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CenCal Health, the health plan serving the Medi-Cal population in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and Cottage Health have partnered to create a unique program to serve the area’s homeless and lower income populations.

The Access to Care for the Expansion Population (ACE) program is aimed at coordinating the many health care needs of those approximately 16,000 previously uninsured individuals that now have health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The rollout of this program is intended to identify, address and coordinate the medical and social needs of these individuals to successfully transition them into seeking appropriate care in the appropriate setting, as opposed to utilizing hospital emergency departments.

“CenCal Health now provides health insurance for one in four residents of Santa Barbara County” said Bob Freeman, CEO of CenCal Health. “Giving patients better access into our health care system is more important now than ever. Cottage Health was well suited to provide patient education and connect these patients into primary care clinics.”

“The ACE program reinforces the commitment of both organizations to maintain a healthy population,” said Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health. “Our community care management program has been successful in ensuring that high risk patients served by CenCal Health were able to connect to resources that enabled them to thrive in their home environment.”

Cottage Health will help facilitate the following for CenCal Health patients who are part of the ACE Program:

» Arrange primary care provider follow-up after hospital discharges

» Improve and simplify medication management for patients after hospital stays

» Help patients avoid readmission to the hospital for the same or similar health events

» Connect patients to community resources that support health and well-being

» Enhance care coordination across the health delivery system through partnerships with skilled nursing facilities, physician clinics, home care agencies and other post-acute care agencies

» Improve patient health outcomes and reduce the risk of adverse events by arranging home visits, providing case management services and coordinating with primary care providers as needed

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing CenCal Health.


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