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Primary Care Coverage for Undocumented Adults Expanding in Thirteen Rural California Counties
SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirteen rural counties that participate in the County Medical Services Program [CMSP] will see an expansion of primary care services to undocumented adults age 21 to 64 that live in their counties. Eleven Community Health Centers in the 13 counties are participating in Path to Health [Camino a la Salud], a pilot project administered by the CMSP Governing Board, which provides health benefit coverage for low income uninsured adults in 35 California counties. Undocumented adults that are enrolled in restricted scope / emergency services only Medi-Cal are eligible to enroll in Path to Health.
"The purpose of Path to Health is to promote timely delivery of primary and preventive health services to low-income undocumented adults that only have coverage for emergency services," said Brad Wagenknecht, CMSP Governing Board Chair. "The goals of the program are to improve health outcomes, reduce the use of emergency rooms and inpatient hospitals, and help community health centers expand their reach to the uninsured."
Participating health centers were selected through a Request for Application process conducted by the CMSP Governing Board. Path to Health will operate as a pilot program through August 31, 2021 and a program evaluation will be completed by researchers with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. After enrollment, Path to Health members will be eligible for services up to six months and can re-enroll for coverage. Up to 25,000 undocumented adults are expected to enroll in the program by 2021. Path to Health services include:
- Medical office visits with a primary care doctor and/or specialist at the health center
- Preventive health screenings: annual physical, adult immunizations, specific lab tests and cancer screenings
- Specific diagnostic tests and minor office procedures
- Prescription drug services with a $5 copay (up to a maximum of $1,500 in coverage per enrollment period)
"Californians who are uninsured live sicker, die younger, and are one emergency from financial ruin. Path to Health provides primary and preventive care to those without other coverage options, helping not just them, but the health and financial vitality of their families and communities throughout rural California," said Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. "We appreciate the CMSP Governing Board extending services so more Californians in rural counties can get needed primary and preventive care, regardless of how low their income or where they were born. Our health system is stronger when everyone is included."
About County Medical Services Program (CMSP) Governing Board
The County Medical Services Program Governing Board was established in state law in 1995 and is charged with responsibility for providing health care services to uninsured indigent adults in 35 rural California counties (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba). The Board is composed of ten county officials and one ex-officio representative of the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. The Board sets program and fiscal policy for the longstanding CMSP program, which serves low-income uninsured adults, and the new Path to Health pilot project, which serves low-income undocumented adults that are enrolled in restricted scope / emergency services only Medi-Cal. For more information visit www.cmspcounties.org.
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SOURCE County Medical Services Program Governing Board