conversation with California Healthline, Elaine Batchlor — chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan, which provides coverage for Californians in public health insurance programs — discussed the challenges facing safety-net health programs, such as a lack of funding and low levels of health care provider participation.
According to Batchlor, safety-net programs can benefit from innovations that increase access to health services and simplify the process for navigating the health care system.
Batchlor noted that L.A. Care Health Plan has started prioritizing efforts to address chronic health conditions because the public health plan expects to see higher numbers of enrollees with chronic conditions when Medicaid eligibility expands under the federal health reform law.
For example, she describedÂ a new L.A. Care pilot program that aims to improve care coordination for patients with chronic illnesses byÂ enabling primary care and specialty physicians to consult electronically about specific cases. According to Batchlor, the pilot has improved health care provider communication and led to faster resolution of clinical issues (California Healthline, 9/15).
The complete transcript of this report is available as a PDF.