TACOMA, WASHINGTON — Elevate Health has awarded $1.5 million in Catalyst Funding to five local health care organizations.
The awards — $500,000 each — will be implemented as soon as October of this year to improve whole-person integrated care in Pierce County. To accelerate implementation of integrated care and reinforce ongoing and future efforts by health care delivery partners in Pierce County, the awards have been presented to the following health care organizations:
- MultiCare Health System is a not-for-profit health care system. Sea Mar Community Health Centers is a Washington public benefit corporation that provides comprehensive health, housing and cultural services to diverse communities, specializing in services to all ethnicities and populations. The two systems coordinated for Catalyst Funding to improve collaborative care between the two agencies. They plan to integrate behavioral health into whole-person care, assist primary care providers in providing care for chronic diseases while also building communications between specialists and primary care providers.
- CHI-Franciscan is a nonprofit medical system serving Western Washington. With the Catalyst Funding, the organization plans to add community health workers to help reduce emergency department visits in central Pierce County. CHI-Franciscan also plans to expand its collaborative care model to up to four clinics in Pierce County by 2020.
- Pediatrics Northwest, a multi-specialty pediatric group operating in the Puget Sound area has partnered for funding with HopeSparks, which provides behavioral health programs for children and families in Pierce County. The partners — which serve more than 15,000 Medicaid patients combined — are using the Catalyst Funding to embed behavioral health consultants into primary care settings.
“I want to thank Elevate Health for its work with HopeSparks and Pediatrics Northwest regarding referrals,” says Dr. Mary Ann Woodruff, a board-certified pediatrician with Pediatrics Northwest. “It is paying off. Families that I have struggled to help with chronic behavioral health issues are now not only in therapy in a reasonable time frame but are also meeting with thoughtful and talented therapists. This has been a win-win.”
To be eligible for Catalyst Funding, the healthcare systems had to meet the following criteria: they must have a strategy to fully integrate behavioral and physical health, serve at least 5 percent of the Medicaid population, be prepared to enact their planned Catalyst Funding efforts by October 1 and commit to participate in shared learning practices.
To date, Elevate Health — one of nine accountable communities of health in the state of Washington aimed at improving whole-person health and health equity — has invested $6.5 million in the community to improve overall health in Pierce County.
“Elevate Health is excited and proud to continue our investments with local providers on these innovative projects. Each of these awards are intended to accelerate implementation of whole-person integrated care and we think the funded proposals will achieve that goal to the benefit of Medicaid recipients in the county. As we establish a Care Continuum Network to provide multiple services in the county, these early investments create momentum so that Elevate Health can maximize our value to the community,” says Elevate Health CEO Alisha Fehrenbacher.