Alameda County receives $140 million grant from state toward health care

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The Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, or HCSA, announced Monday that it has received a grant of roughly $140 million from the California Department of Health Care Services.

The county has been awarded $28 million per year over a five-year calendar from 2016 through 2020. The grant will partially fund the Alameda County Care Connect, a $280 million program designed to improve health outcomes for the homeless and those with mental illnesses. Alameda County will front the remaining $140 million for the program.

“It’s (for) people who … are going to emergency rooms, who are showing up at homeless organizations, asking for help,” said HCSA Medical Director Kathleen Clanon. “Our highest priority are folks … who are literally homeless, and folks who are going over and over again to the psychiatric emergency office.”

AC Care Connect, according to a HCSA press release, could benefit up to 20,000 Alameda county residents over the next five years.

Clanon said the money will be allocated throughout the county based on which eligible individuals need it the most. She added that Alameda County anticipates to receive the first round of funding in February 2017 and to begin enrolling people in the program in July 2017.

The program targets those who utilize multiple health care systems, such as emergency services and hospitalizations, and also need care coordination to obtain better treatment results.

Likewise, according to a HCSA press release, the pilot program aims to help patients obtain housing and allow for effective communication between providers.

Clanon said AC Care Connect aims to offer services to specific individuals who would normally receive them from a variety of programs.

“We’re going to develop a universal consent for sharing information so that (patients) information can be shared with different agencies so … they don’t have to start from scratch,” Clanon said.

Contact Semira Sherief at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @semsherief1.