Hudson Health Plan Wins 3rd Award For Action Program
Tarrytown, NY - Westchester Cares Action Program (WCAP), a breakthrough coordinated care program that for three years improved the care of 250 of the most expensive fee-for-service Medicaid patients in Westchester, NY, has won another honor for Hudson Health Plan.The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) presented its 2012 Case Management Research Award to Hudson at the CMSA Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 22, 2012 in recognition of WCAP's contribution to case management research. Margaret Leonard, MS, RN-BC, FNP, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services at Hudson and the Executive Director of WCAP, received the award on behalf of Hudson.
"We knew in our hearts that WCAP's integrated, hands-on, approach was the right thing to do for our patients, who were a vulnerable population in need of medical and behavioral health care as well as social services support," Ms. Leonard explains. "Thanks to the diligence of our team and our ability to document WCAP's success and achievements, we have evidence that this approach works."
This is the third award Hudson has won for WCAP since the program concluded in early March 2012. In March, the Westchester County Board of Health presented its 2012 Distinguished Public Health Service Award to WCAP for doing the "impossible," and helping people in the program regain their lives while reducing the cost of their care. In May, Hudson received the 2012 Medicaid Health Plan Innovation Award for WCAP at the annual Medicaid Managed Care Congress.
Hudson partnered with its behavioral health care partner, Beacon Health Strategies, to develop WCAP, which was funded in 2009 by the New York State Department of Health as a Chronic Illness Demonstration Project (CIDP) to manage the needs of a high-cost, high-use Medicaid fee-for-service population in Westchester County. Hudson and Beacon created a case management system that could coordinate physical and mental health care with social services support. They assembled a dedicated and resourceful WCAP team, trained them in cross-disciplinary case management techniques, and educated them about the unique psycho-social considerations for this population. They used a "feet on the street" approach: enrollment and face-to-face assessments were conducted in the field. Team members visited the patients' homes, found doctors to treat them, and arranged donations of clothes and furnishings. Once members had stable living situations, WCAP coached them so they could manage their own health problems and their lives.
"WCAP was an enormous undertaking that required us to retool conventional case management," Ms. Leonard explains. "We used our skills, our expertise, and our complete dedication to getting the undoable done. We helped dozens of people gain access to regular medical and behavioral care, social services, and much-needed support. When necessary, we even helped some find a place to live."
Georganne Chapin, President & CEO of Hudson Health Plan, points out that WCAP is based on a Medicaid "health home" model of service delivery that coordinates primary and acute medical care, behavioral health care, and social services for vulnerable people. "Medicaid health homes have the potential to turn around the lives of patients with complex medical needs, often the result of living in poverty, which further exacerbates their situation," she notes. "The CMSA Research Award drives that message home."