FRENCH CAMP — Health Plan of San Joaquin has initiated a pilot program called Palliative Care Options for members diagnosed with one of four critical diseases. Key elements include home visits from nurses and 24-hour access via telephone to a care provider.
It follows an earlier initiative started last year when Health Plan partnered with San Joaquin General Hospital to open the Palliative Care Clinic. Both programs fill a large gap in the care provided for seriously ill low-income patients on Medi-Cal and are funded by grants from the California Health Care Foundation.
Health Plan began its palliative care program for its 350,000 members in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties early in anticipation of the new Medi-Cal benefit scheduled to start statewide in 2018.