Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy
In early September, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan and LA Care Health Plan announced a joint effort to operate 14 community resource centers in Los Angeles County, which will utilize telehealth among other tools to improve health. LA Care and Blue Shield Promise first opened resource centers over a decade ago as a strategy to improve health and wellness in the community. The current plan would expand these centers and add to their offerings. The community resource centers are expected to reach 1 million people in total, offering classes in exercise, nutrition, parenting and health management. Personalized health services offered by the centers will include health screenings, telehealth and on-site care management for health plan members. On-site support will also be available from community social service organizations focused on addressing food, income insecurity and other needs. The effort is aimed at addressing the social determinants of health to improve outcomes and lower costs. The companies expect to invest $146 million in the effort over a five year period. To learn more about the new LA Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan partnership, see their official press release.
Simultaneously, LA Care is also expanding its diabetes self-management education program to include telehealth classes through a partnership with Diabetes Care Partners (DCP). The telehealth program teaches patients techniques to manage their diabetes and gives them guidance on applying those techniques in their daily life. Homework given each week helps solidify the information gained in the class and leads to patient empowerment to control and self-manage their diabetes. Diabetes self-management education has been delivered since 2015 to LA Care members using DCP services and data from 2018 shows that 70 percent of participants were able to maintain or decrease their A1c (a biometric measurement used in diabetes care) by 0.35 percent. DCP announced in mid-September that the telehealth program will include LA Care Family Resource Centers and designated clinics across Los Angeles County.