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Kern County

Kern County contracted with COPE Health Solutions to manage the Kern Medical Center Health Plan which was developed for the Coverage Initiative project. Eligible patients are enrolled in to the plan and assigned to one of 14 primary care homes which include the county owned clinics, a community clinic, and a federally qualified Health System consisting of 10 clinics located throughout Kern County. Program staff are developing policies and procedures to coordinate care between these clinics and the county hospital. The overall goal is to assign patients to a clinic near their home where they can receive culturally appropriate primary care to decrease unnecessary hospitalization and utilization of emergency services.

The program focuses on the following areas:

  1. Care management: To identify some of the more challenging patients who visit the emergency room and hospital services frequently and give extra attention to help them navigate through the confusing medical system. The program has shown that within 4 months of intense management with the first 15 patients, emergency room visits decreased by 32% and none of these patients were admitted to the hospital.
  2. Specialty care access: Program staff are redesigning primary care and specialty care practices to improve communication between these physicians and decrease unnecessary use of specialty clinics.
  3. Information systems: Program staff are working to further develop information systems to improve access to patient and provider information. The overriding goal is to decrease cost and improve quality of care by prospectively managing care before patients become gravely ill and require high cost services.

Kern County Documents
Kern Medical Center Health Plan Press Release
Kern Medical Center Health Plan Enrollment Flyer
Kern Medical Center Health Plan Enrollment Renewal Form
Kern Medical Center Health Plan Patient Information Brochure
Kern Medical Center Health Plan New Member Packet