Care Coordination Program: A Lifeline for Our Most Vulnerable Patients
By Rayne @ Planned Parenthood | Nov. 14, 2022, 5:28 p.m.
There can be so many barriers when it comes to accessing health care. From seeing if you’re covered by insurance, to affording co-pays and other fees, to getting the time off to go to the appointment, perhaps getting childcare, and finally even just getting there – the journey to see a health care provider can be difficult.
Enter: The Care Coordination Program. This team works to remove as many barriers to receiving care at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest as possible. Not only do they tackle the hurdles patients may face just to get to the health center, but they also provide 360 degrees of support. Care Coordination helps patients navigate insurance, locate potential programs for those who are uninsured, provide emotional support, and refer out for urgent, nonmedical services that patients need. This really ensures that all patients’ needs are met before, during, and after they receive care at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. Specifically, the Care Coordination Program helps connect people with the community resources they need including:
- Prenatal care and pregnancy support
- Homelessness resources
- Counseling and mental health services
- Medi-Cal enrollment
- Sexual violence counseling and resources
- Intimate partner violence counseling and resources
- Substance use disorder treatment resources
- Pregnancy options counseling
- Abortion support and navigation
- Transgender health services
- Bereavement care
- PrEP and HIV care navigation
Since the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away the constitutional right to an abortion in June, the Care Coordination Program’s abortion support and navigation has been even more crucial, especially for out-of-state patients including those coming from Arizona and Texas where access to abortion care is limited. Care Coordination Program Manager, Tessa Hemmi, describes the situation: “We’re able to support patients in the moment to help them figure out what is going to be the best option for them, and problem solve how they can actually get the care that they need.” In addition to abortion navigation and support, patients can be referred to the Care Coordination team for a number of reasons that may come up in the course of making an appointment, receiving health care services, or after their appointment. These are the top six reasons for Care Coordination referrals:
- Mental health
- Intimate partner violence
- Sexual violence
- Substance use disorder
Furthermore, about 1/3 of patients referred are experiencing more than one of these barriers to care. Planned Parenthood also recognizes that Black, Indigenous, and patients of color often face even more barriers to receiving care due to medical racism and systemic exclusion in health care. Care Coordination connects with hundreds of patients each month, helping them to navigate these pressing issues and provide emotional support. In the coming year, more than 6,000 patients will be referred to Care Coordination to meet these needs. Do you or someone you know need help navigating sexual and reproductive health care? Not sure where to turn for support with mental health, substance use disorder, homelessness, or intimate partner violence? Consult your Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest health care provider for more information about the Care Coordination Program.