The concept of Whole Person Care (WPC) is premised on the recognition that the best way to care for people with complex needs is to consider their full spectrum of needs – medical, behavioral, socioeconomic and beyond.
For people in low-income communities, medical problems can be caused and exacerbated by factors related to poverty that include poor nutrition, lack of safe and stable housing, incarceration, unemployment, and the chronic anxiety of income insecurity.
While services may be available to help alleviate some of these stresses and inequities, they are often delivered in a siloed fashion. Different types of service providers do not regularly communicate or coordinate care, even though they may be serving the same individuals and families.
By receiving tailored support and coordinated services, patients can ultimately enjoy healthier lives. Greater care coordination also enables safety net providers to more efficiently and effectively use their resources, maximizing their ability to improve patient health outcomes and making limited resources go further to help more people in the community.
California’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, Medi-Cal 2020, includes a $3 billion pilot program to improve care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries by supporting local efforts that embrace the WPC philosophy.
Through a competitive process, California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) selected 25 WPC pilots across the state to participate in the program. Each pilot is tailored to the local context and needs of the population it serves. Health care and behavioral health providers, social services, and community partners, such as housing support organizations, work together to identify their highest-need clients and provide them with comprehensive, coordinated care.
Many pilot sites have already demonstrated how an integrated, patient-centered care helps to address patients’ holistic needs. To learn more about each WPC site, including enrollment strategies, program design, services provided, and data collection, check out our new WPC brochure or see links below to download an individual profile.
The Whole Person Care Pilot program represents a significant opportunity to scale, strengthen, and sustain these efforts in a meaningful way.
Download WPC Site Profiles
- Community Health Workers and Peers are Essential to Counties’ COVID-19 Response (February 2021)
- Whole Person Care Lays Groundwork For Quick COVID-19 Response (August 2020)
- Whole Person Care Leads to Improved Care Coordination, Better Care, and Better Health (June 2020)
- Whole Person Care Plays Critical Role in COVID-19 Response (May 2020)
- The Essential Role of Community Health Workers & Peers (February 2020)
- Whole Person Care Makes Progress in Care Coordination (November 2019)
- Whole Person Care in California’s Public Health Care Systems (April 2019)
- Whole Person Care Hits Stride: Q&A with SNI (November 2018)
- Whole Person Care: Going Beyond Medical Services to Help Vulnerable Californians Lead Health Lives (July 2018)
- Whole Person Care Program Update (September 2017) Audio recording or download slides
- Issue Brief on Whole Person Care (July 2016)
- KQED story on the impact of the program (July 2017)
- State of California’s Whole Person Care page
CAPH members can access more resources and technical assistance related to Whole Person Care through SNI Link.