Like many health systems, based in Roseville, California Adventist Health is pursuing a mission to make healthcare accessible to all. Achieving that vision will require strategic investments in the care provided outside the walls of its hospitals and clinics, said Shelly Trumbo, Adventist’s vice president of wellness. This is why the health system announced partnership with Emcara Health last week.
Emcara Health is a national provider group serving approximately 50,000 patients using advanced value-based primary care models. Good guidepopulation health analytics affiliate PopHealthCare launched company last October. Emcara’s care teams treat patients where they are – whether in their homes, in shelters or on the road – and help coordinate other personal care as needed.
Trumbo said Adventist’s partnership with Emcara will advance the work the health system is doing through its participation in California Program for MediCal Advancement and Innovation (CalAIM).which gives providers state funding to improve health outcomes among mEDICAL recorded by expanding models of care delivery.
There are some populations, such as the homeless, that brick-and-mortar health care providers will never be able to reach. To address this problem, Emcara partners with health systems “as an extension of their capabilities,” the company’s CEO, Eric Galvin, said in an interview.
Emcara’s care teams consist of complex care physicians, field nurses, advanced practice providers, community health workers and care coordinators. The team also collaborates with pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, social workers and palliative care physicians to create holistic care plans for its patient base.
For its partnership with Adventist, Emcara is deploying its care teams to California’s Central Valley to conduct primary and preventive care visits. These care teams value not only the patient’s health, but also their environment.
“The partnership focuses a lot on the social determinants of health because these individuals generally won’t always be in a home,” Galvin said.
After those initial visits are complete, Galvin said Emcara’s care teams will act as “air traffic controllers” to ensure patients have access to any Adventist specialty care they may need. They will also direct patients to community resources, such as healthy food distribution programs or organizations that provide free transportation to health care visits, to help improve their social determinants of health.
“Adventist recognizes that health care spending in America falls short of investing in the broader spectrum of health determinants,” Trumbo said. “This partnership will respond to new opportunities through CalAIM, allowing us to move care upstream and meet people where they are.”
To measure the success of the three-year partnership, Adventist will track metrics such as graduation rates (when Emcara’s services are no longer needed for a patient) and whether emergency room use and hospitalizations are down. The health system will also track improvement in social determinants of health, such as the Medi-Cal population’s access to healthy housing and food, according to Trumbo.
Emcara will first track the number of patients it can engage. It will also look at metrics related to patient health outcomes, such as how medication adherence rates are changing or the number of patients having follow-up appointments with Adventist specialists.
Galvin noted that while Emcara’s partnership with Adventist is focused on serving the Medicaid population, it may evolve in the future to include Medicare Advantage populations or those who have purchased insurance coverage from state exchanges through the Affordable Care Act.
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