Since last year, L.A. Care Health Plan has partnered with the California Long-Term Care Education Center (CLTCEC) to provide training and education to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers of its Cal MediConnect dual-eligible enrollees.

“We recognize that quality health care doesn’t happen only in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. It happens at home, too, and we want to support that care as well,” L.A. Care CEO John Baackes told AIS Health. “The pilot resulted in a reduction in ER visits and hospitalizations, the most expensive type of health care, so there is a cost-saving incentive as well.”

Over a 10-week course, caregivers were trained on CPR, first aid, medication administration, nutrition and personal care. They also learned to identify and report a change in function in the member. In the first two trimesters, 579 caregivers have graduated from the program; 321 students are enrolled in the third trimester that began last month.

To recruit students, CLTCEC staff visited IHSS providers in person and communicating with them in Spanish, English, Armenian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.

The program is the larger version of a CLTCEC’s pilot program, which had resulted in a significant reduction in the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations by patients who had trained caregivers. L.A. Care then modified the original 18 modules in the program down to 10 and funded the program with a $2 million annual budget.

As the training program has expanded its reach geographically, linguistically and numerically each trimester, Baackes says the insurer is planning to continue the program and begin recruiting for the first trimester of the second year.