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$8.5 Million Donated for Safety Net Care Coordination

February 28, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (Washington D.C.) has said it will give more than $8.5 million over three years in funding to help 12 safety net health center programs in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, implement medical home and care coordination programs for the region’s most vulnerable population, the chronically ill. In all, the funded programs are expected to provide services to as many as 66,000 individuals at more than 20 locations throughout the region, according to CareFirst.

CareFirst’s Safety Net Health Center Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative is the company’s largest focused funding effort ever and will serve low-income, medically underserved communities – addressing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high-blood pressure. It will also serve a wide spectrum of medical issues including primary adult care and pediatric health, specialized care with HIV-targeted case management, and specialized services for homeless, minority, and uninsured populations.

Grantees include: Arlington Free Clinic; Baltimore Medical System; Calvert Healthcare Solutions; Chase Brexton Health Services; Choptank Community Health System; Community Clinic, Inc. and partner Greater Baden Medical Services; Health Care for the Homeless; Mary’s Center; Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County and partners Mobile Medical Care, Inc. and Holy Cross Hospital Health Center; Spanish Catholic Center; Total Health Care and partners Family Health Centers of Baltimore and Park West Health System, Inc; and Unity Health Care.

In 2011, CareFirst launched its network-wide PCMH program focused on the chronically ill which creates collaboration between physicians, nurses, specialists and other health professionals to deliver better coordinated care to improve patient outcomes, while ultimately bending the rising cost curve. More than 3,100 primary care providers across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. participate in the program.

CareFirst says it is also making available key supports of its commercial PCMH program, including web-based tools to facilitate care coordination and other information technology and nursing support resources.  In total, there are 228 safety net health centers in Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia – including 168 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)  In 2010, these centers provided care to more than 626,000 patients in the region, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

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