San Francisco universal health access to receive $24 million state funding

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that 10 counties will receive more than a half billion dollars in new federal funds to test innovative ways of providing health services to the uninsured.

“Counties have delivered forward-thinking proposals to provide primary and preventive care to uninsured Californians, which will help ease the burden on our overcrowded emergency rooms. By promoting health and wellness, covering the uninsured and increasing affordability, California can create a model that the rest of the nation can follow,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Approximately 180,000 low-income, uninsured individuals will be served through enrollment in health coverage programs in these selected counties. The programs and allocations are subject to federal approval. The selected counties and annual allocations are:

San Francisco City and County

(Health Access Program)

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency

(Alameda County Excellence)

Contra Costa County/Contra Costa Health Services

(Contra Costa Health Care Coverage)

County of Orange

(Medical Service for Indigents Coverage Initiative)

County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency

(Safety Net Access Program)

Kern Medical Center

(Kern County Camino de Salud Network)

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

(Healthy Way LA)

San Mateo Medical Center

(WELL-Plus Initiative)

Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System

(Valley Care)

Ventura County Health Care Agency

(Access Coverage Enrollment Program)

The allocation of $540 million comes as a result of legislation, SB 1448, signed last year by the Governor. Seventeen proposals representing the majority of the state’s counties were submitted and included three-year plans for serving low-income uninsured adults. Ten proposals were chosen by a panel of state officials and health care experts.

“This initiative will help ten of California’s counties implement health care programs that include preventive and primary care services to uninsured persons who have chronic health care conditions or high health care costs,” California Department of Health Services Director Sandra Shewry said.

The health care coverage initiative programs are designed to:

* Expand the number of Californians who have health care coverage.

* Strengthen and build upon the local health care safety net system, including hospitals that serve a large number of uninsured and Medi-Cal populations, and county and community clinics.

* Improve access to high-quality health care and health outcomes for uninsured individuals.

* Create efficiencies in the delivery of health care services that can lead to savings in health care costs.

* Maximize the use of federal funds.

* Ensure long-term sustainability of the programs beyond the term of the federal allocation.

See Related: HEALTH CARE

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