As we approach 2024 and the end of My Health LA, we would like to take this opportunity to look back and reflect on the history of our program and its connections to Los Angeles County and our various partners. From beginnings as a Public-Private Partnership program to the current form, MHLA’s past will be explored in this multi-part series as we dive into the history of our program.
MHLA traces its beginnings to a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program that was implemented in 1995 as a collaborative effort between Health Services and private, community-based providers to provide quality health care services indigent and uninsured. Throughout its operational time span, the PPP program represented a network of roughly 50 community partners that provided primary, dental and specialty care at more than 100 clinic sites.
In the mid-2000s, the PPP Program was extended with two major goals:
- Sustainability of the healthcare safety-net through the securing of the PPP Program and further integration of community partners into a coordinated system that will preserve the availability of ambulatory care through partners and Health Services.
- Improvement of clinical practices and disease management.
The official program mission was to provide medical, dental and specialty services to the medically indigent in a way that is complementary to the Health Services safety net system of care. By June 2005, Los Angeles County was a blended health care delivery system that included County operated and public-private partner sites; the PPP program at this point was a stable bridge between County health facilities and external healthcare providers that was able to extend services to individuals who would normally be unable to benefit from healthcare.
The basic operations and infrastructure of the PPP Program was very similar to future iterations and ultimately MHLA. Partners had a set of service requirements where they were obligated to provide primary care visits, laboratory/diagnostic and pharmacy services, and basic radiology services to participants.
Regarding specialty requirements, partners were required to provide office visits, inpatient procedures and outpatient surgery as deemed medically appropriate in a variety of specialty service areas. In addition, partners were required to provide a host of dental services including general dentistry and periodontics.
Several aspects of MHLA organizationally were drawn from the framework of the PPP Program:
- Partner and participant eligibility requirements were regularly and routinely audited much like it is in MHLA.
- Healthcare provider credentials were tracked and had to be maintained according to occupational requirements.
- Site certifications, operational records and reviews were expected to be up-to-date and had to meet a required baseline of quality.
- County auditing of key programmatic areas were regularly performed for quality assurance.
- Partnerships with community partners were handled via contracts with associated agreements, claims processing and billings/payments.
Ultimately, the PPP Program was absorbed into Healthy Way LA in 2014 as part of California’s 1115 “Bridge to Reform” Waiver. Lessons in the administration and operations learned during the PPP program were applied to its successor program, Healthy Way LA, and subsequently, My Health LA. We have been so pleased to partner with many of you since PPP days! And we also have some staff members who have been around the entire time as well.