Alameda County – Care Connect (AC3)
The California Department of Health Care Services (HCS) in 2016 awarded the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA) $140 million to implement a whole person care pilot program. The goal of the pilot, or AC3, is to build infrastructure that will improve integration, reduce unnecessary utilization of health care services, and improve health outcomes for homeless individuals and other ‘high utilizers’ of health care services.
With the understanding that individuals often need coordinated services across several departments and sectors, the vision of pilot is to create an integrated system across multiple systems that helps high‐need patients achieve optimal independence and health, in safe and stable housing. AC3 includes six critical components: 1) strengthening of care coordination by including comprehensive social resources into a person’s care plan; 2) improving and facilitating care integration between primary care providers, mental health providers, substance use programs, and family supports; 3) data sharing between partners in the form of a community health record (CHR); 4) housing and homelessness, focusing on fully implementing the Housing Resource Centers and Coordinated Entry; 5) BH Crisis Response System focusing on decreasing the revolving door acute to psychiatric care; and 6) improving the consumer and family experience.
The funding for AC3 comes from federal dollars through an 1115 waiver, or a Medi-Cal 2020. These waivers enable states to negotiate how Medicaid dollars are spent to allow flexibility with programs. The grant also requires a 50 percent match.