Health Access For All Receives Emergency Grant from Direct Relief to Bolster the Healthcare Safety Net in Los Angeles, California

Health Access For All today announced an infusion of $50,000 in emergency grant funding from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Health Access For All was among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding this week through Direct Relief’s $25 million Covid-19 Fund for Community Health, which recognizes the profound effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the finances, services, staff, and patients of community health centers.

Health Access For All will use the funds to help our effort to prepare and respond to Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the funding will be used for the education of our local community in the prevention of Covid-19.

“Access to primary care is what keeps people healthy and out of the hospital, and the frontline work of Health Access For All and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of Covid-19,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. “Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency.”

Nearly 30 million (1 in 12) of the country’s most vulnerable residents — including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries, and 1 in 9 children — rely on federally qualified health centers like Health Access For All for their health care. That number is expected to rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance. 

“We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them. We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them.”

About Health Access For All:  Health Access for All Inc, dba Angeles Community Health Center (ACHC) is a grass roots, community-based 501(c)(3) California nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive, primary and preventive medical, dental and behavioral health care services and education in an environment of caring, respect and dignity. ACHC’s goal is to be responsive to the needs of the communities it serves, but with continued emphasis on the underserved and those without access to care, regardless of race, economic status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability. ACHC serves patients in the residential and commercial Westlake neighborhood in central Los Angeles with additional sites located in the city of Huntington Park and Gardena, in the south-central region of Los Angeles.

California Medi-Cal Providers Receive Grants from Health Net Totaling $13.4 Million to Expand Telehealth Services

Fast action plan embraces the future of healthcare, as funds are delivered to 138 local safety net clinics and others serving California’s most vulnerable residents

(Sacramento, CA)—Health Net announced today it has awarded 138 grants, totaling $13.4 million, to support the establishment and expansion of telehealth and telephonic services for California providers serving Medi-Cal members. This is the largest grant of cash dedicated to this cause by a health plan in California. The company had announced $5.9 million in available grants in a Request for Support (RFS) on April 2, 2020. However, based on the overwhelming response to the RFS, Health Net has awarded grants totaling $13.4 million.

“Telehealth has emerged as an effective way for health care providers to care for their patients during this pandemic,” said Brian Ternan, President and CEO of Health Net of California and California Health and Wellness. “As the state’s largest Medi-Cal managed care plan, we know doctors, nurses and clinicians serving our vulnerable patient population are struggling right now. Our goal was to think creatively and support providers funding quickly to help them build their telehealth capacity as soon as possible and care for those most in need.”
Health Net’s grants are dedicated to building or expanding telehealth practices, including live video visits, e-consultations and tele-psychiatry, which are all key tools in providing safe access and continuity of care
for patients at home. Funds can be used for infrastructure (laptops, cell phones, and software), Internet connectivity, and training/technical assistance. Telehealth minimizes disruption to the health care system,
and protects providers and patients at a time when social distancing is critical. Health Net envisioned the grant program in coordination with the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). Health Net requested to use funding set aside for improving enrollee health
outcomes under DMHC’s approval of Centene’s acquisition of Health Net in 2016. From program inception to solicitation period and grant review, and ultimately to disbursing funds, the time frame was under five
weeks.

“During the current state of emergency, we continue to work with industry leaders on solutions to safely provide health care services throughout the state,” said Shelley Rouillard, Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care. “This grant funding will help Medi-Cal providers expand their ability to deliver health care services to patients via telehealth, particularly to vulnerable populations and those in rural areas.”
“I want to personally express my appreciation to Governor Gavin Newsom and his Administration for helping us envision this unique concept, and mapping out a framework that helped us award these grants so quickly to the state’s safety net providers and local communities,” added Ternan.

Health Net’s 138 grantees span California from the rural north to the urban south, and include independent provider practices, rural health centers, community clinics, Indian health centers and more— many of whom face increased financial strain and challenges amid the ongoing pandemic. Nearly 20% of grantees reported having no existing telehealth services at the time of their application.

A Community Advisory Committee reviewed and supported the grant recipients, include:
• Former State Senator Patrick Johnston, Chair
• Shelley Rouillard, Director, CA Department of Managed Health Care
• Brad Gilbert, Director, CA Department of Health Services
• Louise McCarthy, President & CEO, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
• Sean Atha, Senior Vice President, Vivant Health

• Chris Perrone, Director of Improving Access, CA Health Care Foundation
• Jim Lott, Former EVP for the Hospital Association of Southern California, Private Consultant
• Carol Kim, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Business Development, Health Net

“This expedited funding from Health Net is absolutely needed on the front lines and will enable our physicians — particularly those in small practices and clinics — to stay connected and care for their patients through telehealth,” said Dustin Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer for the California Medical Association.

“Our clinics are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face increased financial strain that limits their ability to best serve patients—many of whom are Medi-Cal enrollees,” said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association. The funding provided and expedited by Health Net will enable clinics to build out much-needed telehealth capabilities and support those who serve our state’s most vulnerable.”

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Visit our website for updated Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/covid19-2/frequently-asked-questions/

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