After moving to her daughter’s home in 2009 to escape an alcoholic, abusive boyfriend, Darlene Clark of Seattle desperately needed help finding permanent housing. She found the name and number of King County Care Partners and called. Caroline Bacon, the program’s outreach specialist, promptly met her at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle’s public hospital, where Clark, a Medicaid beneficiary, gets her health care.
Bacon and her colleagues soon found Clark a scarce senior housing placement, and later helped her land a Section 8-subsidized apartment. They also accompanied Clark, who suffers from heart disease, obesity, and depression, to her medical appointments to help her work with her various physicians to reconcile her medications. Now she says she’s doing much better, can get around with a walker and cane, is able to manage her own medical appointments, and isn’t feeling depressed any more.
“They came to my rescue,” says Clark, now 61. “They helped me get out of that situation, and they were just fantastic.”
Clark was one of more than 400 high-cost, high-need Medicaid beneficiaries served by King County Care Partners (KCCP) during a two-year Medicaid care management demonstration program that began in 2009. The program is a collaboration between the Washington State Medicaid program and a set of community partners, including King County Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Harborview Medical Center, Neighborcare Community Health Centers, Healthpoint Community Health Centers, and Sea Mar Community Health Centers. Originally scheduled to end in June 2012, based on its success the program is being continued on a month-to-month basis until the state’s “health home” care management model for high-needs Medicaid patients is begun.