Ventura County Health Care Agency Awarded Whole Person Care Pilot

VENTURA, Calif. – Ventura County Health Care Agency has been chosen by the state to participate in the Whole Person Care regional pilot program. The program focuses on the coordination of health care, behavioral health, and social services in a patient-centered manner with the goals of improving health and well-being through more efficient and effective use of resources.

The Health Care Agency was selected through a competitive process overseen by the California Department of Health Care Services. The five-year program will be funded by the DHCS at just over $19 million per year.

“Every day many people in our community face obstacles to accessing health care,” says Johnson Gill, Health Care Agency Director. “The WPC program will drive a collaborative effort to enhance the connection to, and coordination of, care for those who have shown the highest need.”

Whole Person Care is part of California’s 1115 Waiver Renewal, called Medi-Cal 2020. The waiver has four initiatives that apply to designated public hospitals, and will be in effect for five years; Whole Person Care is one of those initiatives. It will provide support to integrate care for particularly vulnerable Medi- Cal beneficiaries who have been identified as high users of multiple systems and who continue to have poor health outcomes. People in this group are often homeless or at risk of homelessness, have substance abuse issues or mental illness, and may have several chronic health conditions.

Gill anticipates that 2,000 total Medi-Cal beneficiaries will be served countywide over the five-year project period. Individual beneficiaries in the target population will be provided multiple layers of services coordinated by the County, which can include access to a multidisciplinary care teams, field-based care coordination, mental health and substance abuse services, social services, life skills and job readiness training, and housing support services.

Whole Person Care will allow the Health Care Agency to increase collaboration within its agencies and groups, along with various other County departments, the Gold Coast Health Plan, and community-based organizations. The contributions of these partners collectively will add tremendous value to the efforts of the Whole Person Care program.

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