Whole Person Care Plays Critical Role in COVID-19 Response

Whole Person Care (WPC) is a $3 billion Medicaid waiver program that improves care for people with complex health and social needs through the delivery of integrated medical care, behavioral health, and social services. Twenty-five WPC pilots across California have established the local partnerships and infrastructure to meet clients where they are and address their full spectrum of needs. In recent years, the pilots have made significant progress in developing the necessary partnerships, infrastructure, and services that have become essential in the fight against COVID-19.

A recent Health Affairs blog post highlights the critical role of the infrastructure investments and cross-sector partnerships established through WPC in helping counties implement a more coordinated response to COVID-19. For example, many counties leveraged the integrated data and referral systems put in place under WPC to help find housing or shelter for high-risk individuals, provide operational support at isolation hotels, and roll out screening processes for COVID-19. WPC partner relationships also facilitated rapid and timely COVID-19 communication and cross-agency collaboration to assess need and develop COVID-19 response plans.

These examples further underscore why a program like WPC is so critical, both for the day-to-day care of our most vulnerable, and to bolster counties’ public health response during times of crisis. With impending budget cuts ahead and CalAIM delayed indefinitely, it is imperative that WPC pilots continue to receive the necessary funding to carry out their central role in the emergency response.

CAPH/SNI provides tailored technical assistance to the 25 pilot sites. Since March 2020, CAPH/SNI has been supporting pilots in adapting their efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about WPC, click here.