Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that LifeLong Medical Care is among three California awardees to receive the CMS Health Care Innovation awards, that included a total of $122.6 million, with more than $11.5 million coming to California organizations. LifeLong will use its 1.1 million dollar award to further integrate care and encourage healthy behavior, among 3250 seniors and other adults with disabilities who are Medicaid and dual Medicare/Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries. The intervention will train adults with disabilities to support adoption of healthy behaviors among their peers and encourage self management, with the support of a team of nurse care managers. The goal is to reduce avoidable emergency room and hospital visits. Improved care and better health for high risk patients will lower costs, with estimated savings of approximately $1 million. LifeLong will partner with Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living and the Alameda Alliance for Health to achieve program goals.
“This unique partnership with the Center for Independent Living (CIL) and the Alameda Alliance for Health (AAH) is a great opportunity to implement practices that will positively impact the health of many high risk patients, and therefore ultimately benefit our entire community. This innovative triple aim program is a model that can be implemented throughout our nation, and we are very grateful that health care reform-the Affordable Care Act has made it possible to further LifeLong’s mission of delivering high quality medical care to those who are most in need,” said LifeLong CEO Marty Lynch, Ph.D.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Center for Independent Living and Alameda Alliance for Health to help low income adults with disabilities achieve a higher quality of life, while at the same time improving health care and reducing cost, “ commented LifeLong Strategic Planning Director Nance Rosencranz.
"For 40 years, CIL has said that people with disabilities are the best experts on our own lives, that any programs or services to help our community achieve independence must be developed with us, rather than for us,'' said Yomi Wrong, Center for Independent Living's Executive Director. "This new partnership with LifeLong Medical Care will bring CIL's philosophy of consumer-controlled services into a medical setting -- a place not traditionally open to such a concept. But we know that LifeLong is not your traditional health center. Like CIL, Lifelong is an outgrowth of community advocacy. The hope is that the natural synergies between our organizations will allow us to succeed in meeting the challenge of this grant."
“An interdisciplinary health care model not only expands an organization’s capabilities and resources, it also can greatly enhance patient outcomes,” said Ingrid Lamirault, Chief Executive Officer of Alameda Alliance for Health. “The Alliance is excited at the prospect of collaborating with LifeLong Medical Care and the Center for Independent Living under the CMS grant to improve outcomes for Alameda County’s low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. Innovative partnerships such as this advance us toward our shared goal, to improve quality of life for our community’s most vulnerable populations.”
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at HHS administers the awards through cooperative agreements over 3 years. During that period, LifeLong Medical Care’s program will train an estimated 60 health care workers, while creating an estimated 60 new jobs. These workers will include peer health coaches and nurse care managers who will facilitate integrated care for seniors and for low-income adults with disabilities.
LifeLong Medical Care is an innovative, nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center serving Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin Counties. LifeLong has served northern California communities for over 35 years, providing medical, dental, and social services to patients of all ages at multiple sites, including nine primary care medical centers, two dental centers, two adult day health centers, two school based health centers and a supportive housing program.