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Behavioral Health Integration

Blog Posts tagged "Behavioral Health Integration"

Many Californians face huge challenges in accessing substance use treatment services. Social and environmental factors including low socioeconomic status, low literacy, unemployment, discrimination, and other factors negatively impact our ability to lead healthy lives. Many people of color and Limited English Proficient populations additionally face a lack of culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services. Further, stigma and discrimination linked with accessing services also remain barriers to accessing treatment for many, especially those with previous criminal justice involvement.

California’s Medi-Cal 2020 1115(a) Waiver Demonstration Project provides new opportunities to expand substance use services to include a fuller continuum of care that includes withdrawal management, medication-assisted treatment, short-term residential, case management and care coordination with physical and mental health, and recovery support services. Drug Medi-Cal eligibility also expands to include single adults without children, which mean more people are able to receive substance use treatment services than ever before.

To address these barriers and disparities, communities of color – those most in need of services – need to be involved in the development and design of treatment options, and policymakers must consider the root causes of substance use disorders in vulnerable and underserved communities. That’s why CPEHN is engaging our communities to get involved so that the needs of underserved communities are included and addressed in the implementation of these new services. With stakeholder input from underserved populations, county departments of behavioral health can better meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities.

In a new report commissioned by the state of Vermont, Prevention Institute (PI) deeply examines a transformational model of health that's gaining steam in the U.S. – one in which health care and community entities partner up and emphasize community prevention of illness and injury.

Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) are emerging as a promising framework. ACHs integrate medical care, mental and behavioral healthcare, and social services with actions to improve the community conditions that shape health in a geographical area. In its report, PI extensively studied the mechanics of the work being done on the ground that reflects ACH principles, both in Vermont and at sites across the country.

"We looked at how to marshal healthcare-community partnerships to support community prevention populations," says report co-author and PI Managing Director Leslie Mikkelsen. "We also looked at what states can do to support and enhance the efforts of their regions that are implementing ACH elements and how they can cultivate strong retention of community prevention in the process."

Please join us at the latest event in our Focus on Equity series! After successful events in Fresno, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, and most recently Riverside, we are coming to Sacramento in July.

The Affordable Care Act has changed the landscape of health coverage in California. With over 3.5 million now enrolled, the state’s uninsured rate continues to drop. However, persistent health disparities remain among communities of color, immigrants, and Limited English Proficient populations. We are continuing to work to address these inequities, and you can help develop solutions at Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California in Sacramento on July 27th.

During the event, join the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and OnTrack Program Resources, Inc., to discuss opportunities to advance health equity both locally and statewide on:

  • Equity in health care access
  • Health for All efforts to provide health coverage to immigrants
  • Integration of behavioral health and primary care

Over 50 advocates joined CPEHN, the California Partnership, and the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino today in Riverside for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California. The event was a continuation of CPEHN’s Focus on Equity convening series and gave residents of the Inland Empire the opportunity to hear about ongoing efforts to meet the health needs of their communities and both local and statewide advocacy opportunities.

The event focused on how to address the inequities that still remain after more than 3.5 million have enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like our previous events in Oakland, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego, this convening focused on three main issues:

  • Health for All efforts to provide health coverage to immigrants
  • Integration of behavioral health and primary care
  • Equity and health care quality

CPEHN’s Sarah de Guia started the day with a presentation framing the key health issues facing communities of color in Sacramento.

Maribel Nunez from the California Partnership followed with a presentation about the state budget process and how communities can get involved to ensure funding for critical health and human services programs.

Over the past few weeks we’ve highlighted a couple exciting upcoming events, CPEHN’s Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California convening in the Inland Empire on June 5th, and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Blue Shield of California Foundation’s (BSCF) briefing on the ACA in California on May 28th in Sacramento. Both of these events have changed locations.

First, our Inland Empire convening, cohosted by the California Partnership and the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino County, will now be June 5th in Riverside at the United Domestic Workers Community Room, 3600 Lime Street, Suite 421. The agenda will be the same and we are excited to discuss Health for All efforts to extend coverage to California’s immigrant population, behavioral health integration, and including equity when considering ways to improve quality of care. We’d also like to hear from residents in the Inland Empire about the unique health needs your communities face. Register today and we can work together to improve health in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Over 3.5 million Californians have enrolled in new coverage options since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, yet communities of color, immigrants, and Limited English Proficient populations continue to face health inequities. Join the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Partnership, and the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino County, for Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California on June 5th in San Bernardino.

We’re also excited about the opportunity to examine the unique needs of the Inland Empire. With communities of color representing nearly two-thirds of the population in the region (66.7% of San Bernardino County, 60.3% of Riverside County), we will focus on ways to improve health and reduce inequities in this majority population. We will highlight opportunities to advance health equity both in the Inland Empire and across the state through discussion of the following topics:

  • Health for All efforts to provide health coverage to immigrants
  • Integration of behavioral health and primary care
  • Equity and health care quality

Register today and you’ll have the opportunity to:

CPEHN hosted its final Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California convening series today in San Diego. Like our previous three events, this one focused on Health for All efforts to expand access to affordable coverage to everyone regardless of immigration status, strategies to integrate behavioral and physical health services, and ways to include equity considerations when evaluating and improving health care quality.

Marty Adelman from the Council of Community Clinics started things off with a presentation on current behavioral health integration efforts in San Diego. He stressed that integrating behavioral health and primary care services can improve both components by reducing stigma, closing the mortality gap, and limiting costs.

Our Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California convening series continued today in Los Angeles, and we continued to hear more great discussion about behavioral health integration, Health for All efforts to expand health coverage regardless of immigration status, and ways to improve quality of care while considering equity measures.

The day began with a great presentation by Felicia Jones of Healthy African American Families and Dr. Michael Ong from UCLA about Community Partners in Care (CPIC). Jones and Ong described how CPIC was a partnership between community and academic partners to develop strategies to reduce the burden of depression in vulnerable communities, particularly South Los Angeles and Hollywood/Metro Los Angeles.

Our spring convening series, Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in a Post-ACA California, continued today in Fresno, as health advocates gathered to discuss the most pressing health needs for communities of color in the Central Valley. Like our Oakland convening on Tuesday, this event focused on three key areas: behavioral health integration, considering equity when improving the quality of care, and Health for All efforts to expand access to coverage for everyone regardless of immigration status.

Jennifer Torres from Clinica Sierra Vista started things off by discussing ongoing efforts to integrate behavioral health services with primary care services at community health clinics in Kern and Fresno Counties. She pointed to some initial challenges with assimilating behavioral health into the culture of community health clinics, but also noted that progress has been made.

Today in Oakland, health advocates from across the Bay Area gathered at CPEHN’s spring convening, Focus on Equity: Communities of Color in Post-ACA California, to discuss efforts to reduce health inequities in California. The event focused on three priority areas: efforts to expand access to health care to all Californians regardless of immigration status (Health for All), including equity in efforts to improve quality of care, and the integration of behavioral and primary health care services.

After an introductory presentation from CPEHN’s Cary Sanders on the current state of coverage, quality, and behavioral health integration, we shifted to local speakers. The first, Jazmin Segura from Educators for Fair Consideration, spoke about the importance of expanding health care to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. She noted that thanks to the recent executive order by President Barack Obama, many immigrants receiving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are now considered Permanent Residents Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) and are thus eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal if they meet the income requirements. However, years of distrust in the system has combined with pervasive misinformation to keep DACA-eligible immigrants from signing up for Medi-Cal, either because they don’t know they are eligible or because they are afraid of future repercussions.

Segura then discussed current efforts to extend health coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. She noted that Senator Ricardo Lara’s SB 4 Health for All Act is “the next great fight for immigrant rights organizations” and noted that for it to pass through the legislature, it will need help from advocates across the state.

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