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Regional News

New Health Plan Consolidates Care For Medicaid Patients

leanne_berge.jpg
Community Health Plan of Washington
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A Washington health care company says it has created a health plan that consolidates care for people with complex medical conditions. Community Health Plan of Washington's program is called Whole Person Care and it is aimed at Medicaid patients.

The company's CEO, Leanne Berge, says the services are coordinated through a single health plan that includes attention to physical needs as well as mental health and substance abuse. In the past, patients would have to go through a separate agency to accessservices that address their behavioral health needs.

“When you approach the needs of an individual with the outlook that they are more than a disease or diagnoses, but that they have a whole bunch of needs that need to be addressed, you’re going to have much better outcomes, that include their mental health needs, social needs, medical needs, dental needs and so forth and when you understand that picture you can provide the services in a much more effective way,” Berge said.

Berge says when a person with a physical issue pays a visit to a community health clinic for a specific physical issue, the medical team treating them will also know about any behavioral or addiction issue they might also have and incorporate that knowledge into the treatment.

The Whole Person Care model went into effect January 1 in Spokane for about 30,000 Medicaid patients.