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Rural Californians Could Experience Improvements in Overall Health Thanks to Positive Impacts of CalAIM

Date: 10/26/22

Californians living in rural counties have unique needs that are not always well taken care of by the current healthcare system. CalAIM is a program by the Department of Health Care Services that works to offer more equitable, coordinated, and person-centered care for everyone. This also includes for rural Californians. Health Net partners with the state and other local organizations to make sure rural residents can get benefits through Community Supports.

Community Supports are designed to address social drivers of health. They do this through increasing access to services and resources, such as:

  • Transportation assistance
  • Housing support
  • Asthma remediation
  • Medically tailored meals
  • Sobering centers

Dr. Pooja Mittal, Chief Health Equity Officer at Health Net, recently joined Scott Hertzberg on This is Rural Health, a twice monthly podcast from the California State Rural Health Association (CSRHA). In their conversation, the two discussed CalAIM, Community Supports and the positive impact that is already being made on our members living in rural areas.

A clear example is the efforts made to coordinate patient transportation. This is for those who don't have reliable rides to their health visits, which may be for:

  • COVID-19 vaccination or care
  • Medical care
  • Dental care
  • Substance abuse assistance
  • Pharmacy visits
  • Hospital discharges

Asthma remediation is another aspect where patients have better access to care, and therefore better health outcomes. Now, as part of Community Supports, asthma remediation services have been crucial to many Medi-Cal patients who live in the valley. The Central Valley is one of the most polluted air basins in the nation. It's surrounded by agriculture, warehouse distribution, massive dairies and two busy interstate highways. Providers can now put air purifiers in an asthmatic's home to help give them clean air, among other things like fixing air conditioners with good filters that will not trigger the patient's asthma.

As CalAIM implementation continues through 2027, Health Net will keep working with our state, county and local community partners to ensure its success. We will use our expertise and experience to help create a system that meets the needs of all Californians – no matter where they live.

Listen to the podcast here. Learn more about Health Net's key findings for the beginning of CalAIM and Community Supports (PDF).

Last Updated: 10/26/2022