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Friday, July 19, 2024

Medi-Cal transforms to eliminate health disparities

Medi Cal transforms
Medi Cal is transformed, in its first phase the program approached the communities to listen to their true needs, regardless of immigration status, religion, language, origin, sex or age, providing a more complete and comprehensive service.

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Medi-Cal has been transformed with the objective of reaching more people, regardless of immigration status, religion, language, origin, sex or age, providing a more complete and comprehensive service; In its first phase of transformation, the program approached the communities to listen to their true needs.

California reached its lowest uninsured rate in 2022. Access gaps result in health disparities, as people from underserved groups, such as low-income people and people of color, experience higher rates of illness and death.

The Department of Health Services (DHCS) continues to transform Medi-Cal (comprehensive health coverage program for children and families in California), making historic investments to achieve equity in medical services. 

The program seeks expansion to all low-income Californians, regardless of immigration status, as well as expanding language access so members can receive interpretation services, and creating new community supports beyond the doctor's office, including housing assistance, psychological care and personal care services.

In addition to this commitment to health equity, DHCS leaders toured the state to hear from Medi-Cal members who have experienced health inequity firsthand, said Selene Ozturk. of the Department of Health Services, during an information session held by Ethnic Media Services.

With support from community organizations, they formed the first phase of DHCS' Health Equity Roadmap, a new initiative to create a Medi-Cal more focused on members and their true needs.

Once the first phase of the Health Equity Roadmap is completed, a pre-designed phase will be developed that will use member feedback to make Medi-Cal more equitable; These results will be available on your website once they are processed. 

Dr. Pamela Riley, Chief of Health Equity and Deputy Deputy Director of Quality Management and Population Health at the Department of Health Care Services, said that everyone, regardless of color, religion, origin, age or income, has the right to a medical service, while regretting that this objective is not always achieved due to the disparities they face. 

?Equity goes beyond access, we have to ensure we provide efficient health services to anyone?, he detailed.

Riley commented that if you want to have true change you must work directly with the members, listen to them and get to know them to know their needs, mainly in the indigenous and Afro-descendant communities who are the most vulnerable.

Last year, an initiative was launched that is transforming the Medi-Cal program, it is an implementation that is carried out in steps where health care is focused on the members and is directed specifically to them, providing dental and comprehensive care, explained the also graduate in Anthropology.

?Phase one consists of a state tour to know and listen. Phase two will work with program members using community feedback and initiatives to ensure all voices are heard.?, he stressed.

Likewise, Dr. Riley expressed that phase three will be the result of the foundation that has been worked to generate a route that goes to health equity in which viable elements will be put to achieve mutual objectives and reach a Medication system. More equitable lime.

It should be noted that phase one has been completed, in which the most vulnerable communities were visited to listen to residents and understand their needs. During these trips, the most important issue to consider was linguistic diversity, as people need to feel understood and heard.

Debbie Toth, president and CEO of Choice in Aging, shared that she has been working for this organization for 22 years and has never had such a big project, something she was excited and inspired by.

?Historically, work so focused on communities had not been done, knowing the needs of each person through their own stories.?, he highlighted.

When Toth arrived at Choice in Aging, he noticed that they did not have a program focused on people who speak Spanish. When this space opened, people from Mexico, Argentina and Spain gathered, where one person commented: "we share the language but not the culture."?, so she understood that they do not have the same needs and it was important to see each person uniquely. 

?We assume things because they share the same characteristic, but a person cannot be identified by a single thing since there are many identities.?, he added Thoth.

Michale Whalen, Director of Programs at The Bedford Center at Choice in Aging, commented that more senior care centers are needed, spaces where people feel loved and valued regardless of their age.

He expressed that they provide a social and community place where people feel special and part of a community, since it is very important that everyone has a place to spend their time in the afternoons, a special place that makes them feel unique and that goes beyond a medical checkup, but rather supports them comprehensively.


You may be interested in: Medi-Cal adds maternal health care as one of its basic services


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