UCLA Issues Policy Brief on WPC Care Coordination

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Health Policy Research recently completed an evaluation of the state’s Whole Person Care (WPC) Pilot program, finding that the collaboration among medical, behavioral, and social service providers improves the lives of patients with complex needs. Recall, WPC Pilots are part of the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) 1115 federal waiver and aim to provide quality, comprehensive care to certain Medi-Cal enrollees.

Using data from the first three years of WPC, UCLA found that pilots successfully shared data across providers in different sectors, conducted needs assessments, developed comprehensive care plans, and linked patients to various services. Evaluators further developed a framework that identifies key elements of a successful care coordination model and assessed pilots’ efforts to align with this framework. Elements of success in WPC Pilots include:

  • Developing agreements and protocols for sharing relevant medical, behavioral health, and social services data with partners to facilitate care coordination
  • Including community health workers and/or peers with lived experience to build trust with patients
  • Using in-person, field-based outreach to engage and retail hard-to-reach patients, particularly those experiencing homelessness
  • Accompanying patients to appointments and/or using other active referral strategies to facilitate patient access to care
  • Utilizing multidisciplinary team meetings and/or case conferences to promote communication, learning, and shared accountability for outcomes

The full UCLA evaluation and policy brief is available here.